• biomaterials;
  • composites;
  • modeling;
  • mechanical properties;
  • pyrolysis;
  • agricultural residues;
  • olive kernel


This study is aiming at the production of carbon material from agricultural residues by pyrolysis and their further use for the production of green polymeric composites. The development of an agricultural-based polymer matrix compatible with olive pits and consequently a fully biodegradable composite system is the future and ultimate goal of the undertaken research. In this study, pyrolysis of olive kernels was conducted at 800°C for 1 h. Furthermore, elemental, proximate, and metal analyses were performed for to the raw material and the produced char. The analyses showed that the pyrolytic char from olive kernel is a carbon rich material with significant concentration in metals, which can be further studied as additive for the production of green materials. For that purpose, samples made out of epoxy matrix, reinforced with pyrolytic char from olive kernel at different concentrations, were manufactured and mechanically characterized at three point bending conditions. A maximum increase of 60% in bending modulus in comparison to the net matrix modulus was achieved. The new material developed in the present investigation is a green composite with an elastic modulus 60% higher than that of the pure matrix. Results were also compared with predictions derived by the application of a theoretical model previously developed by the first author for the evaluation of the elastic modulus in particulate composites taking into account not only the effect of filler-matrix adhesion but also the degree of dispersion of fillers into the matrix. It was found that predicted values as derived from the application of the model were in very good agreement with experimental findings. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011