Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Recyclable Composites Prepared from Bio-Olefins and Industrial Waste

Perla Y. Sauceda-Oloño, Ana C. Borbon-Almada, Martin Gaxiola, Ashlyn D. Smith, Andrew G. Tennyson*, Rhett C. Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) production consumes tremendous amounts of fresh water and energy and releases vast quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. Not only would an alternative to OPC whose production requires no water, releases little CO2, and consumes less energy represent a transformative advance in the pursuit of industrial decarbonization, but the greater availability of safe drinking water would lead to significantly improved public health, particularly among vulnerable populations most at risk from contaminated water supply. For any OPC alternative to be adopted on any meaningful scale, however, its structural capabilities must meet or exceed those of OPC. An inverse vulcanization of brown grease, sunflower oil, and elemental sulfur (5:5:90 weight ratio) was successfully modified to afford the high-sulfur-content material SunBG90 in quantities > 1 kg, as was necessary for standardized ASTM and ISO testing. Water absorption (ASTM C140) and thermal conductivity (ISO 8302) values for SunBG90 (<1 wt% and 0.126 W·m−1·K−1, respectively) were 84% and 94% lower than those for OPC, respectively, suggesting that SunBG90 would be more resistant against freeze-thaw and thermal stress damage than OPC. Consequently, not only does SunBG90 represent a more environmentally friendly material than OPC, but its superior thermomechanical properties suggest that it could be a more environmentally robust material on its own merits, particularly for outdoor structural applications involving significant exposure to water and seasonal or day/night temperature swings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number248
JournalJournal of Composites Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 by the authors.


  • ASTM testing
  • ISO testing
  • fats and oils
  • polymer cement
  • sulfur
  • sustainable composite


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