Recent advances in vegetable oil-based polymers and their composites

Chaoqun Zhang, Thomas F. Garrison, Samy A. Madbouly, Michael R. Kessler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

502 Citations (SciVal)


The development of viable alternatives to petroleum-based polymeric materials is a compelling contemporary challenge attributable to environmental concerns and the effects of fluctuating oil prices. Triglycerides, the primary components of vegetable oils, are an abundant, renewable, and widely investigated alternative feedstock for polymeric materials. Efforts are made on a global scale to develop innovative technologies to transform these natural resources into novel monomers and polymers. Some of these technologies have already generated competitive industrial products with properties comparable to conventional petrochemical polymers. Fillers and fibers have also been incorporated into these bio-based polymer matrices to improve the physical and thermal-mechanical properties of the resulting composite materials. The development of multifunctional composite materials facilitates the application of these materials in new areas, e.g., sensors, structural parts, medical device, construction units, flame retardant parts. This article reviews recent advances in polymeric materials from vegetable oils in terms of preparation, characterization, and properties. Nano-composites and fiber reinforced composites based on bio-polymers matrices will also be reviewed. This chapter will conclude with an overview of current and potential future applications of these materials in packaging, automotive, construction, electrical, and medical devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-143
Number of pages53
JournalProgress in Polymer Science
StatePublished - Aug 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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