Skip to main content
main-content
Top

About this book

This book provides detailed information on the methods and techniques that can be used to process coir, cocopeat and other coconut byproducts for developing various bioproducts. Coir is a unique raw material in that it is abundant, green, and sustainable. The most common industrial application of coir is to use it as a reinforcement of composites with other natural or synthetic fibers and resins. Coir-based composites are used in automotive, construction, and packaging, among other applications. Recently cocopeat, coconut shells and other byproducts have been used for energy, environmental remediation and agricultural applications. This is the first reference describing the properties, processability, and applications of all the coconut byproducts. Properties of the products developed are also covered with a major focus on industrial applications.

Provides a single, comprehensive reference source on the biorenewable material coir and other coconut byproducts

Addresses properties, processing and a broad range of industrial applications

Enables researchers spanning the materials, polymer, agricultural, composites and environmental areas to identify unique and useful applications of coir and other coconut byproducts

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Processing and Properties of Coconuts

Abstract
Coconuts are considered as a seed crop and are one of the primary commodity crops of the world. Although found mostly in tropical climates, coconuts have diverse applications and are commonly used for various food and non-food applications. In addition, the by-products obtained after processing the coconuts have been commercially used for a plethora of products and applications. However, the structure and properties of the coconuts and by-products obtained vary significantly depending on the species, source, and processing conditions. Coir extracted from the outside layers (husks) is the major byproduct obtained after processing coconuts. Along with coir, coconut shells, coir pith, coconut sheath, and leaves are generated in large quantities and studied extensively for value added applications. This chapter primarily focuses on the processing and properties of coir but also includes information on the properties and applications of other coir by-products.
Narendra Reddy

Chapter 2. Agricultural Applications of Coir

Abstract
Efforts to decrease the disposal of agricultural residues and develop new applications are being given prominence across the world. The concept of circular economy and “No Agricultural Waste” are being aggressively pursued. Using agricultural residues for agricultural purposes seems to be the most prudent approach. Coir and other coconut by-products have been studied for several agricultural applications including soilless growing media, mulching for crops, restoration of banks and streams feeding agricultural fields, etc. Despite such wide applications, there are many more avenues where coir and its by-products can be utilized. This chapter provides an overview of the applications of coir and coir by-products in agriculture, particularly the coir and coir dust as soilless growing media.
Narendra Reddy

Chapter 3. Biotechnological Applications for Coir and Other Coconut Tree By-products

Abstract
Coir and other coconut by-products have been extensively studied for their potential use in biofuel production, as substrates for enzyme and chemical production and cultivation of mushrooms. Low cost, relatively longer degradation times, and easy availability are the primary reasons for using coconut by-products for biotechnological applications. Among the various studies, production of enzymes and using the by-products as a source for cultivation of mushrooms seems more feasible. Although several studies have been done to use coir for biofuel production, coir has 30–40% lignin, which is highly recalcitrant and hence conversion of the lignocellulose into glucose and subsequently into ethanol is not economical. However, researchers have attempted to utilize coir and other coconut by-products for various biotechnological applications other than biofuels. This chapter provides an overview of the applications that coir and coir by-products have been utilized in biotechnology and related areas.
Narendra Reddy

Chapter 4. Applications of Coir Fibers in Construction

Abstract
One of the significant but yet to be explored applications of coir is in the construction industry. The recent push towards green and efficient buildings and reducing the use of concrete provide a great opportunity for use of coir in the building and construction industry. Directly combining the coir fibers in concrete, wrapping beams and structure with coir reinforced composites have been attempted. It has been shown that presence of coir not only improves mechanical properties but also provides corrosion resistance. Few researchers have used coir to develop bricks and also as sorbents of pollutants in the air. Ability of coir to improve thermal and acoustic insulation has also been demonstrated.
Narendra Reddy

Chapter 5. Energy Applications of Coir

Abstract
Satisfying the energy needs of the increasing population and adopting renewable and green approaches are one of the priorities of governments and other concerned institutions across the globe. Conventionally, most agricultural residues were used as fuel for burning. However, difficulties in storing residues, pollution and health hazards associated with burning the residues, and increased affordability of alternative energy sources have decreased the use of residues as sources for fuel (combustion). However, cleaner and efficient technologies for burning of biomass, recovery of other chemicals and gases during combustion have led to renewed interest in using biomass as a source of energy. New applications such as supercapacitors and gasification are intended to use biomass as energy sources. Coir satisfies most of the requirements for using it, for combustion, as carbon for supercapacitors and other energy applications. This chapter provides an overview of the possibilities of using coir as a source for energy.
Narendra Reddy

Chapter 6. Coir for Environmental Remediation

Abstract
Coir has been one of the predominant agricultural residues studied for environmental remediation, particularly removal of heavy metals and dyes from polluted water. Easy availability, low cost, and high moisture sorption capabilities make coir an ideal choice for removing various contaminants from polluted water. In addition to contaminants in water, studies have also been conducted to understand the feasibility of using coir as a sorbent for gases. Coir has also been chemically and physically modified to improve its efficiency as a sorbate. Carbonization of coir and coir pith has been done to improve their sorption ability.
Narendra Reddy

Chapter 7. Composites from Coir Fibers

Abstract
Composites have been the most widely used applications for coir fibers. One of the simplest approaches for manufacturing coir fibers based composites is to use the fibers as reinforcement and epoxy or other synthetic polymers as resins. Completely biodegradable coir-based composites have also been developed using natural polymers such as wheat gluten, soy-based resins, and synthetic biopolymers such as poly(lactic acid) as matrix. In addition, coir fibers have been physically and chemically modified and various fillers have been used to improve the properties of coir-based composites. Similarly, coir fibers have been combined with other fibers and matrices to develop hybrid composites with distinct properties suitable for various applications. This chapter covers the coir-based synthetic polymer composites, coir-based natural polymer matrix completely biodegradable composites, and also coir based hybrid composites in separate sections.
Narendra Reddy

Chapter 8. Miscellaneous Applications for Coir and Other Coconut By-products

Abstract
Along with the conventional applications of coir and related by-products, researchers have attempted to utilize the properties of coir for a large array of unique applications. Production of nanofibers and nanofillers, carbon nanotubes, ceramics, and brake linings using coir by-products has also been attempted. Further, the low cost and good sorption ability have been considered useful for removal of oil. Increasing interest in biodegradable and environmentally friendly materials is expected to make coir a preferred source for developing various new applications and products. Coir fibers and other coir by-products show immense potential for developing new and varied products.
Narendra Reddy

Backmatter

Additional information