This work reports the preparation and characterization of Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa L.) oil/polystyrene (PS) and Buriti oil/poly(methyl methacrylate) blends. The Buriti is an abundant palm tree of the Amazon region. This oil was used because of its chemical composition (high concentrations of oleic acid, tocopherols and carotenoids, especially β-carotene) and interesting optical properties, such as absorption and photoluminescence. The incorporation of the vegetable oil in the PS and PMMA matrices renders orange-colored blends, which were verified to absorb UV–Vis radiation and emit light in the green region. The intensity of these properties is proportional to the oil content in the samples. Micrographs of the blends showed that the oil is located in cavities distributed in the polymeric matrices. This work shows that it is possible to employ the Buriti oil, a cheaper and abundant natural resource, to improve absorption and light emission properties of PS and PMMA polymers.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.