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Design and development of products based on compounds formed by agave fiber residues and bioplastic.
The present project consisted in the preparation of a compound based on a bioplastic (polylactic acid) reinforced with agave fiber residue, originated from tequila liquor production. In 2017, only at Jalisco state, approximately 956,100 tons of agave fiber waste were generated, which is not used by industry in any way.
Several mixing composites were made, forming specimens tests plastic compression-molding process. Once the best composition has been defined, and taking advantage of the visual and tactile characteristics that the composite possesses, as well as its rigidity, we proceeded to design a product for tequila industry, in order for it to take advantage of its own waste, thus closing the cycle of the reuse of the raw material.
Tequila has undoubtedly been part of our local and regional history, since colonial times and to this day it remains an essential part of Mexican culture. From the beginning of its industrial commercialization in the middle of the last century; going through the tequila boom that was presented in the early nineties and to date, thanks to advertising and commercial strategies at international level. The demand for tequila at the global level has increased steadily. In the world this spirit drink has been placed as a symbol of Mexican culture and in the taste of an important sector of the world market.
This growing demand results in a high generation of a by-product resulting from tequila distillation; bagasse or agave fiber, which at industrial levels makes up an unused material, which in small quantities is used as a compost or in a few handcrafted applications. This material offers interesting features in the field of current design, thanks to its natural and eco-sustainable material; likewise, its physical, mechanical characteristics and abundant availability project it as a suitable material for its integration in the design of environmentally friendly products.