Pollen: A novel, biorenewable filler for polymer composites

Jung Hyun Lee, Brandon M. Suttle, Hyung Ju Kim, J. Carson Meredith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Pollen has an exine shell with remarkable chemical stability, high-strength, and unique microstructures that suggest use as a biorenewable polymer filler. Pollen-filled polymers may offer potential for light-weight, high-strength materials that can displace some petroleum-derived content with a sustainable plant-based alternative. We report the first demonstration of the incorporation of pollen grains (short ragweed) on the mechanical, interfacial, and thermal properties of two polymers, poly(μ-caprolactone) (PCL) and polystyrene (PS). Under certain solvent and annealing conditions, PS mechanical properties were improved synergistically upon addition of pollen, while those of PCL were always degraded, in strong agreement with wetting behavior of the polymer-pollen interface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1062
Number of pages8
JournalMacromolecular Materials and Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov 12
Externally publishedYes


  • fillers
  • pollens
  • poly(μ-caprolactone)
  • polystyrene
  • scomposites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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