Dr. Paglicawan is recognized for her work on natural fibers composites composed of natural fibers such as pineapple fibers, sisal, ramie, loofah and flax, and agricultural wastes such as coir dust, coconut fibers, bagasse, and rice straw in thermoset and thermoplastic matrices showed that such composites had mechanical properties comparable with those of synthetic fiber. With co-workers, she further showed that other processing techniques such as chemical treatment (alkali, plasma, and peroxide), using various molding techniques, and produced composites with good mechanical properties. Her work on biodegradable plastics started in 1997, has resulted in the development of biodegradable thermoplastic starch from native starch which was further improved with the addition of polylactic acid. Her team has produced nanoclay which has been incorporated in the biodegradable plastic to reinforce its properties. This technology is now awaiting patent approval and commercial production. Dr. Paglicawan has also been involved in the development and characterization of polymer nanocomposites such as exfoliated graphite nanoplatelets-thermoplastic elastomer nanocomposites, and nanocomposite polymer gels which could be used as artificial muscle. Dr. Paglicawan has been granted a utility model for a technology for the production of recycled rubber tiles and paving block from rubber wastes (old tires etc.) in 2013 with mechanical strength, chemical, and weather resistance properties appropriate for indoor and outdoor uses.