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A facile way of making inexpensive rigid and soft protein biofoams with rapid liquid absorption
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials. Department of Plant Breeding, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 101, Alnarp, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2073-7005
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7674-0262
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2018 (English)In: Industrial crops and products (Print), ISSN 0926-6690, E-ISSN 1872-633X, Vol. 119, p. 41-48Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A novel and facile method to produce inexpensive protein biofoams suitable for sponge applications is presented. The protein used in the study was wheat gluten (WG), readily available as a by/co-product, but the method is expected to work for other cross-linkable proteins. The foams were obtained by high-speed stirring of pristine WG powder in water at room temperature followed by drying. Glutaraldehyde was used to crosslink the foam material in order to stabilize the dispersion, reduce its tackiness and improve the strength of the final foam. The foams were of medium to high density and absorbed readily both hydrophobic and hydrophilic liquids. The foam structure, consisting primarily of an open pore/channel system, led to a remarkably fast capillary-driven (pore-filling only) uptake of a hydrophobic liquid (limonene). Essentially all uptake occurred within the first second (to ca. 90% of the dry weight). In a polar liquid (water), the rapid pore-filling occurred in parallel with a more time-dependent swelling of the foam matrix material. Further improvement in the foam strength was achieved by making a denser foam or adding TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibres. Soft foams were obtained by adding glycerol.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 119, p. 41-48
Keywords [en]
Wheat gluten; Foam; TEMPO cellulose nanofibres; Plasticised; Absorption; Mechanics
National Category
Materials Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-226143DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2018.03.069ISI: 000432763800005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85044920664OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-226143DiVA, id: diva2:1197481
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 243-2011-1436
Note

QC 20180418

Available from: 2018-04-13 Created: 2018-04-13 Last updated: 2024-03-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Sustainable Biobased Protein Superabsorbents from Agricultural Co-Products
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable Biobased Protein Superabsorbents from Agricultural Co-Products
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The preparation of sustainable protein superabsorbents from agricultural industry side-streams is reported. Wheat gluten (WG), a co-product from the ethanol/starch industry, was processed into foams with sponge-like behavior and high liquid uptake. The materials were obtained by phase-separation of aqueous WG dispersions followed by ambient drying, or by lyophilization. The use of a natural and non-toxic cross-linker (genipin) resulted in foams with high water swelling properties (~18 g/g in 10 min). The rapid swelling may be of use in bio-based foams in e.g., sanitary pads.

As an alternative, potato protein concentrate (PPC, side-stream from the starch industry), was functionalized and prepared as particles. The liquid swelling capacity was compared after acylation with five different agents. It is shown that the PPC can be acylated to replicate the chemistry of synthetic superabsorbent polymers (SAP), showing water swelling capacity >10 g/g. The acylation (using EDTAD) of WG suspensions resulted in protein particles with water and saline uptake of 22 and 5 g/g, respectively. Limited network stability was however observed when acylating WG in low-protein suspensions. This was addressed by mixing the acylated protein with genipin, which provided a stable protein network. The process gave functionalized particles with swelling capacity ~40 g/g and ~80 % retention of swelling in centrifuge retention tests.

The extrusion of WG showed that porous WG with water uptake of 500 % can be produced. Further, the scalability of PPC production was pilot-tested by functionalizing potato fruit juice (PFJ), containing the potato protein in its soluble state before the industrial drying used to obtain PPC. This resulted in water swelling capacities >10 g/g, which was comparable to the PPC-functionalized materials. The results pave the way for future optimization of high-throughput production techniques using protein sources in mass production of sustainable protein-based SAPs.

Abstract [sv]

Produktion av hållbara protein-superabsorbenter från jordbruksindustrins sidoströmmar genomfördes i denna avhandling. Vetegluten (WG), en samprodukt från etanol/stärkelseindustrin, bearbetades till skum med högt vätskeupptag. Porösa WG-material erhölls genom både fasseparation av vatten/WG-dispersioner med efterföljande torkning samt genom vakuum-torkning. Användning av en naturlig och giftfri tvärbindare (genipin) ledde till WG-skum som tog upp ~18 g vatten / g skum på 10 min. Denna egenskap gör de biobaserade skummen intressanta för t.ex.  hygienkuddar (sanitary pads).

Potatisproteinkoncentrat (PPC), en sidoström från stärkelseindustrin, funktionaliserades och svällningsförmågan undersöktes efter acylering med fem olika substanser. Det modifierade PPC efterliknade kemin hos syntetiska superabsorberande polymerer (SAP) och erhöll att vattenupptag >10 g/g. Acylering av WG i suspensionsform resulterade i proteinpartiklar med vatten- och saltlösnings-upptag på 22 respektive 5 g/g. Den begränsade stabiliteten som erhölls vid acylering av WG i utspädd form löstes genom att tillsätta genipin. Förfarandet resulterade i partiklar med en svällningskapacitet på ~40 g/g och en retention på ~80 % i centrifugeringstestet.

Uppskalningtester i form av extruderat WG material visade att den porösa strukturen hos de extruderade WG-materialen gav vattenupptag på 500 %. Uppskalningsmöjligheter för PPC absorbenter testades genom att funktionalisera potatisfruktsaft (PFJ), det vill säga PPC innan anrikning, och det visade sig att denna hade en vattenupptagningsförmåga på >10 g/g, vilket är jämförbart med det PPC-funktionaliserade materialet (>20 g/g). Dessa resultat banar väg för framtida optimering av produktionstekniker, vilka möjliggör för en hög produktionshastighet och massproduktion av hållbara proteinbaserade SAP: er.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2020. p. 86
Series
TRITA-CBH-FOU ; 2020:50
Series
Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, ISSN 1652-6880 ; 2020:53
Keywords
proteins, circularity, superabsorbents, sustainability, acylation, extrusion
National Category
Polymer Technologies Textile, Rubber and Polymeric Materials Polymer Chemistry
Research subject
Fibre and Polymer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-281719 (URN)978-91-7760-624-6 (ISBN)978-91-7760-625-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-10-16, https://kth-se.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ackva19qQH6WFT8Cq-vQAA, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Product Quality
Funder
Vinnova, 2015-03506
Note

This thesis is a result of a double-degree between KTH and SLU.

Available from: 2020-09-24 Created: 2020-09-23 Last updated: 2022-06-25Bibliographically approved

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Capezza, A.Wu, QiongOlsson, Richard T.Hedenqvist, Mikael

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