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Extrusion of Porous Protein-Based Polymers and Their Liquid Absorption Characteristics
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2073-7005
KTH, School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health (CBH), Fibre- and Polymer Technology.
Essity Hyg & Hlth AB, SE-40503 Gothenburg, Sweden..
SLU Swedish Univ Agr Sci, Dept Plant Breeding, Box 101, SE-23053 Alnarp, Sweden..
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2020 (English)In: Polymers, E-ISSN 2073-4360, Vol. 12, no 2, article id 459Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The production of porous wheat gluten (WG) absorbent materials by means of extrusion processing is presented for the future development of sustainable superabsorbent polymers (SAPs). Different temperatures, formulations, and WG compositions were used to determine a useful protocol that provides the best combination of porosity and water swelling properties. The most optimal formulation was based on 50 wt.% WG in water that was processed at 80 degrees C as a mixture, which provided a porous core structure with a denser outer shell. As a green foaming agent, food-grade sodium bicarbonate was added during the processing, which allowed the formation of a more open porous material. This extruded WG material was able to swell 280% in water and, due to the open-cell structure, 28% with non-polar limonene. The results are paving the way towards production of porous bio macromolecular structures with high polar/non-polar liquid uptake, using extrusion as a solvent free and energy efficient production technique without toxic reagents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI , 2020. Vol. 12, no 2, article id 459
Keywords [en]
wheat gluten, protein, extrusion, sustainability, absorbents, porosity, circularity
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-271950DOI: 10.3390/polym12020459ISI: 000519849800209PubMedID: 32079125Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85080897333OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-271950DiVA, id: diva2:1423603
Note

QC 20200415

Available from: 2020-04-15 Created: 2020-04-15 Last updated: 2024-01-17Bibliographically 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)
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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, Antonio JoseHedenqvist, Mikael S.Olsson, Richard

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