Chitosan and chitosan/wheat gluten blends: properties of extrudates, solid films and bio-foams
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
This thesis presents four different studis describing the characteristics and processing opportunities of two widely available biopolymers: chitosan and wheat gluten. The interest in these materials is mainly because they are bio-based and obtained as co- or by-products in the fuel and food sector
In the first study, high solids content chitosan samples (60 wt.%) were successfully extruded. Chitosan extrusion has previously been reported but not chitosan extrusion with a high solids content, which decreases the drying time and increases the production volume. An orthogonal experimental design was used to assess the influence of formulation and processing conditions, and the optimal formulation and conditions were determined from the orthogonal experimental analysis and the qualities of the extrudates. The mechanical properties and processing-liquid mass loss of the optimized extrudates showed that the extrudates became stable within three days. The changes in the mechanical properties depended on the liquid mass loss.
In a separate study, monocarboxylic (formic, acetic, propionic, and butyric) acid uptake and diffusion in chitosan films were investigated. It is of importance in order to be able to optimize the production of this material with the casting technique. The time of the equilibration uptake in the chitosan films exposed to propionic and butyric acid was nine months. This long equilibration time encouraged us study the exposed films further. The uptake and diffusivity of acid in the films decreased with increasing acid molecular size. A two-stage absorption curve was observed for the films exposed to propionic acid vapour. The films at the different stages showed different diffusivities. The acid transport was also affected by the structure of the chitosan films. X-ray diffraction suggested that the crystal structure of the original films disappeared after the films had been dried from their acid-swollen state, and that the microstructure of the dried films depended on the molecular size of the acid. Compared with the original films, the dried films retained their ductility, although a decrease in the molecular weight of the chitosan was detected. The water resistance of the acid-exposed films was increased, even though the crystallinity of these films was lower.
The third study was devoted to chitosan/wheat gluten blend films cast from aqueous solutions. Different solvent types, additives and drying methods were used to examine their effects on the microstructures of the blended films. Chitosan and wheat gluten were immiscible in the aqueous blend, and the wheat gluten formed a discrete phase, and the homogeneity of the films was improved by using a reducing agent, compared with films prepared using only water/ethanol as cast media. Adding urea and surfactants resulted in a medium homogeneity of the films compared to those prepared with the reducing agents or with only water/ethanol. An elongated wheat gluten phase was observed in a film using glyoxal, in contrast to pure chitosan/wheat gluten blends. The opacity of the different films was studied. The mechanical properties and humidity uptake of the films increased with increasing chitosan content. The films containing 30 wt.% of wheat gluten showed the most promising mechanical properties, close to those of the pristine chitosan films.
The final part describes the preparation and properties of a bio-foam composed of a blend of chitosan and wheat gluten. This foam was prepared without any porogen or frozen liquid phase to create porosity. A unique phase distribution of the chitosan and wheat gluten solutions formed without any agitation, and the foam was obtained when the liquid phase were withdrawn under vacuum. These foams showed high mass uptake of n-hexane and water in a short time due to their open pores and high porosity. The maximum uptake of n-hexane measured was 20 times the initial mass of the foam. The foams showed a high rebound resilience (94 % at 20 % compression strain) and they were not broken when subjected to bending.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. , viii, 67 p.
TRITA-CHE-Report, ISSN 1654-1081 ; 2015:41
Textile, Rubber and Polymeric Materials
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-172435ISBN: 978-91-7595-657-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-172435DiVA: diva2:848170
2015-09-11, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Espuche, Eliane, Professor
Hedenqvist, Mikael, Professor
QC 201508252015-08-252015-08-242015-12-31Bibliographically approved
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