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  • 1.
    Chen, Fei
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Monnier, Xavier
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Gällstedt, Mikael
    Innventia, Sweden.
    Gedde, Ulf W.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Hedenqvist, Mikael S.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
    Wheat gluten/chitosan blends: A new biobased material2014In: European Polymer Journal, ISSN 0014-3057, E-ISSN 1873-1945, Vol. 60, p. 186-197Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Wheat gluten and chitosan are renewable materials that suffer from some poor properties that limit their use as a potential replacement of petroleum-based polymers. However, polymer blends based on wheat gluten and chitosan surprisingly reduced these shortcomings. Films were cast from acidic aqueous or water/ethanol solutions of wheat gluten and chitosan. Wheat gluten was the discontinuous phase in the 30-70 wt.% wheat gluten interval investigated. The most homogeneous films were obtained when reducing agents were used (alone or together with urea or glycerol). They consisted mainly of 1-2 mu m wheat gluten particles uniformly distributed in the continuous chitosan phase. Slightly smaller particles were also observed in the water/ethanol solvent system, but together with significantly larger particles (as large as 200 mu m). Both small and large particles were observed, albeit in different sizes and contents, when surfactants (both with and without a reducing agent) or urea (without a reducing agent) were used. The particles were often elongated, and preferably along the film, the most extreme case being observed when the glyoxal crosslinker was used together with sodium sulfite (reducing agent), showing particles with an average thickness of 0.6 mu m and an aspect ratio of 4.2. This film showed the highest transparency of all the blend films studied. For one of the most promising systems (with sodium sulfite), having good film homogeneity and small particles, the mechanical and moisture solubility/diffusivity properties were studied as a function of chitosan content. The extensibility, toughness and moisture solubility increased with increasing chitosan content, and the moisture diffusivity was highest for the pristine chitosan material. It is noteworthy that the addition of 30 wt.% wheat gluten to chitosan reduced the moisture uptake, while the extensibility/toughness remained unchanged.

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