2010 Annual Report
Conduct more basic studies of the structure and properties of microfibrils from cereal products and crop residues, which could lead to their eventual use in building and packaging foams, nanocomposites and related products.
This project meets the objectives of the second component of the NP306 Action Plan to develop New Processes, New Uses, and Value Added Foods and Biobased Products based on cereals, tuber crops and novel agricultural fibers. The subsections listed below indicate the research progress achieved during the fiscal year 2010.
Work has progressed in the development of bioproducts that include control-release devices for controlling mites in honeybee colonies and wax moths, green charcoal, improved kitty litter, and fish waste products. A new gelling agent was tested to solidify a liquid active agent for improved performance in reservoir-type control-release devices. The gel allows much higher encapsulation levels of the active ingredient and is readily biodegradable. This work was done in collaboration with scientists at City College of New York. Progress has been shared with collaborators in Tucson, AZ. In other encapsulation work, porous starch spheres that are generally less than 20 micrometers were developed as an encapsulation media for delivering essential oils. The essential oils, which were encapsulated in starch micro-spheres, have been demonstrated effective in controlling mite infestations in honeybee colonies. These spheres are in the size range of pollen grains which makes them more likely to be ingested by honeybees. This work resulted in the filing of a patent and journal article.
Work on developing biobased products for the pet litter industry was continued under an agreement with Clorox. A new and effective clumping agent was found and tested. Progress on research with Clorox is disclosed in the subordinate project progress report. Work was also completed on investigating the use of polyurethane compounds made from agricultural feestocks. This work was done collaboratively with scientists at Pittsburg State University. The biodegradation of the biobased polyurethanes was determined with results published in FY 2010. A patent was filed in 2010 for a new method of producing nanofibers from polymer solutions. The technology involves a process that is scalable and produces fibers in the same size range as obtained by electrospinning. Cooperative work continues between ARS, EMBRAPA of Brazil and visiting scientists from France. Cooperative research was initiated in FY 2010 with scientists in Italy. An ARS scientist visited the University of Pisa and conducted research on utilizing cellulosic waste from coconut in packaging composite materials. The work resulted in one publication. Work continued in FY 2010 on developing new products from fish waste. A cooperative research effort with ARS scientists in Alaska has been productive for the last several years. Research on developing gelatin films from Alaska Pollock and salmon culminated in a peer-reviewed publication in 2010. The gelatin films were characterized and explored as a new commercial source of gelatin.
5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
Members of this project organized the WRRC sponsored Academic Workshop which is a special outreach program that involves offering a high school course to promote science and education for local under-served students. Members of this project also taught one of the classes in this program.
Robertson, G.H., Hurkman Ii, W.J., Cao, T., Tanaka, C.K., Orts, W.J. 2010. Finding the Bio in Biobased Products: Electrophoretic Identification of Wheat Proteins in Processed Products. Journal of Agricultural Food & Chemistry. 2010 April 14;58(7):4169-79.
Rosa, M.F., Medeiros, E.S., Malmonge, J.A., Gregorski, K.S., Wood, D.F., Mattoso, L.H., Glenn, G.M., Orts, W.J., Imam, S.H. 2010. Cellulose nanowhiskers from coconut husk fibers: effect of preparation conditions on their thermal and morphological behavior. Carbohydrate Polymers. 81:83-92.
Corradini, E., Imam, S.H., Agnelli, J.A., Mattoso, L.H. 2009. Effect of Coconut, Sisal and Jute Fibers on the Properties of Starch/Gluten/Glycerol Matrix. Journal of Environment and Polymers. 17:1-9.
Corti, A., Muniyasamy, S., Vitali, M., Imam, S.H., Chiellini, E. 2010. Oxidation and biodegradation of polyethylene films containing pro-oxidantadditives: Synergistic effects of sunlight exposure, thermal aging and fungal biodegradation. Polymer Degradation and Stability. 95:1106-114.
Xue, C., Wang, D., Xiang, B., Chiou, B., Sun, G. 2010. Morphology Evolution of Polypropylene in Immiscible Polymer Blends for Fabrication of Nanofibers. Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics. Volume 48:921-931.
Picciani, P.H., Soares, B.G., Medeiros, E.S., De Siyza, F.G., Wood, D.F., Orts, W.J., Mattoso, L.H. 2009. Electrospinning of Polyaniline/Poly(Lactic Acid) Ultrathin Fibers: Process and Statistical Modeling using a Non-Gaussian Approach. Macromolecular Theory and Simululations. 18:528–536.