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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2011 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
1)Use cereal or tuber starches to make polymer composites for non-food products. 2)Develop methods of processing starch composites into molded articles. 3)Convert agricultural fibers into biodegradable packaging, building materials and slurry-molded products. 4)Isolate cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose components from ag-fibers by applying environmentally friendly fractionation methods. 5)Promote technology transfer of these innovations.

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.

1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Starch will be blended with other polymers to produce resins with useful functional properties for making renewable products. Blend compatibility will be enhanced by use of starch derivatives and compatibilizers. Resins will be molded into marketable items using current and novel processing technologies, accompanied by physical and mechanical testing. Fiber reinforced packaging materials will be made via a foam-baking process, extrusion, injection molding and thermoforming. Advantageous functional properties of agriculturally-derived fibers used in these packages will be correlated to fiber length, aspect ratio, freeness, surface properties, and miscibility. Ag-derived fibers will be pulped using novel procedures, such as hot-compressed water (HCW) treatment, an environmentally friendly method of isolating cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose via super-heated water. Processed fibers will be optimized by chemical, enzymatic and chemoenzymatic modification. Methods for isolating and characterizing cellulose microfibrils as nanocomposites will be developed. Formerly 5325-41000-039-00D (6/04); combining 5325-41000-047-00D (7/08); Replacing 5325-41000-044-00D (2/10).

3.Progress Report
This project was a bridging project replaced by the new Project 5325-41000-056-00D.

Review Publications
Jadhav, S.R., Chiou, B., Wood, D.F., Hoffman, G.D., Glenn, G.M., John, G. 2011. Molecular gels-based controlled release devices for pheromones. Soft Materials. 7:864-867. DOI: 10.1039/c0sm00878h.

Glenn, G.M., Klamczynski, A., Chiou, B., Wood, D.F., Orts, W.J., Imam, S.H. 2007. Heat expanded starch-based compositions. Biomacromolecules. 55(10):3936-3943 doi url:

Wang, D., Sun, G., Chiou, B. 2007. A high throughput, controllable and environmentally benign fabrication process of thermoplastic nanofibers. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering. 292(4):407-414.

Ludvik, C.N., Glenn, G.M., Klamczynski, A., Wood, D.F. 2007. Cellulose fiber/bentonite clay/biodegradable thermoplastic composites. Polymers and the Environment. 15:251-257.

Cinelli, P., Cinelli, E., Imam, S.H. 2008. Hybrid composite based on poly(vinyl alcohol) and fillers from renewable resources. Polymers and the Environment. 109(3):1684-1691.

Paroleka, Y., Mohanty, A.K., Imam, S.H. 2007. Biodegradable nanocomposites from toughened polyhydroxybutyrate and titanate-modified montmorillonite clay. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. 7(10):3580-3589.

Rodriguez, N.J., Massol, A., Imam, S.H., Zaidi, B.R. 2007. Microbial utilization of toxic chemicals in surface waters of Guayanilla Bay, Puerto Rico: Impact of seasonal variation. Caribbean Journal of Science. 43(2):172-180.

Medeiros, E.S., Mattoso, L.H., Ito, E.N., Gregorski, K.S., Robertson, G.H., Offeman, R.D., Wood, D.F., Orts, W.J. 2008. Electrospun nanofibers of poly (vinyl alcohol) reinforced with cellulose nanofibrils. Polymer Engineering & Science. 2(3):231-242.

Corradini, E., Imam, S.H., Orts, W.J., Agnelli, J.A., Mattoso, L.H. 2008. Effect of coconut, sisal and jute fibers on the properties of starch/gluten/glycerol matrix. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 17(1):1-9.

Glenn, G.M., Klamczynski, A., Ludvik, C.N., Shey, J., Imam, S.H., Chiou, B., Mchugh, T.H., Orts, W.J., Wood, D.F., Hoffman, G.D., Offeman, R.D. 2006. Permeability of starch gel matrices and select films to solvent vapors. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 54(9):3297-3304.

Last Modified: 7/28/2015
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