Submitted to: National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 13, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The milkweed family Asclepiadaceae comprises many genera and species including the genus Asclepias syriaca, otherwise known as the common milkweed. These plants occur widely from southern Canada to northern Mexico and had been considered a nuisance and earmarked for eradication by many farmers. But milkweed is now an industrial crop of growing significance on account of market demand for its floss in pillows, comforters and other industrial uses. Processing of milkweed pods gives three product streams of floss, pod hulls and seed. The seed contains about 25% oil that is very highly unsaturated. The pod hulls and seed meal are highly nematicidal and pesticidal. The triglycerides of (A. syriaca) seed have been oxidized to the polyoxiranes and polyhydroxy triglyceride derivatives by means of an in situ peroxy acid method. The resulting epoxy triglycerides exhibit high stability and high viscosity behavior, while the polyhydroxy triglycerides show not only very interesting rheological properties, but also form unusually stable emulsions in water.