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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Non-Food Applications of Proteinaceous Renewable Materials

Authors
item Barone, Justin
item Schmidt, Walter

Submitted to: Journal of Chemical Education
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 17, 2005
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Citation: Barone, J.R., Schmidt, W.F. 2006. Non-food applications of proteinaceous renewable materials. Journal of Chemical Education. 83(7):1003-1009.

Interpretive Summary: It is well known that proteins are abundant in food and are vital to nutrition and biochemical function. What is not very well known is that proteins derived from agricultural sources are used in everyday products such as glue and textiles. Research continues to find new uses for proteins in a wide variety of applications, most of which would be replacements for petroleum-derived materials. Proteins can be a viable source of polymers for fiber, molded plastics, films, and a wide variety of products supplied by the synthetic polymers industry. The big advantages are that proteins are derived from a sustainable resource and can be processed in much the same way as conventional synthetic polymers. While there are many current and future non-food uses for proteins, it is the intent of this review to concentrate on recent advances focusing on uses as polymers and biomaterials, which have enormous commercial potential.

Technical Abstract: It is well known that proteins are abundant in food and are vital to nutrition and biochemical function. What is not very well known is that proteins derived from agricultural sources are used in everyday products such as glue and textiles. Research continues to find new uses for proteins in a wide variety of applications, most of which would be replacements for petroleum-derived materials. Proteins can be a viable source of polymers for fiber, molded plastics, films, and a wide variety of products supplied by the synthetic polymers industry. The big advantages are that proteins are derived from a sustainable resource and can be processed in much the same way as conventional synthetic polymers. While there are many current and future non-food uses for proteins, it is the intent of this review to concentrate on recent advances focusing on uses as polymers and biomaterials, which have enormous commercial potential.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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