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ARS Home » Plains Area » Manhattan, Kansas » Center for Grain and Animal Health Research » Grain Quality and Structure Research » Research » Research Project #414694


Location: Grain Quality and Structure Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
1) Determine the adhesive properties of sorghum proteins isolated from DDDGS, bran and flour, 2) Determine the chemical properties of sorghum proteins related to adhesive and bio-plastic quality, and 3) Improve the quality of sorghum protein based adhesives and bio-plastics.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Optimize the isolation of sorghum proteins from DDGS, bran, and/or sorghum flour and characterize the chemical properties of the isolated proteins and their functional properties in adhesives and bio-plastic production. Isolate proteins from sorghum grains with known attributes (e.g. hardness) to determine the factors that influence the quality of sorghum based adhesives and bio-plastics.

3. Progress Report
About 20 billion pounds of adhesives and resins are used annually in the United States in plywood, particleboard, lamination, and various composites for construction, packaging, furniture, etc. These adhesives are derived mostly from petroleum-based chemicals, however, due to finite petroleum resources, non-uniform distribution of these resources, volatile prices and environmental concerns, the adhesive industry is increasingly interested in bio-based adhesives. We therefore investigated the use of sorghum proteins extracted from distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), which is the main co-product from grain-based ethanol production. Our results showed that sorghum proteins extracted from DDGS using acetic acid had the best adhesion performance. Furthermore, the wet strength of adhesives made from these sorghum proteins was better than that of unmodified soy proteins. These results indicated that sorghum protein has huge potential as an alternative to petroleum-based adhesives. Methods used to monitor the progress of the research were emails, phone calls and periodic research meetings.

4. Accomplishments