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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Location: Plant Polymer Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Whereas the work published previously has been useful, we seek to look beyond what has been done in order to bring fresh perspectives and to open up new opportunities. We propose to take advantage of what is known about edible beans and explore three areas of application: energy, materials, and specialty chemicals.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
We propose to carry out the initial work with neat, unextracted edible beans, because this is the fastest way to produce results. The next step is to carry out extractions. Some work is needed to determine the optimal extraction procedures. Thirdly, the different extracts will be studied for their commercial potential. Currently we plan to look at starch first, but the order of investigation may be changed during the study to optimize the efforts. Additional physical and/or chemical modifications may be needed to increase value of the extracts. In addition, some efforts will be expended to look at commercial potential of these various materials.

3. Progress Report
The Northarvest Bean Growers Association provided $39K in March, 2011 for a trust fund to explore potential new (and non-traditional) uses and utilization of dry beans. Towards this goal, we have explored the use of beans and bean components in polymeric composites in 2011. In the first part of our work, we used bean powder as functional fillers in composites. In the second part of our work, we made blends and composites of poly vinyl alcohol(PVA) with pinto bean and its high starch fraction as low-cost fillers. This project was monitored by e-mails and phone conversations between the cooperator and the Authorized Departmental Officer's Designated Representative (ADODR).

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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