Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2003
Publication Date: 9/7/2003
Citation: Biswas, A., Sessa, D.J., Gordon, S.H., Lawton Jr, J.W., Willett, J.L. 2003. Synthesis of zein derivatives and their structure/mechanical property relationship. American Chemical Society. p. 10.
Technical Abstract: Zein is a naturally occurring protein polymer obtained as a product of industrial corn processing. There are several references to make fibers out of zein, however, zein's chemical inertness and globular structure make molding articles difficult. Zein has free alcohol and amine groups that are capable of reacting with anhydride or acid chloride. The common solvent for zein, such as alcohol/water mixtures prohibit such reactions because these solvents will react with anhydride and acid chloride. To circumvent this problem, we dissolved zein in dimethylformamide and this clear solution was subjected to various reactions. Thus, we synthesized various esters of zein by reacting with acid chloride or acid anhydride. The structures were confirmed by NMR and IR spectra. These alkyl/aryl ester derivatives of zein were compression molded and their mechanical properties were measured. This study provided structure/mechanical property relationships for these derivatives. Effect of alkyl group chain length on the mechanical properties was determined. We also used di-anhydrides to crosslink zein in DMF solution. The effect of the mechanical properties on the degree of cross linking and the length of spacer, i.e. distance of between the anhydride groups were studied.