Submitted to: Bio Environmental Polymer Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2006
Publication Date: 6/15/2006
Citation: Kim, S. 2006. Production of biodegradable polymer composites by particle-bonding [abstract]. Bio Environmental Polymer Society. Paper No. 24-33.
Technical Abstract: In most cases, commercially available biopolymers contain a significant amount of unwanted materials that remained during the extraction/isolation process. Purification of these materials is very costly for the practical utilization of these agricultural products as a component of useful final products. If these agricultural excess products can be used without purification, we can avoid the use of toxic chemicals, simplify the manufacturing process, save energy, and lower the production cost. Conventionally, polymer composites had been manufactured by mixing the component materials in the extruder at a high temperature. Agricultural biopolymers are usually mixtures of many types of compounds; when used as raw materials, however, high-temperature processes cause unwanted consequences such as decomposition, gas generation, phase separation, etc. This report introduces a new methodology for the production of biodegradable polymer composites that will potentially replace existing petroleum-based polymers. This newly developed particle-bonding technique requires neither extrusion nor processing at high temperatures. Instead, micrometer-scale raw materials are coated with a protein that has strong adhesive force and compressed to form a rigid material. Since this technique does not require purification of raw materials, broad range of materials can be used as component materials. A prototype of the products from wheat protein, soy protein, milk powder, and starch showed promising mechanical properties.