Location: Bioproducts ResearchTitle: Development of biodegradable foamlike materials based on casein and sodium montmorillonite clay Author
Submitted to: Biomacromolecules
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/31/2010
Publication Date: 10/11/2010
Publication URL: http://pubs.acs.org/journal/bomaf6
Citation: Pojanavaraphan, T., Magaraphan, R., Chiou, B., Schiraldi, D.A. 2010. Development of biodegradable foamlike materials based on casein and sodium montmorillonite clay. Biomacromolecules. 11(10):2640-2646. Interpretive Summary: Biodegradable, lightweight foams made from milk protein and clay were developed. These foams have very low density and superior mechanical and thermal properties. Thay can be used to replace synthetic foams in insulating materials, packaging, and cushions.
Technical Abstract: Biodegradable foamlike materials based on a naturally occurring polymer (casein protein) and sodium montmorillonite clay (Na+-MMT) were produced through a simple freeze-drying process. By utilizing DL-glyceraldehyde (GC) as a chemical cross-linking agent, the structural integrity of these new aerogels were remarkably improved when compared to those of the control system (without GC), with a minimal increase in the density from 0.11 to 0.12 g cm-3. The degree of perfection of the foamlike structures was another parameter that had a significant influence on the physical and thermal performances of the low density composites. The biodegradability of the aerogels was investigated in terms of the carbon dioxide (CO2) evolution for up to 8 weeks in compost media under controlled conditions.