Submitted to: Polymer Preprints
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/5/2012
Publication Date: 7/20/2012
Citation: Cheng, H.N., Biswas, A. 2012. Use of common beans as components in polymeric materials. ACS Polymer Preprints. 53(2):286-287.
Interpretive Summary: Common beans or edible beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are well known and available. The U.S. produces about 2.5 billion pounds of dry common beans per year, with a price of about 20 cents per pound. Most of the common beans are currently consumed as food. However, there have been some R&D efforts to find non-food industrial uses for them. In this article, several approaches of using common beans or bean components in polymeric materials are reviewed. Some potential applications of these products in the commercial context are also provided. Such applications are attractive to the consumers because common beans are natural renewable raw materials that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly, and beneficial to the bean growers because they provide added value to the products.
Technical Abstract: One of the research trends in recent years is to use natural renewable materials as "green" raw materials for industrial applications. Common beans are well known, widely available and relatively cheap. They contain polysaccharides, proteins, triglyceride oils, minerals, vitamins, and phenolic antioxidants. Many of these compounds seem to be attractive components for polymeric systems. An overview is given in this work of the more promising approaches in this direction. These include the use of whole beans in polymer composites, the applications of bean starch and bean proteins, and the possible use of triglyceride oils and phenolic antioxidants as functional additives. In particular, examples from the authors’ work are given to illustrate the potential applications and the types of information available.