Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/30/2012
Publication Date: 11/4/2012
Citation: Cheng, H.N., Biswas, A., Sessa, D.J., Selling, G.W. 2012. Modifications of zein with isocyanates (abstract). American Chemical Society Southwest Regional Meeting. Paper No. SWRM 388.
Technical Abstract: Zein is the major storage protein in corn and a promising raw material for industrial products. However, for zein to reach its full commercial potential two main problems need to be overcome: its relatively high cost and its poor resistance to water. In this work, we modified zein with several isocyanates and diisocyanates. The major reaction pathways were identified with the help of NMR. In each case the moisture uptake decreased with isocyanate and diisocyanate modifications. Furthermore, the surface free energy of the modified zein also decreased, indicating decreased hydrophilicity with isocyanate reaction. As expected, the reaction with diisocyanate increased the viscosity and the molecular weight of zein. DSC data showed single glass transition temperatures in all cases. The mechanical properties of modified zein were either similar to unmodified zein or reduced in some cases. Our findings suggest that the modified zein can be potentially used in selected bioplastics formulations.