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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Bioproducts Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #354021

Research Project: Bioproducts from Agricultural Feedstocks

Location: Bioproducts Research

Title: Thermal, microstructural, and spectroscopic analysis of Ca2+ alginate/clay nanocomposite hydrogel beads

item FERNANDES, RENAN - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item REGINA, MARCIA - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)
item Glenn, Gregory - Greg
item AOUADA, FAUZE - Sao Paulo State University (UNESP)

Submitted to: Journal of Molecular Liquids
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/2/2018
Publication Date: 6/4/2018
Citation: Fernandes, R., Regina, M., Glenn, G.M., Aouada, F.A. 2018. Thermal, microstructural, and spectroscopic analysis of Ca2+ alginate/clay nanocomposite hydrogel beads. Journal of Molecular Liquids. 265:327-336.

Interpretive Summary: CHARACTERIZATION OF ALGINATE BEADS CONTAINING NANOPARTICLES. Biodegradable and renewable materials such as alginate beads can be used for the controlled-release of active agents. ARS scientists in collaboration with scientists from Brazil have reported the production of alginate beads containing clay and zeolite nanoparticles. The alginate beads made with nanoclays had superior swelling characteristics and could be used for controlled-release applications in industries ranging from medical to agricultural uses.

Technical Abstract: Polymeric hydrogels are important biomaterials with potential for various applications including the controlled release of drugs. Clay and zeolite nanostructures can enhance the absorption and release properties of hydrogels. In our previous work, a procedure was optimized for making hydrogel beads. The objectives of this study were to use the optimized bead forming procedure to prepare clay and zeolite nanocomposite hydrogel beads and characterize their microstructure, thermal and chemical properties. The hydrogels were prepared by dripping solutions of either sodium alginate or sodium alginate / nanostructure (clay and/or zeolite) into beakers containing different concentrations of CaCl2 at 25 °C. Fourier transform infrared analysis detected the presence of functional groups associated with alginate, clay and zeolite. The microstructure of the alginate beads was somewhat rough with small protrusions. Flakes were visible in micrographs of beads containing nanoclay. The elemental composition of the hydrogels was investigated by energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX). EDX spectra revealed magnesium, sodium, aluminum, silicon and increased the levels of oxygen in the nanoclay compositions. The incorporation of nanoclays decreased the percentage of organic matter lost as detected by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). TGA was also able to detect the incorporation of nanoclay in hydrogels. The nanoclays proved to be more effective than zeolites in producing alginate hydrogels with satisfactory swelling characteristics.