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ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #358278

Research Project: Increasing the Value of Cottonseed

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Evaluation of polyblends of cottonseed protein and polycaprolactone plasticized by cottonseed oil

item Cheng, Huai
item Ford, Catrina
item He, Zhongqi

Submitted to: International Journal of Polymer Analysis and Characterization
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/19/2019
Publication Date: 5/15/2019
Citation: Cheng, H.N., Ford, C.V., He, Z. 2019. Evaluation of polyblends of cottonseed protein and polycaprolactone plasticized by cottonseed oil. International Journal of Polymer Analysis and Characterization. 24(5):389-398.

Interpretive Summary: Currently there is a lot of interest in eco-friendly and biodegradable polymers because of the need for sustainability, the undesirable accumulation of plastic waste, and the toxic hazards involved in the production and degradation of synthetic polymers. Among the biodegradable polymers, plant-based proteins are available, relatively inexpensive and have good functionalities. Cottonseed protein, in particular, is a byproduct of cotton production and represents a good opportunity for bioplastic development. In this work, water-washed cottonseed meal (WCSM) and cottonseed oil (both cotton-derived products) were blended with polycaprolactone(PCL)to form a bioplastic, and the mechanical, adhesive and thermal properties were studied. These blends showed satisfactory mechanical and adhesive properties, which are superior to the corresponding soy protein isolate/PCL blends.These findings suggest that cottonseed protein can be a viable raw material for the formulation of bioplastics, and a possible application is in the hot melt adhesive area.

Technical Abstract: Recently there has been an increasing trend towards replacing conventional fossil-based plastics with bioplastics that are eco-friendly and biodegradable. In this work, blends of polycaprolactone(PCL) and cottonseed protein were made and plasticized with cottonseed oil. The addition of water-washed cottonseed meal (WCSM)to PCL increased the Young’s modulus but decreased the tensile strength and elongation-at-break of PCL. The addition of cottonseed oil to the PCL/WCSM blend kept the tensile strength about the same but enhanced the elongation. The PCL blends with WCSM and cottonseed protein isolate gave about the same mechanical properties, both somewhat better than the PCL/soy protein isolate blends. As plasticizers, cottonseed oil performed slightly better than coconut oil, both better than poly(ethylene glycol). The addition of WCSM and cottonseed oil (up to a PCL:WCSM:plasticizer ratio of 60:40:20) did not change the adhesive performance of PCL on fiberboard. Thus, the combination of PCL/cottonseed protein/cottonseed oil seems to be a viable bioplastic, and one possible application for this material may be in the hot melt adhesive area.