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Novel Sustainable Superabsorbents: A One-Pot Method for Functionalization of Side-Stream Potato Proteins

Capezza, Antonio J.; Glad, David; Ozeren, Husamettin Deniz; Newson, William R.; Olsson, Richard T.; Johansson, Eva; Hedenqvist, Mikael S.


The functionalization of inexpensive potato protein concentrate (PPC) is presented as a simple and easily scalable method to produce bio-based superabsorbent powders. Five nontoxic acylating agents were evaluated at different reaction temperatures for solvent-free acylation of the protein. The best results were obtained for succinic anhydride (SA) and a reaction temperature of 140 degrees C. These conditions resulted in efficient functionalization that provided formation of a useful network, which allowed high uptake of fluids and little material disintegration during the uptake, that is, due to protein hydrolysis during the functionalization. The SA-acylated PPC showed increased water and saline swelling capacities of 600 and 60%, respectively, as compared to untreated PPC. The acylated potato protein also showed a saline liquid holding capacity of approximately 50% after centrifugation at 1230 rpm for 3 min, as well as a significant blood swelling capacity of 530%. This blood swelling represents more than 50% of that of a commercial fossil-based superabsorbent (SAP) used for blood absorption in sanitary health products. The swelling properties of these inexpensive protein-based acylated materials highlight their potential as sustainable SAP materials (from industrial side-streams) in applications such as daily care products that are currently dominated by fossil-based SAPs.


potato protein; acylation functionalization; superabsorbents; sustainable; bio-based material

Publicerad i

ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
2019, Volym: 7, nummer: 21, sidor: 17845-17854