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Forskningsartikel2020Vetenskapligt granskad

Carboxylated Wheat Gluten Proteins: A Green Solution for Production of Sustainable Superabsorbent Materials

Capezza, Antonio J.; Lundman, Malin; Olsson, Richard T.; Newson, William R.; Hedenqvist, Mikael S.; Johansson, Eva


Functionalized wheat gluten (WG) protein particles with the ability to absorb fluids within the superabsorbent range are presented. Ethyleneditetraacetic dianhydride (EDTAD), a nontoxic arylation agent, was used for the functionalization of the WG protein at higher protein content than previously reported and no additional chemical cross-linking. The 150-550 mu m protein particles had 50-150 nm nanopores induced by drying. The EDTAD treated WG were able to absorb 22, 5, and 3 times of, respectively, water, saline and blood, per gram of dry material (g/g), corresponding to 1000, 150 and 100% higher values than for the as-received WG powder. The liquid retention capacity after centrifugation revealed that almost 50% of the saline liquid was retained within the protein network, which is similar to that for petroleum-based superabsorbent polymers (SAPs). An advantageous feature of these biobased particulate materials is that the maximum swelling is obtained within the first 10 min of exposure, that is, in contrast to many commercial SAP alternatives. The large swelling in a denaturation agent (6 M urea) solution (about 32 g/g) suggests that the secondary entangled/folded structure of the protein restricts protein network expansion and when disrupted allows the absorption of even higher amounts of liquid. The increased liquid uptake, utilization of inexpensive protein coproducts, easy scalable protocols, and absence of any toxic chemicals make these new WG-based SAP particles an interesting alternative to petroleum-based SAP in, for example, absorbent disposable hygiene products.

Publicerad i

2020, Volym: 21, nummer: 5, sidor: 1709-1719
Utgivare: American Chemical Society ({ACS})