Preparation of bioplastic using soy protein.

Affiliation

Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Okayama University of Science, Ridaicho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-0005, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Soybean, one of the most abundant plants, has been cultivated around the world as a familiar crop. Especially, most of the soybean is globally used as a crop to obtain the oil. The degreased soybean contains a lot of protein in it. The part of the degreased soybean is used for the food of human consumption and livestock feed, however most of this are discarded as industrial waste throughout the world. Therefore, we demonstrated the preparation of bioplastics consisting of soy protein. Although the soy protein without the cross-linking reaction by formaldehyde (HCHO) was collapsed in water, bioplastics were stable in water. Additionally, the bending strength of the bioplastic increased with the HCHO concentration and showed the maximum value of approximately 35 MPa at a 1% HCHO concentration. Surprisingly, this bending strength value was the same as that of polyethylene. In contrast, the infrared spectra indicated the formation of methylene cross-linking between the basic amino acids, such as lysine and arginine. Finally, we estimated the biodegradable property of the bioplastic by pronase, one of the proteolytic enzymes. As a result, this bioplastic showed the weight loss of approximately 30% after the incubation time of 6 days. These results suggested that the bioplastic consisting of soy protein possesses a biodegradable property. Therefore, the bioplastic consisting of soybean may have the potential to be used as a biodegradable material, such as agricultural materials, industrial parts, and disposable items.

Keywords

Amino acid,Biodegradable,Bioplastic,Cross-linking,Soy protein,

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