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Synthesis and Characterization of Methyl Cellulose/Keratin Hydrolysate Composite Membranes

: Liebeck, B.M.; Hidalgo, N.; Roth, G.; Popescu, C.; Böker, A.

Fulltext ()

Polymers. Online resource 9 (2017), No.3, Art. 91, 13 pp.
ISSN: 2073-4360
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IAP ()

It is known that aqueous keratin hydrolysate solutions can be produced from feathers using superheated water as solvent. This method is optimized in this study by varying the time and temperature of the heat treatment in order to obtain a high solute content in the solution. With the dissolved polypeptides, films are produced using methyl cellulose as supporting material. Thereby, novel composite membranes are produced from bio-waste. It is expected that these materials exhibit both protein and polysaccharide properties. The influence of the embedded keratin hydrolysates on the methyl cellulose structure is investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). Adsorption peaks of both components are present in the spectra of the membranes, while the X-ray analysis shows that the polypeptides are incorporated into the semi-crystalline methyl cellulose structure. This behavior significantly influences the mechanical properties of the composite films as is shown by tensile tests. Since further processing steps, e.g., crosslinking, may involve a heat treatment, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) is applied to obtain information on the thermal stability of the composite materials.