Novel absorbent materials obtained from plant proteins
The main objective of the project is to study the underlying transformation processes submitted to a protein when applying different thermal and chemical treatments, aiming for the development of water uptake properties in these natural-sourced polymers. In addition, the interactions that can be formed between the protein chain and the water molecules after the absorption process has occurred are going to be studied. Foaming/functionalization of protein side-streams from the agricultural industry is going to be assessed. Finally, a study on the structure-related properties together with the absorption capacity and the modification of different processing parameters (i.e. crosslinking agent, time and temperature) is going to be performed. The results are expecting to provide a preliminary solution in order to solve the lack of sustainability that the production of petroleum-based absorbent materials is generating in the environment nowadays.