Development of Proteinous Bioplastics Using Bloodmeal
The aim of this work was to investigate the use of bloodmeal as a thermoplastic biopolymer. Processing required water and chemical additives to perform three main functions: breaking covalent cross-links using sodium sulfite (SS), sodium dodecyl sulfate and urea as processing aids, and evaporating some processing water to allow formation of new interactions to stabilize the final structure. Extrusion was only possible in the presence of SS and strongly influenced by water and urea content. It was found that once water had been removed, mechanical properties increased significantly, indicating the formation of new intermolecular forces. SDS was required for processing and consolidation, but, it may restrict formation of new intermolecular forces, if used in excessive quantities. Materials based on optimal additive levels had a tensile strength of 8 MPa, Young’s modulus of 320 MPa and toughness 1.6 MPa m½.