Polymeric Bio-Based Materials: from Plastic Alternatives to Water Purification
The goal of this thesis was to develop polymeric materials using bio-based sources and methods that reduce both the use of toxic reagents in their production as well as the negative environmental impact of the finished product. Elastic and flexible materials were prepared using epoxidized soybean oil, citric acid, and varying amounts of epoxidized oleic acid allowing for the control of mechanical properties. The corn protein zein was chemically modified and combined with tomato cutin to produce hydrophobic flexible films. Acrylamide was polymerized by way of high voltage atmospheric cold plasma without the use of chemical initiators. Sodium alginate and bentonite clay were combined to prepare composite sorbents for Cu2+ and Zn2+ removal from water. The materials produced in this thesis show that bio-based polymeric materials are possible substitutes to some common polymers made using petrochemicals or as sorbents for the removal of unwanted metal ions from water.
Hood, C., Laredo, T., Marangoni, A. G., & Pensini, E. (2021). Water-repellent films from corn protein and tomato cutin. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 138(33), 50831. https://doi.org/10.1002/app.50831
Hood, C., & Pensini, E. (2022). Alginate-Bentonite Clay Composite Porous Sorbents for Cu(II) and Zn(II) Removal from Water. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, 233(4), 137. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11270-022-05609-6
Hood, C., Rios de Souza, V., Keener, K., Marangoni, A. G., Illera, A. E., & Pensini, E. (2022). Effect of metal salts on high-voltage atmospheric cold plasma-induced polymerization of acrylamide. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 139(18), 52072. https://doi.org/10.1002/app.52072