Castor seed became a highly rated raw material source for biodiesel production (oil), which generates glycerol as a byproduct. Castor oil can be extracted by cold/hot pressing, or with use of solvents. In all cases, a residual cake, rich in proteins is obtained. The objective of this project is the development of a biodegradable material from the proteins extracted from the castor cake, with modification of the proteins using hydrolysable and condensed tannins, and with reinforcement of biodegradable materials using vegetables fibers, preferentially from castor culture, aiming to contribute for the success of the biodiesel agro industrial policy. To develop the biodegradable material, the proteins will be extracted from the castor cake by solubilization in alkaline medium, in moderate temperature, and separated by centrifugation. The production of two different types of materials will be studied using glycerol as plasticizer: materials based on castor protein modified by tannins; materials based on castor protein reinforced with vegetal fibers using modified and unmodified proteins. These materials will be characterized with regard to mechanical properties, water vapor permeability, water solubility, color and opacity, gloss, glass transition temperature, sorption isotherms, film microstructure, infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy (FTIR), and biodegradation in soil. At the end of this project, it is expected to develop at least one type of biodegradable material for agriculture use.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: