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Polymers 2017, 9(3), 91;

Synthesis and Characterization of Methyl Cellulose/Keratin Hydrolysate Composite Membranes

Institut für Kristallographie, RWTH Aachen University, Jägerstr. 17-19, D-52066 Aachen, Germany
DWI—Leibniz-Institut für Interaktive Materialien e.V., Forckenbeckstr. 50, D-52074 Aachen, Germany
KAO European Research Laboratory, KAO Germany GmbH, Pfungstadterstr. 98-100, D-64297 Darmstadt, Germany
Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung (IAP), Geiselbergstr. 69, D-14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Lehrstuhl für Polymermaterialien und Polymertechnologien, Universität Potsdam, Geiselbergstr. 69, D-14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Schlaad
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 1 March 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bio-inspired and Bio-based Polymers)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: bio-based; composite materials; methyl cellulose; keratin; superheated water bio-based; composite materials; methyl cellulose; keratin; superheated water

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Liebeck, B.M.; Hidalgo, N.; Roth, G.; Popescu, C.; Böker, A. Synthesis and Characterization of Methyl Cellulose/Keratin Hydrolysate Composite Membranes. Polymers 2017, 9, 91.

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