Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 4013–4018 | Cite as

Development of Biocomposite Superabsorbent Nanomaterials: Effect of Processing Technique

  • M. FelixEmail author
  • I. Martínez
  • J. M. Aguilar
  • A. Guerrero
Brief Communication


Nanoclay particles have been usually introduced into protein-based bioplastics to obtain composite materials, showing enhanced mechanical properties. However, the addition of partially exfoliated nanoclay particles in these protein matrices may also involve an increase of others properties such as water absorption capacity, which may lead to the obtention of super absorbent biodegradable materials. Processing technologies exerted a remarkable influence on the techno-functional properties of the soy-based bioplastics studied in this research. On the one hand, extrusion technique led to bioplastics which showed enhanced mechanical properties. On the other hand, injection moulding technique yielded to non-exfoliated nanoclay particles within the protein matrix, which involved improvements of water absorption capacity. The development of superabsorbent protein-based biodegradable materials implied a deep knowledge of physicochemical properties of proteins and processing conditions of bioplastics. Extrusion or injection moulding techniques could be selected to obtain tailored protein-based bioplastics with enhanced properties.


Biopolymer processing Mechanical properties Montmorillonite Proteins Water absorption capacity 



This work is part of a research project sponsored by MINECO/FEDER, “Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad”, from the Spanish Government (Ref. CTQ2015-71164-P). The authors also acknowledge University of Seville for a grant supported by VPPI-US.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad de SevillaSevilleSpain
  2. 2.Dpto. Ingeniería Química, Centro de Investigación en Tecnología de Productos y Procesos Químicos (Pro2TecS)Universidad de Huelva-Campus Excelencia CeiA3HuelvaSpain

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