Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 517–525 | Cite as

Thermoformable Anhydride–Glycerol Modified Meat and Bone Meal Bioplastics

  • Sam Lukubira
  • Amod Ogale
Original Paper


Meat and bone meal (MBM) can be thermally processed into bioplastics using plasticizers (e.g., glycerol), but such bioplastics have high moisture sensitivity that rapidly degrades their mechanical properties. In this study, resins obtained from controlled reaction of maleic anhydride or phthalic anhydride (PtAH) with glycerol were used in the thermal processing of modified MBM (mod-MBM) bioplastics. Such resins have good chemical interaction with proteisns and have a capacity to cross-link, which results in less mobility and out-diffusion of plasticizers from the bioplastic. The synthesized resins possessed a viscosity of about 1 Pa s at 100 °C, with an onset decomposition temperature of ~140 °C. The bioplastics were prepared by intensively mixing the resin with 60 wt% MBM in a batch compounder at 100 °C prior to thermal compaction into sheets and subsequent vacuum thermoforming. As compared with MBM plasticized with glycerol (gMBM), mod-MBM bioplastics had a nominal tensile strength of 3.7 MPa and a tensile modulus of 580 MPa that were, respectively, 4 times and 10 times greater; their strain to failure of ~1.2 % was 7 times lower. Mod-MBM bioplastics also had significantly improved water resistance such that those modified with PtAH (MBM-PtAH bioplastics) retained structural integrity after being soaked in water for more than 24 h whereas the gMBM bioplastics disintegrated in an hour. Therefore, current results clearly establish that sustainable bioplastics can be developed from biomass with enhanced properties using cost-effective conventional polymer processing routes.


Biodegradable Meat and bone meal Proteins Bioplastics Thermal processing Characterization Bio-polymers TGA Elongation viscosity Vacuum forming Chemorheology Dynamic mechanical analysis Tensile properties of protein based polymers Anhydrides 



Financial support from Fats and Proteins Research Foundation through Animal Co-products Research and Education Center is acknowledged. This work made use of ERC shared facilities supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Number EEC-9731680.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Center for Advanced Engineering Fibers and FilmsClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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