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Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2014 8:08 am
In one of projects of my students the main goal is to make threads (biopolymer) from an extraction of orange peels (she extract liquid from peels by simply squeezing them). I want to know about nature of fibers, possible usages of them and other conditions that affect reactions in liquids. Please help me to find some sources about this topic.
Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:43 pm
I don't know much about making biopolymers, but I think it may be worth it to post this question in the physical sciences forum also, where there may be physicists and chemists who may know a bit more about this subject.
Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:45 pm
You may find it helpful to research cellulose, which is the fibrous, water-insoluble polysaccharide found in the cell walls of plants. It may also be helpful to research other polysaccharides (polymers of sugars), including starch (amylose + amylopectin), glycogen, and chitin.
Cellulose is basically a long chain of glucose molecules joined together. The structure of cellulose is linear, whereas some of the other polysaccharides are branched. In addition, adjacent chains of cellulose fibers hydrogen bond together, making it tough and water-insoluble. This makes it a good structural component of cells. Since humans can not digest cellulose, it is not a good energy storage molecule. Though are some microorganisms in the stomach of ruminants that can digest cellulose.
Do you already have a specific idea of how you will extract the cellulose?
Please let me know if you have additional questions/ clarifications so I can answer your question better.
Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:09 pm
A quick google search of orange peels and polymers gives many links that discuss making polymers from the d-limonene extracted from the oil in orange peels. I am not sure if this is the approach your student is looking for, but it appears to involve some significant chemistry. The chemistry forum may have experts that can better guide you. As far as the applications, it appears that this polymer is being marketed as a green alternative to current oil-based polymers. I hope this helps.