Protein Adhesives from Low-Cost Sorghum DDGS

Project Details

  • Donghai Wang
  • Kansas State University
  • $31,578
  • Year: 2010


Project Summary

In the United States, annual demand for adhesives and resins exceeds 20 billion pounds. Currently, most adhesives used in the wood industry are petroleum-based, such as phenol-formaldehyde and urea-formaldehyde adhesives. Formaldehyde emissions cause many environmental and health issues. Development of biobased adhesives not only significant impact a >$100 billion industry sector, but also solve the environmental issues related volatile organic compounds (VOC) emission and reduce our relying on petroleum-based feedstocks with carbon reduction benefits. Currently, numbers of leading industries are seeking environmental friendly adhesives; however, the major challenge to their switching from petroleum-based to biobased feedstocks is the high cost of biobased feedstocks and enabling technologies to meet their requirements. The sorghum protein adhesives using low-cost DDGS will be one solution to industry. The cost effective processing approach of the adhesives using low cost feedstocks will allow industry to initiate commercialization of the technology developed from this research.

The long-term goal of this proposed research is to develop affordable, durable and biodegradable protein adhesives using low-cost sorghum DDGS to increase the profitability of sorghum industry and reduce VOC emission and reduce reliance on fossil feedstocks. The short-term goal is to establish the feasibility of an innovative technology to produce affordable and durable biobased protein adhesive using low-cost sorghum protein from DDGS, which have great potential to replace petroleum-based polymers such as formaldehyde-based adhesives. The research will focuses on 1) development of innovative technology for extraction of proteins from sorghum DDGS with high yield, high purity, and desirable functionality for industrial uses; 2) characterization of physical, chemical and structural properties of sorghum proteins from DDGS; and 3) evaluation of adhesion performance of sorghum protein and improve sorghum protein adhesion by chemical modification.

The proposed research will deliver the state-of-the-art technology for adding values to biofuel and food residues such as sorghum DDGS. This would help to sustain sorghum bio-industry as well the global economic development and improve environment. The success of this project will provide informative data and knowledge for large-scale production of biodegradable adhesives from sorghum protein with desirable properties. Success in the research program will result in a low-cost technology to produce affordable and durable biobased adhesive using low-cost DDGS. The results from this project will provide a platform technology to open up significant markets for utilization low-cost by-products from ethanol industry and give ample scope for renewable resources utilization, especially using low-cost by-product. Development of biobased adhesives could significantly impact a >$100 billion industry sector that currently relies on petroleum-based feedstock with their attendant environmental problems. Large market of plywood, particleboard, and coatings for construction and furniture represents huge demands for various adhesives. Our proposed research addresses the Mission of USCP of “USCP commits to effectively investing checkoff dollars to increase producer profitability and enhance the sorghum industry” and this research addresses the technical area of “development of new uses in bioenergy, foods, and health” described in the RFP.