Thermoplastics from acetylated zein-and-oil-free corn distillers dried grains with solubles

Chunyan Hu, Narendra Reddy, Yan Luo, Kelu Yan, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


This paper reports the development of green thermoplastics from corn distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) using a novel method of simultaneous acetylation of the carbohydrates and proteins in oil-and-zein-free DDGS. DDGS is an inexpensive and abundant co-product of ethanol production with limited industrial applications. However, DDGS is a mixture of carbohydrates and proteins and current methods of acetylating carbohydrates and proteins are not suitable for acetylating DDGS with high efficiency and low cost. In this research, acetylated DDGS were characterized for % acetyl content, degree of hydrolysis and thermal behavior. Acetylation resulted in products soluble and insoluble in acetic acid. The soluble product had high % acetyl content (44.9%) similar to that of commercial cellulose triacetate (44.8%, or a degree of substitution of (3.0)). Both the soluble and total (soluble and insoluble) products were compression molded to form thermoplastic bioproducts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)884-892
Number of pages9
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Acetylation
  • Biodegradable
  • Biothermoplastics
  • DDGS
  • Renewable resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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