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Production of bio-plastic materials from apple pomace: A new application for the waste material
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
University of Borås, Faculty of Textiles, Engineering and Business.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Produktion av bio-plast material från äpplerester (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Extensive quantities of apple pomace are generated annually but disposal of this waste is still much disputed. In EU alone, 500 000 tons are produced every year. Without further treatment, the acidic character of apples with their high sugar and low protein content makes the pomace unsuitable for landfilling and animal feedstock. However, further treatment is usually not economically feasible. This study addresses this issue by introducing a new approach for the apple pomace to produce sustainable materials.  The high content of sugars in apple pomace which can be reshaped and reformed at higher temperatures makes the waste material suitable for plastic production. Other components found in apple pomace are 5 % proteins and 1.5 % fats. Fibers are abundant, dietary fibers amounts for more than half (55 %) the original apple pomace weight. Phenols, sorbitol and acids can be found in minor mount, 2 % or less. The apple pomace itself is a mixture of mostly pulp and peel which corresponds to 9/10 of the total mass. Whereas seeds, seed core and stalk are the remaining 1/10. The possibilities of utilizing apple pomace to produce biofilms and 3D shapes have been investigated. The effects of introducing orange pomace, another waste material produced in extensive quantities, to apple pomace samples has also been studied.  Two methods were used to produce bioplastic materials; solution casting and compression molding. Glycerol was used as a plasticizer. Apple pomace, either washed or not washed, was oven-dried and milled into a fine powder. Using compression molding, plates or cups of the two powders with different amounts of glycerol were prepared. Mixtures of apple pomace and orange pomace, with or without glycerol, were prepared in the same way. The apple pomace was also used in a film casting method to produce plastic films. Applying laser cutting to the plates and plastic films, dog-bone specimens were created whose mechanical properties were analysed using a universal testing machine.  Highest values in terms of tensile strength and elongation at max was reached with bioplastics produced from solution casting where the values varied in the range 3.3 – 16 MPa and 11 – 55 % respectively. The compression molding approach resulted in tensile strength values in the range 0.94 – 5.9 MPa whereas the elongation at max was in the range 0.30 – 1.9 %. A possible application for this material could be disposable tableware which does not require high mechanical strength.  It was shown that it is possible to produce 3D structures and plastic films from apple pomace. Washed apple pomace with glycerol has similar properties as not washed apple pomace without the plasticizer. Adding orange pomace to apple pomace samples increases the tensile strength at the expense of the elongation at max. The pressing conditions and powder size greatly effects the mechanical properties, where a larger powder size lower the values for the mechanical properties. This new approach paves the way for a new utilization of apple pomace to replace some petroleum-based materials and at the same time solve the disposal problem of apple pomace.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 17
Keywords [en]
Apple pomace, Orange pomace, Biodegradable, Plastics, Mechanical properties
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-21216OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-21216DiVA, id: diva2:1327184
Subject / course
Kemiteknik - Högskoleingenjör
Available from: 2019-06-20 Created: 2019-06-19 Last updated: 2019-06-20Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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