New materials research, zein production

New materials research, zein production

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Credit: PEGGY GREB/US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. New materials research on zein. Chemical engineer noting down readings from a device being used to monitor a small-scale laboratory tank. This tank is being used to separate solid residue from a liquid extracted from maize (Zea mays). The liquid will be processed further to separate out a chemical called zein. Zein is a protein found in maize that has a variety of applications in the food and materials industries. The new research involves its use in bioplastics. The raw materials used to make bioplastics are renewable, making bioplastics a more sustainable product than the tradiational plastics made from finite resources such as oil. Photographed in the USA.

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