Discipline: Nanoscience or Materials Science
Subcategory: Materials Science
Yetzzel I. Cortés Rosario - University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez
Co-Author(s): Oscar Marcelo Suárez, University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, PR
As a widely consumed beverage, the economic worth of coffee has grown over time. Several derivatives result from coffee production, leading to significant waste generation. These waste products are discarded or incinerated, affecting the environment and human health. Thus, researchers are developing new eco-friendly materials derived from these coffee production by-products. These by-products contain several components such as reinforcement fibers or fillers that could enhance materials. Among these derivatives, coffee silverskin (CS) does not have any economic value, and thus, is incinerated, used in biomass, or discarded as solid waste. CS is the outer layer of the coffee bean, a by-product of the roasting process. The combination of polymeric-based materials with these natural fillers leads to low production costs of a lightweight material bearing notable mechanical properties. For this reason, CS represents a natural reinforcement for chitosan (CH) to generate a chitosan-coffee silverskin composite material. Biopolymers are of interest because they are typically lightweight, inexpensive, and rather easily processed, which results in a material suitable for many applications. Chitosan is a natural polysaccharide that possesses biocompatibility, low toxicity, and biodegradability, and is the most abundant natural polysaccharide after cellulose. Our interest is to evaluate the effect of CS as a reinforcement material for chitosan and evaluate the thermal and mechanical properties of the composite. The casting protocol consists of dissolving CH with an acetic acid solution followed by magnetic agitation, adding CS extracts, and drying until solidification of CH/CS films. CS extracts are produced by adding CS powder to a solvent followed by magnetic agitation, sonication, and centrifugation to obtain a supernatant used for thin film synthesis. X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry, and tensile test techniques will evaluate the CH, CS extracts, and composite samples. XRD patterns showed a mostly amorphous pattern with semi-crystallinity for chitosan powder. Chitosan with CS powder showed the presence of cellulose in the CS. FTIR revealed the characteristic bonds of chitosan and lignocellulosic material in the CS powder. Chitosan/CS extracts thin film samples are undergoing characterizing. With this research, we expect to encourage scientists and engineers to design systems using these by-products, as inexpensive and eco-friendly materials, and provide added value to these by-products of the coffee industry.Keywords: Chitosan, Coffee Silverskin, biocomposite, polymers. Acknowledgments: PR-LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship – NSF GRANT: 1345156 and CREST program facilities – NSF GRANT: 1906130
Funder Acknowledgement(s): PR-LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship - NSF GRANT: 1345156CREST program facilities – NSF GRANT: 1906130
Faculty Advisor: Oscar Marcelo Suárez, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I searched the literature on the necessity for new sustainable materials to explore low-cost procedures and products to counteract global warming and take advantage of resources. Developed protocols for thin film casting to study the properties of new eco-friendly material using a biopolymer and CS by-product. Incorporated CS extracts protocols to obtain homogenized thin films and to avoid different solid propagation among the thin film. Learned to manage XRD and FTIR instruments and analyzed data of chitosan and CS powders.