Utilization of By-Products from Livestock: Study on the Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Biodegradable Containers Made with Pork Skin Gelatin Polymer
This study aimed to develop a biodegradable container made of pork gelatin. Gelatin was extracted from pork skin by hot water at 80 &deg;C, and containers were prepared by adding eggshell powder (20%) as a pore agent, and walnut powder (0.08 wt%; PEW1, 0.14 wt%; PEW2) to improve hardness. The blends were molded for each experiment and dried at 30 &deg;C for 24 h, at 40 &deg;C for 16 h, and at 121 &deg;C for 16 h. The containers were analyzed with respect to morphological (SEM; scanning electron microscope), mechanical (tensile strain and stress), and thermal (DSA; differential scanning calorimetry and TGA; thermogravimetric analysis) properties, as well as biodegradability. SEM investigation showed a smoother surface for PEW1 than for PEW2. The tensile stress of PEW2 (37.86 MPa) was significantly higher than that of PEW1 (28.40 MPa), and the melting enthalpies were 137.60 J/g (PEW1) and 309.60 J/g (PEW2). TGA showed similar properties, but PEW2 contained more lignin; therefore, its decomposition temperature was higher. The PEW1 and PEW2 containers were completely biodegraded after approximately 7 and 11 weeks, respectively. Walnut shell powder increased the hardness, but slowed the biodegradation process. The applications of this biodegradable container are short-lived products such as food packaging.