(227b) Effectiveness of Odor Removal Techniques on Raffinate Algae-Based Thermoplastics

Authors: 
Ayton, E., University of Georgia, USDA-ARS
Jones, A., University of Georgia
Shara, S., University of Georgia

Conventional petrochemical-based polymers are becoming unsustainable. Raffinate algae-based thermoplastic materials could provide an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plastics. However, algae are known to produce putrid volatiles. Raffinate algae-based thermoplastics have a very distinctive odor that needs to be mitigated. A study of the odorous volatiles was performed to evaluate two different odor removal strategies oxidization and absorption for removing volatiles. A database of all known volatiles produced by algae was compiled. Static headspace microextraction and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy were used in conjunction with the database to identify the odorous compounds and qualitatively determine the effectiveness of the odor removal agents: hydrogen peroxide, activated carbon, bauxite, and zeolite. From our results, it was concluded that the absorbers and oxidizer evaluated were not quite effective in the odor removal from raffinate algae-based plastics. Results also indicted that the cause of the odor is most likely due to processing conditions (pressure, temperature, and formation of chemical bonds). From this study, developers of raffinate algae-based thermoplastics know what odor techniques are effective and which functional groups to target when doing further studies.