Environmentally friendly bioplastics have attracted renewed attention over the last few decades due to the ever‐growing awareness of the environmental impact of petroleum‐based polymers and the rising costs of raw materials. Cottonseed protein (CP) extracted from cottonseed meal has abundant amino acid components and nutrition value, but are not carefully considered in non‐feed industries. For the purpose of being explored, glandless cottonseed flour is utilized in this work, as a raw material, to prepare cottonseed protein bioplastics (CPBs) as environmentally friendly products. The optimum synthesis conditions of CPBs were firstly investigated, followed by the analysis of protein modification and cross‐linking mechanism, with a close view on changes of their micro‐ or chemical structures. Detailed morphologies, element composition and biodegradabilities of CPBs were characterized via scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and soil‐burial test, respectively, pointing out its structural heterogeneity as well as nature of biodegradability. Characterizations of the thermal stability and thermomechanical relaxation of thermal‐treated CPBs and its interaction with molecule revealed the presence of different thermal relaxation behaviours and different water states. Concluding remarks shortly summarize the importance of the work and point out possible solutions to addressing future potential challenges.
Part of the book: Cotton Research