BIOPLASTIC FROM CHITIN
The raw materials for my bioplastic are the chitin from the beetle shells and the removed hides of the worms. These were readily made available to me by the Dutch insect breeding company "Proti-Farm".
Through an extraction process I first extracted chitin and then chitosan from them and then dried and ground them into a powder.
If one mixes this with a light acid solu- tion, the powder binds and it develops a viscous mass, which can be poured easily into forms. Various formula- tions were tested and an optimum mixing ratio of chitosan, water and acid was tested in order to produce films from it. In addition, the mass was mixed with various fillers (e.g. tar residues, wheat bran, sand and wood shavings) to determine its properties as a composite material.
TURNING BEETLES INTO CHITOSAN
Beetles and worm skin are collected, dried and ground.
Acids and bases help to extract chitin and turn it into chitosan
Last the extracted material is dried and ground into a powder
This is an on-going list of resources I found useful during my research so far. Let me know if you think something is missing.
- super nice thesis partly on chitosan based bioplastics: https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/ubctheses/24/items/1.0362998
- of course neri oxman's 'form follows flow': https://neri.media.mit.edu/assets/pdf/ACADIA_2015_MogasDuroOxman.pdf
- 'shrilk' by harvard's wyss institute: https://wyss.harvard.edu/technology/chitosan-bioplastic/
- material view's article about Javier Fernandez's and Donald Ingber's work: https://people.sutd.edu.sg/~javier_fernandez/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/advfunctmat-2013.pdf