281650 The Interactions of the Corn Protein Zein and Ionic Liquids

Thursday, November 1, 2012: 4:55 PM
304 (Convention Center )
Sean Tomlinson1, Jennifer L. Anthony2 and John R. Schlup1, (1)Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, (2)Chemical Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

The corn protein zein is a commercially interesting biopolymer because it is insoluble in water but biodegradable. Ionic liquids are able to dissolve zein and can be used as an extraction solvent for zein recovery. However there has been no research into if or how the zein is affected by the ionic liquid. Using infrared spectroscopy to examine the structure of zein in both protic and aprotic imidazolium-based ionic liquids, we demonstrate how the solvent affects the protein’s secondary structure and identify whether the protein is denatured by the ionic liquid. We will also show how the properties of the ionic liquids affect the protein’s solubility. It has been found that the ionic liquid’s properties are correlated with the structure and solubility of zein in the ionic liquid, particularly the ionic liquid’s hydrogen bond accepting and donating abilities. The hydrogen bond accepting and donating abilities of ionic liquids are then used to predict the solubility and the secondary structure of the protein in the ionic liquid.

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