Washington, Oct 25 (ANI): You could soon be drinking out of Styrofoam cups made of milk, for scientists at Case Western Reserve University have managed to create styrofoam packaging using a combination of clay and milk protein.
David Schiraldi took the cow milk protein casein and strengthened it with a little bit of clay and glyceraldehyde, a triose monosaccharide. Schiraldi and his colleagues blended all three ingredients and freeze dried the mixture to make an aerogel that they then baked in the oven.
According to the scientists, the cured, foamlike material is strong enough for commercial use and a third of it biodegraded within a month's time.
It could even be used in insulation, packaging, furniture, and even cushions.
Not to mention the cost savings if casein production gets scaled up for replacing existing styrofoam.
The team published their results (abstract) recently in the journal Biomacromolecules. (ANI)