Preparation of ultrafine fibrous zein membranes via electrospinning



Zein is a protein in corn gluten meal. It has been investigated for use as a structural material because it is renewable and biodegradable. Potential applications of zein include use in coating, film and fiber. In this paper, ultrafine fibrous zein membranes were produced by electrospinning of an 80 wt% ethanol aqueous solution. The morphology of fibers was affected by parameters such as polymer concentration and electric field. As the concentration of the solution increased, wrinkled beads became fewer and fibers became thicker. Fibers were mainly generated above a polymer concentration of 21 wt% with an electric field of 15 kV. However, with a 30 kV field fibers were already generated above 18 wt%. Copyright © 2005 Society of Chemical Industry