A new way of producing rigid or semi-rigid foams from vital wheat gluten using a freeze-drying process is reported. Water/gluten-based mixtures were frozen and freeze-dried. Different foam structures were obtained by varying the mixing process and wheat gluten concentration, or by adding glycerol or bacterial cellulose nanofibers. MIP revealed that the foams had mainly an open porosity peaking at 93%. The average pore diameter ranged between 20 and 73 µm; the sample with the highest wheat gluten concentration and no plasticizer had the smallest pores. Immersion tests with limonene revealed that the foams rapidly soaked up the liquid. An especially interesting feature of the low-wheat-concentration foams was the “in situ” created soft-top-rigid-bottom foams.
- Solar energy