About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 488-495
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

TEACHING CHEMISTRY USING PRACTICAL PROJECTS; BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER FILMS FROM PECTIN

In order to encourage high school students to be interested in Chemistry, the Faculty of Chemistry (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM) has been working closely with several schools during the last years. A group of six students were involved in the 2014 term. The aim of the project was to study the feasibility of obtaining environment-friendly plastics from citric fruit materials. They did a literature search, with a constant supervision of their teachers at school, in order to find a biodegradable film material.

During the development of the assignment, they spent one day a week, throughout four months, at the University, under the surveillance of a Professor to perform the experiments and find the different variables involved in the process.

An advantage to such an approach is flexibility in learning new concepts and the formation of students with an incentive to choose a science career.

The specific raw materials chosen were oranges, they are abundant and available in Mexico all the year around; it's peel contains a large amount of polysaccharide, pectin, to be used as a raw material to obtain plastic films.

The initial step, was to extract pectin (a natural polysaccharide) from the orange's albedo (white part of the peel).

The process of extraction consists in several steps:
1.- Separation of the albedo from the orange's peel by mechanicals means.
2.- Vacuum drying.
3.- Hydrolysis with hydrochloric acid, to release the pectin from the albedo.
4.- Filtration of the soluble pectin.
5.- Recovery by ethanol precipitation, and drying in a vacuum oven.

Power dried pectin, was mixed with polyvinyl alcohol at various ratios, to achieve improvement in the physical properties. Furthermore, glycerine was added to the film as a plasticizer. Biodegradable flexible films were obtained from the extracted pectin.

The different samples of bioplastic films were characterized by infrared spectroscopy. Various types of films ranging, from rigid to flexible, were obtained with distinct formulations.

The most important aspect of this type of work, is the motivation of students to get involved actively in the use of science as a tool to protect environment, and find new green process alternatives.
@InProceedings{RIUSALONSO2015TEA,
author = {Rius-Alonso, C. and Olivares de Lachica, L. and Mendoza Madriagal, N. and Pardo Verco{\~n}a, N. and Rojas L{\'{o}}pez, A. and Guraieb P{\'{e}}rez de la Riva, M. and Gonz{\'{a}}lez Quezada, Y. and Gallardo-Aguilar, C. and Alatorre-Almeida, A.},
title = {TEACHING CHEMISTRY USING PRACTICAL PROJECTS; BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER FILMS FROM PECTIN},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {488-495}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Rius-Alonso AU - L. Olivares de Lachica AU - N. Mendoza Madriagal AU - N. Pardo Vercoña AU - A. Rojas López AU - M. Guraieb Pérez de la Riva AU - Y. González Quezada AU - C. Gallardo-Aguilar AU - A. Alatorre-Almeida
TI - TEACHING CHEMISTRY USING PRACTICAL PROJECTS; BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER FILMS FROM PECTIN
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 488
EP - 495
ER -
C. Rius-Alonso, L. Olivares de Lachica, N. Mendoza Madriagal, N. Pardo Vercoña, A. Rojas López, M. Guraieb Pérez de la Riva, Y. González Quezada, C. Gallardo-Aguilar, A. Alatorre-Almeida (2015) TEACHING CHEMISTRY USING PRACTICAL PROJECTS; BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER FILMS FROM PECTIN, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 488-495.
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