ÄRT investigates the utilisation of peapod peels as a lignocellulosic resource in packaging materials.
It is the result of a 2-week biomaterial experimentation with peapod peels and various types of wood-based derivates such as CMC and MCC. Lignocellulosic materials are plant-based materials that are rich in cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose and are commonly used in the production of paper, cardboard, and other packaging materials.
According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the global production of peas has been steadily increasing in recent years. Soybeans and peas both have a high protein content and are therefore important for meat production. They are grown for their edible seeds, peas, which are encased in pods that grow on vines. In general, peas are ready to harvest about 60 to 70 days after planting. During the threshing, the machine breaks the peapod and separates the peas and peels by passing them through a sieve. The peas are collected, and the peels are either discarded or returned to the field to decompose and nourish the soil.
CMC (carboxymethyl cellulose) is a versatile ingredient commonly used in a wide range of applications such as food, pharmaceuticals, paper, textiles, and construction. MCC stands for microcrystalline cellulose, which is a refined wood pulp that has been ground into a fine powder. It is commonly used as a filler, binder, and disintegrate in the pharmaceutical industry and as a food additive. Both CMC and MCC are biodegradable and can be used as raw materials in the production of bioplastics. The experimentation resulted in a range of pea peel composite, pea peel paper and bioplastics. ÄRT proposes possible future applications for peapod peel waste and demonstrates decomposable packaging alternatives. As peapod peels are non-toxic and edible, they could be used in food packaging, especially as edible packaging material. A hotel toiletry kit was designed to demonstrate the possibilities of material utilisation. The shape of the peapod inspired the final designs.
The peel parts were separated by boiling them with baking soda and divided into three different groups depending on their texture and consistency; the peel meat, peel wall, and peel frame. These three parts were used in different proportions together with wood derivates (CMC and MCC) to see differences in the textures, durability and colour. The materials were left in a drying oven for 24 hours and cut into their final shape. Once the samples fully dried, they loose a lot of the green pigment and turn more yellow.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.