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Maize Starch-g-Poly (Itaconic Acid) and its Application in Sewage Water Treatment and as Antimicrobial Agent

Author(s): Magdy W Sabaa, Esraa H Abdel Magid and Riham R Mohamed

Maize starch-g-poly(itaconic acid) was prepared and characterized by determining its degree of substitution and elucidating its structure by FTIR. Graft copolymerization of itaconic acid onto starch was carried out in aqueous solution using potassium persulfate (KPS)/sodium bisulfite (NaBS) initiator. Evidences of grafting were obtained via FTIR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction before and after grafting. The effects of initiator concentration, monomer concentration, reaction time and temperature on the graft copolymerization were studied by determining the grafting percentage (%G), grafting efficiency (%GE) and the amount of homopolymer formed (%H). The optimum grafting conditions were determined as follows: [(KPS)/ (NaBS)]=6 x 10 -2 (mol.L-1), [M]=1.1 (mol.L-1), reaction temperature=55°C and reaction time=3.75h. The efficacy of the graft copolymers to uptake metal ions from their aqueous solutions was also studied. Results showed that the graft copolymers adsorb more metal ions than starch itself. The graft copolymers were found to have antimicrobial activity against streptococcus pneumonia and Bacillis subtilis as gram-positive and against Escherichia coli as gram-negative bacteria and against Candida albican as fungi.

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