Hossain, Khwaja.jpgDr. Khjawa Hossain, professor of biology and INBRE researcher at Mayville State University, was a keynote presenter at the 7th International Conference on Smart Materials and Sustainable Technologies held April 8 and 9, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Hossain’s presentation was titled “Wheat Bran Fiber as Resources for Industries.” He was among presenters from the United States and several nations around the world.

Dr. Hossain has led a research project at Mayville State University which has identified possible alternative uses for wheat bran, which could have a positive impact on the quality of the wheat farmer’s life, as well as society. Dr. Hossain and Dr. Atikur Rahman, a Mayville State research associate, conducted their research with assistance from Mayville State undergraduate students. Dr. Chad Ulven, an associate professor from North Dakota State University was a collaborator on this project, which was supported by NSF-ND-EPSCoR.

Through their research work, the team determined that the thermoplastic they prepared with bran composite has industrial uses. The wheat bran was determined as an appropriate reinforcement in the polymers and could trade between $100 and $200 per ton. It would most efficiently be processed and densified into bio-composite pellets located in rural areas prior to being transported to the end molder. They are continuing to analyze the biodegradability of the prepared thermoplastic.

Wheat bran has cellulosic fiber compounds, along with starch, protein, and a little amount of fat. Like all the plant material that shows mechanical strength properties having cellulose in them, the high percentage of water-insoluble fiber constituted by cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin in wheat bran also offers the advantages of mechanical strengths.

Wheat bran has the potential to be an effective and economical reinforcing material because of its low density, non-abrasive nature, availability, low cost, and renewability. The Mayville State research team determined that wheat bran is an important and very inexpensive agricultural by-product.