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Weird Science - making plastic from milk?  RSS feed

 
Jami McBride
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Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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Check out Mad-Science's Milk Experiment:
http://www.wackyuses.com/experiments/plasticmilk.htm


Here are some Bizarre Facts from his article about milk-plastic, some of which might just be meaningless drivel  but I thought it was interesting science which offers or could offer alternatives to plastic and/or glue.

* The Japanese have developed a low-cost, biodegradable plastic made from shrimp shells by combining chitin—an extract from the shells that is also found in human fingernails—with silicon. The resulting "chitisand" is stronger than petroleum-based plastics, decomposes in soil, and acts as a fertilizer.

* In 1929, the Borden Company purchased the Casein Company of America, the leading manufacturer of glues made from casein, a milk by-product. Borden introduced its first nonfood consumer product, Casco Glue, in 1932.

* You can make glue from milk by simply adding one-third cup of vinegar to one cup of milk in a wide-mouthed jar. When the milk separates into curds and whey, pour off the liquid and wash it away. Add one-quarter cup of water and a tablespoon of baking soda. When the bubbling stops, you've got glue.

* Cheese is made from curds. White glue is made from the casein of the curds.

* While promoted by a spokesbull and made by a milk company, Elmer's Glue-All is a synthetic resin glue that does not contain casein.

* Before scientists discovered how to synthesize plastics from petroleum products, plants and animal fats were used to make natural plastics, which eventually decompose.

* Biodegradable plastic is made by adding starch to the plastic. Bacteria then feed on the buried plastic.

* In surgery, stitches are now made using plastics that slowly dissolve in body fluids.

* The American Dairy Council's ad campaign featuring celebrities with milk mustaches and the headline "Got Milk?" was translated in Mexico as "Are You Lactating?"

* Twelve or more cows are called a flink.

* The Sanskrit word for war means "desire for more cows."

* There are more plastic flamingos in America than real ones.

* In 1975, a Holstein cow in Indiana produced 195.5 pounds of milk in one day. That's enough to provide a hundred people with nearly a quart of milk each.

* Cow's milk is 87 percent water.

* In Arctic regions, people get milk from reindeer.

* In Peru and Bolivia, people drink llama's milk.

* The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.

* Ben and Jerry's sends the waste from making ice cream to local pig farmers to use as feed. Pigs love it, except for one flavor: Mint Oreo.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Human nails are keratin. Chitin is mostly in arthropods (insects, crabs, spiders, centipedes...) and fungi. Vertebrates & plants cannot make it. For future reference, keratin is a protein, while chitin is a polysaccharide, a little like cellulose (but with added N, which makes it seem sort of like a protein in some contexts).

Casein is a very useful polymer. The frames of eyeglasses used to be made from it, but most people are probably more familiar with it as a binder for paint (e.g., "milk paint".

The milk in your recipe should probably be skim milk, if you buy it from the store. Most of the fats in American milk are extremely likely to be non-drying oils, that won't form a cohesive polymer. I'm not so certain about pasture-fed dairy animals, it's possible that butterfat they produce would be high enough in omega-3s to be a semi-drying oil, akin to raw safflower oil.

If you don't want to buy baking soda, you could use ashes to neutralize the vinegar. Ash doesn't bubble, of course, so you'd need to add a pH indicator, like purple cabbage juice.
 
rose macaskie
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Joel Hollingsworth, how does the purple cabbage work as an indicator.
  Casein is certainly used for paint they used it in the Renaissance for undercoat to their paintings wood backed ones at anyrate, mixed with other things like rabbit skin glue. One painter was working in a monastery and they fed him principally on cheese so he escaped, he said the cheese would go hard  in him, he was used to working with casein.

  Modern books on how to paint your house with old fashioned things mention Joel Hollingsworths milk paint, it might be yogurt rather than fresh milk,  the examples of this are in America, old American houses.
     The  painters mix of oil and pigment, linseed oil which is a drying oil is the original of oil paint for painting doors and window, i thought it had only been used for paintings i did not know it was also the recipe for house paint oil paint till i got a modern book on old paint recipes. You would probably use a casein undercoat as they do in oil painting to if you were doing it well. The old paintings undercoats have lasted through the centuries lik efor six or seven centuries.   Resin can be added to the oil paint to make it harder in the case of painting doors. I don't know know how to add resin
      This ties up with organics and such,  these are unchemical products.
       Buy pigment and linseed oil to paint mix to the consitency that you like, you  can use turpentine to make it dry quicker, or to thin it down and make it easier to spread use the mix  to paint doors and windows. Just do it to an old bit of wood to see how it goes. They sell cheapish pigment here or used to, with no glue in it, at the house painting shop for builders, pigment for pictures would be more expensive. If you just mix it with water don't put some sort of glue in it, linseed oil, milk, egg, acrylic, glue, it just falls off  the surface again when its dry. Acrylic or the acrylic i used to use, makes a very nontransparent film over the pigments they lose colour and shine.
      Pigments are powder colours like ground rock in the case of things like burnt sienna called after the colour of the rock of the town sienna . ochre lapizlazuli if you are a very rich painter, other colours had a vegetable origin.
     I painted a nasty bit of furniture with pigment and egg yoke just tried it out and there it is more than twenty years later, my colour design was not  fortunate one it didnot come out pretty but it  has not chipped hardly or scratched and i never got round to giving it the varnish i meant to add. I am and was surprised that my crazy idea worked. I knew they used to use egg yoke to hold pigment  but i thought there would be ins and outs to it and i did not know it would last so well.
    I can add the name of the book with instructions on all this, its in the country I think, so i can't do it immediately. agri rose macaskie.
 
          
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Location: Saskatchewan Zone 2b-3a maybe 3b
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rose macaskie wrote:

 
    
     I painted a nasty bit of furniture with pigment and egg yoke just tried it out and there it is more than twenty years later, it  has not chipped hardley or scratched and i never got round to giving it the varnish i meant to add. I am and was suprised that my crazy idea worked. I knew they used to use egg yoke to hold pigment  but i thought there would be ins and outs to it and i did not know it would last so well.
   


Rose, you're so right on this. My father went to art school in Munich in 1920 but he had also learned this mixing of paint from scratch from his father... all that knowledge came in handy especially during the Depression and then again after 1945... when there was no paint to be had.... When my parents bought a house, my father said to get lots of buttermilk-
when there was still real buttermilk to be had and you had to bring your own glass bottles/containers - to paint the exterior of the house, a cement cover over bricks, to be painted the whitest white to be had. And my father said that it would last forever... and it did, always looked the nicest and cleanest in the sunshine... it always looked as if it was just painted yesterday...
 
rose macaskie
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b I went to art schoool thats how i know it . Art school in munich in the twenties is pretty cool, when Germany was leading in art questions.
  I thought i had remembered butter milk but wasno't sure.
  The mixture of slaked lime and sand one to one and water instead of normal plaster gives you a shiny white house for ever, till the plaster wears off.


      This about paint is a bit of a pulling away from Jami Mcbrides first interesting bit which was making plastics out of organic material, once live organisms based plastics, which is a totally new idea for me and very interesting.

       I have a bit of knowledge about normal plastics  i got from two documentaries that sometimes does not seem to be enough known by all the population but is probably more known in America.
        It is this, that they use a product in the make up of a lot of types of plastics though you also find it in other things like washing up liquid, that behaves like the female hormon, estrogen, accept the femal hormone does not get through the barrier of the placenta and this does causing male feotuses that never develop proper genitals in crocodiles, fish and they think, humans and maybe has also to do with breast cancer and testicular cancer or increases the chances of getting these two types of cancer and if you think that nowdays even our water goes through plastic pipes and our butter is enveloped in plastic and the inside of tetra bricks are plastic this hormone instals itself in fatty things more than in liquid ones, then we are getting much more of this false hormon than the population got when i was a child, when butter was wrapped in paper and milk came in a bottle and water in pottery tubes. How will our children turn out health wise. rose macaskie.'
 
paul wheaton
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LaLena MaeRee
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Paul, does this mean milk turns into rocks in our stomach? I tend to consume vinegar and milk on the same day, sometimes in the same hour, now I am freaked out, lol
 
Benjamin Bouchard
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Milk plastic, known as galalith, was actually one of the most common early plastics and is often confused with bakelite.
 
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