Date of Award
Master of Science
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Biorenewable plastics are a potential solution to the growing problems of pollution caused by petroleum-based plastics, overcrowded landfills and America's dependency on
foreign petroleum. This study compares thirteen biobased/biorenewable cutlery brands with
six petrochemical cutlery companies in terms of weight, stiffness, maximum load at failure, and specific stiffness (stiffness/weight). The Commercial Item Description (CID), which
was created by the General Services Administration (GSA) within the U.S. Government, is the standard that defines the basic governmental specifications for biobased cutlery. The
CID specification details that the utensils can have any percentage of biobased content and maximum deflection under certain loads. A biobased product for this study is defined by the GSA as "a product determined by USDA to be a commercial or industrial product (other than food or feed) that is composed, in whole or in significant part, of biological products or renewable domestic agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials) or
forestry materials." The results of this study show that several biobased products performed similar to or better than petrochemical products, while still meeting the CID specifications.
Brian J Demmer
Demmer, Brian J., "Comparison and analysis of biobased/biodegradable and petrochemical cutlery flexibility" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 12136.