Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

First Advisor

David Grewell


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.

Copyright Owner

Brian J Demmer



Date Available


File Format


File Size

123 pages