Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Samy Madbouly

Second Advisor

Lawrence Genalo


Much research has focused on bio-based composites as a potential material to replace petroleum-based plastics. Considering the high price of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), PHA/ Distiller's Dried Grains with Solubles (DDGS) composite is a promising economical and high-performance biodegradable material. In this paper, we discuss the effect of DDGS on PHA composites in balancing cost with material performance.

Poly (lactic acid) PLA/DDGS composite is another excellent biodegradable composite, although as a bio-based polymer its degradation time is relatively long. The goal of this research is therefore to accelerate the degradation process for this material.

Both bio-based composites were extruded through a twin-screw microcompounder, and the two materials were uniformly mixed. The morphology of the samples was examined using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM); thermal stability was determined with a Thermal Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA); other thermal properties were studied using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and a Dynamic Mechanical Analyzer (DMA). Viscoelastic properties were also evaluated using a Rheometer.

Copyright Owner

Hong Lu



File Format


File Size

76 pages