FURI | Spring 2018

Utilizing Biopolymers with Incorporations of Nanoclays to Develop Sustainable Bioplastics

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The primary purpose of this investigation was to ascertain characteristic properties of a multitude of polymers in order to determine a sustainable alternative to thin film food packaging. Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) was incorporated into chloroform (half of this amount was dyed with methylene blue) and deposited onto a substrate. Surface energy, thin film homogeneity, biocompatibility, and antimicrobial activity were analyzed to determine performance properties generally needed for food packaging. The research goals are still in the process of being completed; however, surface energy and homogeneity of PHB indicate it may be an adequate solution to Polylactide-co-Glycolide (PLGA).

Student researcher

Portrait of Fink, Nathaniel

Nathaniel Fink

Materials science and engineering

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Graduation date: Spring 2019