Ikra Anwar is a Sophomore studying Chemical Engineering. My bioplastic project involves investigating the feasibility of PHBV blends for use in a countertop popcorn maker. The plastic would be used specifically in small, k-cup like containers inside the machine.
Joshua David Bensur
Joshua David Bensur is a fourth year Material Science & Engineering student with a minor in Nuclear Engineering graduating in May 2020. He is currently working on a bioplastics project involving the use of PLA with modifications to improve properties from mechanical to barrier. It is the goal that these modified materials can offer significant improvement to bioplastics used in industry applications with a focus in packaging.
Peter is a graduating undergraduate senior working on the characterization of PHBV compounds by using rheological methods. The largest focus for the research is to evaluate the melt strength of the PHBV compared to PHBV blends designed to improve the branching properties of the material. Higher polymer chain branching leads to higher melt strength, which we aim to observe as an increase in extensional viscosity at higher strains. Ultimately, we seek to characterize these materials, and develop a method for characterizing new compounds, by the extent of their extensional thickening behavior in an effort to learn more about how we can compound with PHBV to improve its properties to replace petroleum-derived thermoplastics in food packaging applications.
Kirsten Lower is a second year student majoring in Food Science and Technology. She is working on evaluating bioplastic’s molecular structure using GPC.