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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  MC05-406,  2005 Special Meeting Papers. (doi: 10.13031/2013.18338)
Authors:   Kurt A. Rosentrater, Andrew W. Otieno
Keywords:   Bioplastics, Composites, Properties, Standards, Testing

An engine that drives the United States economic growth is an ever-increasing demand for manufactured products, both at home and abroad. As environmental concerns grow, however, renewable resources are gaining increasing attention, especially as industrial ecology and product biodegradability gain in prevalence. Added to this, biological materials are increasingly being utilized to replace traditional materials in manufacturing. To aid both educators as well as researchers, this paper examines several considerations that are essential for manufacturing products that contain biomaterials. These include the selection of materials, the selection of manufacturing processes, manufacturing costs, and the quality of final products. Additionally, several standard methods that are commonly used for the determination of mechanical and physical properties are compiled; thus this paper should be a useful resource for both educators and researchers. The trends discussed here and their implications are critical for those involved in manufacturing, because contrary to conventional wisdom, simultaneously meeting the material production needs of our society, as well as that of the environment, are not mutually-exclusive.

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