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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Enhancing Profitability & Sustainability Upland Cotton, Cottonseed, & Cotton Byprod Through Imprvmnts in Harvesting, Ginning, & Mech Process

Location: Cotton Production and Processing Research

Title: Evaluation of select blends of cotton byproducts in the manufacture of biodegradable packaging material

item Holt, Gregory
item Wanjura, John
item Pelletier, Mathew
item Mcintyre, G -
item Flagg, D -
item Bayer, E -

Submitted to: National Cotton Council Beltwide Cotton Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 27, 2011
Publication Date: April 25, 2011
Citation: Holt, G.A., Wanjura, J.D., Pelletier, M.G., Mcintyre, G., Flagg, D., Bayer, E. 2011. Evaluation of select blends of cotton byproducts in the manufacture of biodegradable packaging material. In: Proceedings of the Beltwide Cotton Conferences, January 3-7, 2011, Atlanta, GA. p. 465. 2011 CDROM.

Technical Abstract: Polystyrene is one of the most widely used plastics in the manufacture of packaging materials. Extruded polystyrene foam is commonly sold under the trademark name of StyrofoamTM. Polystyrene packaging is a multibillion dollar a year industry. Since polystyrene is non-biodegradable, a biodegradable material that is eco-friendly is being sought as a substitute for packaging consumers. Ecovative Design, LLC has developed a process whereby they can produce an eco-friendly packaging product known as EcoCradleTM. The objective of this research was to develop and evaluate various blends of cotton gin byproducts (i.e., burs) as a substrate in Ecovative’s process. Tests were conducted to evaluate six cotton waste blends to prescribed standards. Evaluations were conducted on samples produced using a single fungal species, Ganoderma resinaceum, using two inoculation methods, grain and agar. Properties evaluated included: density, strength (compressive and tensile), dimensional stability, modulus of elasticity, sterilization efficacy, colonization rate, thermal conductivity, flame retardance, and accelerated aging. Results revealed blends that were superior or equal to ASTM standards and polystyrene. One of the higher performing blends was used to launch EcoCradle TM with two Fortune 500 companies during the summer of 2010.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014
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