Applied Research

Improving Extrusion Processes for Creating Styrofoam Alternatives with Agricultural By-Products

EcoPackers Inc

Challenge/Opportunity:

EcoPackers Inc is a social enterprise that re-purposes agricultural by-products into 100% eco-friendly alternatives to styrofoam packing materials. 

Currently, the styrofoam industry is valued at $9.6 billion and eco-friendly packaging constitutes for only $177 million within that market.

One of the biggest challenges to growth is cost and quality for biodegradable counterparts to common plastic packaging. 

Solution/Collaboration:

Through collaboration with Lambton College, the project will assess and optimize extrusion conditions during the manufacturing process by evaluating different combinations of temperatures, shear, die opening sizes and their effects on product quality and processing throughout. Suggested changes will be made to the formation provided or processing aids that may improve the quality of the final product.
Funder: OCE
Researcher: Sandy Kirkbride
Area: Bio-Technology

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