Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

Surojit Gupta

Second Advisor

Yun Ji


Sustainability has become a critical component of materials research. Plastic disposal is a major problem facing us. Along with recycling, bioplastics have emerged as a potential solution. However, bioplastics have only found limited applications because of their weak mechanical properties. Hence numerous research is being done in the application of reinforcement additives in bioplastics to develop bioplastic composites or blends with improved properties. This study explores using renewable and biodegradable natural fibers as well as agricultural biomass wastes as reinforcement additives to enhance the properties of bioplastics. This also provides the opportunity to valorize agricultural biomass wastes. Solvent casting is the fabrication method for all the composites used for the study. Afterwards thermal and microstructure characterization as well as mechanical testing was done on all samples to analyze the effect of the reinforcement additives on the cellulose acetate bioplastic matrix. Result showed the increase in the ultimate tensile strength when lignin, cellulose, acetone-lignin and nanocellulose were used for chapter 2. Similar reinforcement can be seen in chapter 3 when agricultural biomass waste (DDGS, soybean stem, corn stem, sunflower hull, and corn cobs) are used. These reinforcing additives enhance the performance of cellulose-based bioplastics and increase their applications.