Amount Awarded:
 $70,000
Funding Received:
 2016-2017
Project Status:

Executive Summary

This project proposes the production of molded biodegradable pots to replace agricultural and horticultural plastic pots on campus. These pots will be made using switchgrass and brewer’s spent grain, both of which are readily available to the Paper and Bioproducts Center located in the basement of Bloedel Hall; a floor layout of this lab can be found attached to this proposal in Figure 2. The Paper and Bioresource Center focuses on conversion of raw bio-materials into pulp, paper, products, and fuels; making it a synergistic fit for this new sustainable molding technology. A current sustainability issue is resolved by fabricating these pots with up to 60% spent grains, preventing these grains entering landfill. Currently, a team of 5 Bioresource Science and Engineering (BSE) students has been established to begin production of these biodegradable pots, with the intent of creating a precedent of sustainable products on the UW campus. Our long-term goal is to provide the campus with sustainable alternatives to disposable plastics across campus organizations, research facilities, and classrooms wherever possible. 

Primary Contact:
Kaitlin Tighe
ktighe@uw.edu