Biodegradable Soy-Based Plastics (RFT-597)

Invention Summary

Soy Protein Isolate (SPI) has garnered the interest of the bio-plastics community due to its low cost, desirable transparency and film forming ability. However, poor mechanical strength, flexibility and water resistance have hindered the commercialization of SPI bioplastics. To overcome these fundamental limitations, researchers at NDSU have developed novel SPI based bioplastic formulations reinforced with cellulose nanofibers. The fabrication process combines photo-crosslinking and nanofiller reinforcement, evading the harsh solution and melt processing-based methods. Hence the resulting UV cured bio-plastics formulation retains all the inherent characteristics and exhibits improved physical properties as compared to traditional, petroleum-based plastics. The resulting bioplastics can be used to manufacture biodegradable solid articles of varying shapes and sizes, that are useful in a variety of applications.


  • Biodegradable and cost effective
  • Improved tensile strength, water resistance and flexibility
  • Improved processability and product rheology
  • Compatible with traditional plastic manufacturing methods such as injection molding, extrusion and 3D printing.


  1. Manufacturing disposable items in:
    a. Packaging industry
    b. Cutlery, houseware and food storage industry
    c. Sutures and small medical devices
  2. Consumer electronics industry
    a. Casings
    b. Circuit boards
  3. Automotive and aerospace industry
    a. Seat cushions
    b. Carpeting
    c. Upholstery
  4. Agriculture and horticulture
    a. Mulches
    b. Seeding stripes

Phase of Development

This technology has successfully completed laboratory testing with reproducible results. 


This technology is patent pending in the US and is available for licensing/partnering opportunities.


Saurabhi Satam, Business Development and Licensing Associate


Download the technology summary (PDF, 184.22 KB)


RFT, 597, RFT597

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