**Note: If you like this Instructable and are looking for something a little more challenging that will yield better results then check out my new potato plastic instructables here https://www.instructables.com/id/Starch_Plastic_20_Pressure_Cooker_Hacking/**

Also if you have questions and want some expert answers try heading to this website http://green-plastics.net and just post your question on the Q&A board, they will be able to help out with your question in a more timely manner! 

Have you ever wondered if there is a more environmentally friendly way to make plastic with OUT using foreign oil? Currently, it is estimated that the worldwide production of petroleum based plastic is around 100 million tons annually, and that seven million barrels of petroleum are required PER DAY to produce that plastic ( info source ). What if we could take that number and cut it down to zero! This is all possible with the eco-friendly plastic of the future, and you can make some right now- OUT OF A POTATO! When I first discovered that you could do this, I used corn starch, water, and corn oil to make the plastic; I then made a science fair project out of it, won second place at my school, and won honorable mention (3-6 place) at the 2003 Regional Science Fair. The plastic I made for the science fair worked, but it dried out and became brittle in about a week. A few years later, I discovered an article describing a way to enhance it's plasticity by altering the chemical composition of the starch.
For this instructable, I will describe how to make plastic from scratch, by extracting starch from a potato, and processing it into a resin with household items. If you don't feel like taking the time to extract the starch from a potato, you can just use corn starch instead. This is a project for all you environmentalists, tree hungers, global warming believers (I am not one by the way), and especially you Al Gore.

Lets have some fun and make potato plastic!

Step 1: Gather Materials

Most of the materials you will need will be in your house or can be bought at most supermarkets and home improvement stores.

2 White skinned potatoes OR potato starch OR corn starch
100% Vegetable Liquid Glycerin
White Vinegar
Food Coloring

Tools / Supplies:
Non stick pan
Spatula or Spoonula
Stove Top or Hot Plate
Knife or guillotine

casting compound
could you use regular flower instead of starch?
<p>I like flowers</p>
Nice creations xD
<p>Thanks kid</p>
Hey Brandon! I hope you're doing well.<br> <br> I just thought I'd mention that we're constantly posting answers to specific questions that people have about making bioplastic at home on the website,<br> <br> <a href="http://green-plastics.net">http://green-plastics.net</a><br> <br> We've had recent questions about everything from how to make home-made bioplastic waterproof, to explaining the chemistry behind why the vinegar helps improve the bioplastic that you are making.<br> <br> It would be great if you&nbsp; could let people know about our Q&amp;A board in your instructable!<br> <br> <br>
done, you get the headline spot boss! Thanks for helping with the questions.
Thank you so much!
<p>No problem</p>
<p>can we use vegetable oil in stead of glycerin?</p>
<p>Wondering if this could hold water if I made a bowl out of it and if there are any properties at all that would leach that may be harmful.. Thanks!</p>
<p>Not sure if it can, but just believe in it!</p><p>https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/b1/50/38/b150389364f0e06b4e105fd9dfc535e6.jpg</p>
<p>What if we don't have 100% Vegetable Liquid Glycerin, will it still work?And where can you buy it?</p>
<p>Vegetables are for the weak... Meat is where it's at!</p>
<p>can you mix this with other starches </p>
<p>Yup, I tried it and it worked...<br>Here is the proof: </p><p>http://images.clipartpanda.com/mix-clipart-mixing_bowl_white_xl_face.gif</p>
<p>really nice idea... </p>
<p>Greetings sir Brandon, I am a high school student and our group is planning to have a research paper on bioplastics. This study would be a big help to the success of our study. May you send a copy of your work to this e-mail? gigihadidzz33@gmail.com Your response will be deeply appreciated. Thank you!</p>
<p>Hey sir,<br>Brandon told me to contact you, since he can't. (He died in a car accident, and his spooky ghost came to me.)</p><p>Anyways, he told me to tell you I can't send it, sorry.</p><p>Cya</p>
<p>Wtf is this bullcrap?<br>You didn't tell me how I could get potatoes, you dicktard.</p>
<p>hello sir Brandon, I'm an undergraduate student from Textile Crafts of <br>ITB Indonesia, and I found this is very genius, if you don't mind can <br>you also send the soft copy of your work to my e-mail? <br>kharismasania94@gmail.com It will be very much appreciated and you will <br>surely be be acknowledged. Thank you.</p>
hello sir. I'am an undergraduate student from Philippines.I'm am planning to do an applied research for my thesis. I am interested in making biodegradable plastics and i find your work very helpful to me. If you don't mind, will you please send me a copy of your work through this add (kramyerobmacalp@gmail.com).You will be surely be acknowledged. Thank you.
Hi, I'm doing a research project, where I'm reinforcing these plastics with natural fibers, and entering a contest with it. However, I'm having great results with reinforcement, but without it (what you are doing here), my plastics are not drying, and are still gooey after a month. I have dried the other plastics by pressing them between two glass plates, because I need a smooth surface as I am testing them with a tensile tester. I have followed your recipe perfectly in terms of materials, but could you give me some more specific temperatures in Farenheit, of what you consider "low" and "high" temperature? I think that this may be the problem. Thanks, I would really appreciate an expedient response. (alisonlyang@gmail.com)
helo, lupefiasco, wat kind of natural fibers tat u add on ?my plastic is too soft and tear off when juz&nbsp;touching it...I wan to test my plastic on tensile test too, but it is too soft and cannot be tested by machine... do u hv the same problem as i had ?
Hi there, <br /> You may be adding too much plasticizer, or you may just need to spread the plastic thicker. Experiment with types of plasticizer, because that will dictate those kinds of properties. I use cotton, jute, and hemp fibers in my study, and hemp performed the highest in resisting water degradation as well as in strength tests. I will share my methods with you here, feel free to ask if you have more questions. <br /> <br /> &quot;Phase I of the experiment involved the creation of samples for testing. A slurry of <b>2 tablespoons of starch</b> and <b>8 teaspoons of water</b> was created. If applicable, <b>6g of fiber</b> was added and mixed into the slurry until it became relatively homogenized. Then <b>1 teaspoon each of glycerin and vinegar</b> were added to the slurry. The slurry was heated at low on an electric stove, then when it began to steam, turned up to high and allowed to boil. Then the slurry was poured and spread onto two glass plates with non-stick surfaces. The plates were then pressed together to create a flat layer of plastic. This process was repeated for each fiber, and for the control plastic without fiber. After the plastic had partially solidified, one glass plate was removed and the plastic allowed to air dry until completely solidified.&quot; <p>&quot;<font face="Times New Roman" size="3">The results of the tensile testing supported the hypothesis that the hemp fiber reinforced plastic would demonstrate the greatest tensile strength. The reinforced plastic had an average tensile stress at break of 2138.63 psi. A Kruskal-Wallis test, which compares the differences among medians, conducted on the tensile strengths of hemp, jute, and cotton, and non-reinforced (control) plastics showed that the differences are statistically significant (k=10.3846, p.= 0.016).&nbsp; As shown in Figure 5, the hemp-reinforced plastic was significantly stronger than the other plastics. The fiber-reinforced plastics were also significantly stronger than the non-reinforced control. As shown in Figure 6, though the hemp plastic failed quickly under tensile stress, it was a brittle failure, and the plastic held a large load.&quot;<br /> <br /> So since&nbsp;the plastics suffered brittle failure, the problem was the plasticizer, and&nbsp;I suspect that you are having the same problems. Following these methods you should be able to create plastics that stay together and are strong. </font></p>
&nbsp;Awesome! Finally a comment posted above the average elementary school&nbsp;intelligence&nbsp;level. Lupe if you publish a paper on this when your done would you mind sending me a copy?&nbsp;
&nbsp;Hey there, I've actually been long done with this project. I did well with it at state competitions in 2009, but I changed my focus to the biological aspect of plasticizers this year. I do have a copy of the paper, where would you like it sent?
hello sir. I'm an undergraduate student and is planning to have a research on biodegradable plastics. I find your project so helpful and interesting. Will you please send me a copy of your paper in my e-mail @ (kramyerobmacalp@gmail.com). Thank you. I will acknowledge you in my workS.Thanks again.
hello lupefiasco!!, I am very much interested in your work. if you would not mind ,can you send me a copy of your research paper?? at rean_jean@yahoo.com . btw i am a highschool student from the phils.your efforts will surely be recognized. Thank you so much ... :DD
Hi! I hope you will still be around to see this, but do you think you could also send me your paper? I'm a conbio student and would love to work on this! luckyprincessmelody@yahoo.com Thank you so much if you are able to send it! Melody
&nbsp;Brandon121233@gmail.com &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;thanks, I'll let you know what I think about it, its always good to see other peoples ideas on the same topic&nbsp;
what are fibers? What's in them that makes the plastic stronger? Where can we find them? Are those in the grocery? How does it looks like? What else can we use as fibers?
Can I just simply use vegetable oil as plasticizer since glycerine isn't available in our place?
thx 4 yor info....i hope u dont mind if i hv questions to ask u...haha...anyway, thx 4 for yor guide and tips....i'll try my best... ;)
&nbsp;Sure thing, let me know. I can't promise I can tell you everything, I haven't worked on this topic for a while, so it's a little hazy. I hope to pick it up again this year though!
Hi, lupe....one more question....how long time does the (gel looks plastic)plastic takes to solidify as a real plastic (dry and hard plastic )&nbsp;after u put the plastic on the flat plate ?
Less than 24 hours for me.
Hey Lupe,<br>I really like the idea of your project. I really want to make that as our project too; however, we don't have tensile tester in our school. My plan originally is to make a plastic bag ( which I don't know how to accomplish) Next I will test the strength of the plastic bag in carrying things. I don't know how to logically do the testing in testing the strength. Can we do that without the tensile tester? I mean is testing the tensile the same with testing the ultimate strenth the plastic can handle? What can you suggest as the best step that we could take? and about the fiber thing that you add to your plastics.. what are they for? What are fibers? As I understand it they can help strengthen the plastic. Would the existence of the fiber somehow affect the biodegradability of the plastics? Cause you see, aside from the strength of the plastics, * durability* , *practicability* we also aim to test its biodegradability by burying it in soil and observing it. Do you think it can really be decomposed. I have read in the net a certain study claiming that after two weeks, she had seen her plastics decompose by fifty percent. I don't what that fifty percent mean. Could that really possibly happen? I would really appreciate if you can answer all my questions and offer my advice. I really want to succeed on this project. What makes this project hard for me is the fact that it's a group project. (whew...)
From my understanding, vegetable oils will work just fine. Plasticizers do affect the durability of plastics, but if you use the plasticizer as a control it should not be an issue if you are doing a comparative study. <br> <br>Natural fibers are the individual strands that make up cotton clothing (the filaments on the threads that tear off your shirts) or that make up different types of strings. In nature, they make up plants stalks, etc. When amylose &amp; amylopectin fuse, natural fibers will strengthen that bond. As you see in my study, the thickest, most tangled fiber did the best job of reinforcing the plastic. <br> <br>I worked at a plastics company for this project, so I had access to a tensile tester. Get in touch with a nearby company or university, no doubt they will have a tester that you can use. They are easy to operate. As for the fibers, I also used a grinder at the company lab to grind my fibers down, but you can try a coffee grinder... not sure if it'll work though. <br> <br>Addressing the testing if you cannot find a tensile tester-- I think that you could make bags by coating two glass plates and then connecting the bottoms of the plates? Experiment with this. I did not try making plastic bags, it is probably more difficult. You could always try a less exact method of measuring strength/durability by placing small weights inside the bags and seeing how many the bag can hold. Definitely less exact and the chance of scientific error will increase, but make do with what you have. <br> <br>I have sent you the paper, let me know if you have other questions. I encourage you to seek out local plastic companies or contact professors universities. Most labs have tensile testers. Good luck.
What are glass plates? How do your glass plates look like? How do you think can I combine the bottom of the two glass plates? What's the shape of your glass plates?
<p>You can make glass like this:</p><p>- Put sand in furnace</p><p>- Put coal in furnace</p><p>- Wait till arrow gets white</p><p>- Grab ur glass from right slot</p><p>http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Glass</p>
<p>hi i am really interested in work can <br>you please send me a copy of your research paper . I see that you you <br>are very knowledgeable with this and i need this for my science project. <br> please! please! i beg you. thanks</p><p>here's my email besslightyear@gmail.com</p>
<p>hi i am really interested in work can you please send me a copy of your research paper . I see that you you are very knowledgeable with this and i need this for my science project. please! please! i beg you. thanks</p><p>here's my email besslightyear@gmail.com</p>
hello, please also send me the research paper at tawinligahon@yahoo.com or toweeligahon@gmail.com......... <br>please, please, please!
hello can you send me research paper at silverhaseo@gmail.com or mr.mime95@yahoo.com plsss
hi lupefiasco <br>i dont know how i could use or extract the fibers for my potato plastic <br>it seems to have worked for you so could you tell me? <br>thanks
Didn't see the biodegradability question, sorry. I have no experience with soil biodegradability. Look at my paper and you will see that I used hydrodegradation by placing plstics in water... didn't work incredibly well. Just try it, who knows what will happen. That's the fun of science! 50% would mean that when they massed the plastic after being buried in soil, the plastic was half of its original mass. Try it out with your plastics and let me know how it goes.
Hello there. I am currently doing a project on bioplastics. But i face a problem as the strength of the plastic is not that strong. I have tried a few methods to strengthen it. But this way of using natural fibres is something new and i would love to try it out. Can you please send me a copy of your research paper. Please please please. My email is dilrajdeep1994@gmail.com. thank you
<p>hello.I really like your ideas with this investigative project.. If you don't mind, may I ask you to please send me a copy of your research study for me to use as my guide because I will be conducting a research study with regards to bioplastic using squash starch and jute to plasticize it. I will greatly thank you for that. I will recognize your paper as my reference in my study. Thank you so much. This is my email add (rodniewicas@yahoo.com/ rdwicas@gmail.com)</p>

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