top of page

YPIE Scientist: Fathi Ali

Updated: May 31

Research: Designing a Plant-Based Bioplastic: Exploring the Effect of Polymer Ratios on Mechanical Properties

Awards: 3rd Place award winner in Medicine in Health (2023) Sommers Science Fair

Research Location: Saunders Trades and Technical High School


Plant-based bioplastics are gaining attention as eco-friendly alternatives to conventional petroleum-based plastics, offering promise for mitigating environmental pollution. This study aims to investigate the impact of polymer ratios on the mechanical properties of tapioca starch-based bioplastics. By understanding the nuanced effects of polymer ratios, we seek to optimize bioplastic performance for diverse applications while advancing sustainability goals. Conducted during the summer research period, this study employs tapioca starch as the primary biopolymer. Polymer ratios are manipulated by adjusting the proportions of tapioca starch, glycerol, and vinegar. Following standardized protocols, the mixture undergoes heating and molding processes to fabricate bioplastic samples. Mechanical testing, including tensile strength and flexibility analysis, is performed using a universal testing machine. Data collection and analysis are underway, with results anticipated upon completion of the summer research period. Initial projections suggest significant variations in mechanical properties among bioplastics with different polymer ratios. Specifically, alterations in polymer ratios are expected to influence tensile strength and flexibility, though precise outcomes await empirical confirmation. This research underscores the critical role of polymer ratios in shaping the mechanical properties of tapioca starch-based bioplastics. By systematically exploring these relationships, we aim to optimize bioplastic formulations for enhanced performance and sustainability. This study contributes to advancing the field of sustainable materials science, offering insights that inform the development of eco-friendly alternatives to conventional plastics. Future investigations will focus on elucidating the quantitative relationships between polymer ratios and bioplastic properties to facilitate their widespread adoption in various industries.

About this Scientist:

Fathi Ali, a junior at Saunders Trades and Technical High School, is currently enrolled in the Bio/Chemistry program. His post-high school plans include pursuing a college education, either in pre-med studies or enrolling in a 7-year M.D/PhD program, with the goal of becoming an anesthesiologist.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page