Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Chemical and Paper Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Alexandra Pekarovicova

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul D. Fleming III

Third Advisor

Dr. Margaret K. Joyce

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only


Conferences, forums, buyers and consumers are all talking about being "green" and sustainable. Interest in sustainability within the ink, printing and packaging industries is also peaking. Wal-Mart is leading this green movement, while supporting industries, such as packaging, printing and its suppliers, follow suit. Due to its low overall content in the package, ink is not included in Wal-Mart's sustainability scorecard. However, printers continue to ask their ink suppliers about green inks. Even water based (WB) inks contain petrochemical-based raw materials that are poorly biodegradable and will become more costly and less available in the future.

The focus of this research was to investigate whether WB inks made using renewable and/or biodegradable resins could be comparable to, and thus substitute for conventional resins used in WB inks, when printed on paper packaging substrates. Inks formulated with biodegradable resins were made. The best three formulations were used for a trial, which was performed on the Comco Commander flexographic press in the Western Michigan University Printing Pilot Plant. Print performance was analyzed. Also weekly and monthly pH permeance and rheological stability evaluation has been done.

Off-campus Download