Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Biodegradable Golf Balls

PostedMay 1, 2011

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins: Most lobster shells get tossed in landfills. But David Neivandt, an engineering professor at the University of Maine, found a way of getting them back in the water. Put them in golf balls.

David Neivandt: The approach we took was to take the lobster shell and to grind it up into a powder and then bind that powder together with a biodegradable polymer and use that in the core…

Randy Atkins: …that’s coated with another eco-friendly material. Neivandt says it’s indistinguishable from a traditional ball and could be used, for example, on cruise ship driving ranges.

David Neivandt: In a period of a week or two weeks or so the entire ball breaks down and releases the lobster shell back into the ocean.

Randy Atkins: With some tweaking of the lobster core formula, Neivandt thinks the ball’s performance can be golf course-ready…and then maybe you won’t be quite as steamed when your ball strays into the water. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.


The lobster balls aren’t available yet, but when they are, should cost less than a regular golf ball.