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Thread: Chicken plastic

  1. #1

    Chicken plastic

    In the future if you carry a chicken back from the supermarket in a plastic bag, that plastic bag might be made from chicken feathers. If this works it could be a good way to reduce dependency on oil and increase the biodegradability of plastics:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12904777
    The millions of tonnes of chicken feathers discarded each year could be used in plastics, researchers say.
    A study reported at the American Chemical Society meeting in the US suggests feathers could lead to more environment-friendly, lighter plastics.
    The chemical recipe requires significantly less petroleum-derived material
    Biological material have been proposed as plastic ingredients before:

    [QUOTE]but the work presented by Yiqi Yang, from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, takes this idea further and uses the chicken feather fibres themselves as a principal ingredient - making up 50% of the mass of the composite.
    As a result, the plastics require less of the materials such as polyethylene and polypropylene that are derived from petroleum products.
    [/QUOTE]

    The technology still needs work but progress is being made:
    These films were tougher than comparable formulations using other biowaste materials, and Professor Yang said that a crucial advantage of the team's approach was that their plastics are much more resistant to water.
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf1039519
    Methyl acrylate was found to be successfully grafted onto functional groups on the surfaces of the chicken feathers, and optimal graft polymerization conditions were also obtained. The feather-g-poly(methyl acrylate) developed showed good thermoplasticity, and feather films had substantially higher tensile properties than soy protein isolate and starch acetate films.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tweetybird's Avatar
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    That will solve 2 problems, disposal of chicken feathers after slaughter of chickens for food, and the plastic shopping bag problem. That is fantastic. Now we have to determine if the "plastic" that is formed is less toxic than the petrolium derivitives. From the article, it appears its more biodegradable, but what about waste products produced in the manufacture and how toxic are the bags when new? Now, if that aspect is good, we have a really good solution to the plstic shopping bag problem.
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