Composting and biodegradation of thermally processed feather keratin polymer

Barone J. R., Arikan O. A.

POLYMER DEGRADATION AND STABILITY, vol.92, no.5, pp.859-867, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Proteins obtained from agricultural sources represent a unique feedstock from which to prepare thermally processable polymers. In this study, thermally processed feather keratin films were composted with three-month-old compost inoculum in self-heating laboratory composters for 30 days and temperature and carbon dioxide development monitored. About 24% of the available carbon in the feather keratin polymer (FKP) was metabolized in this time and this may not be high enough for some applications. Degradation of the feather keratin polymers was observed within 10 days with concurrent molecular weight reduction measured using FT-IR. Visual inspection of the polymers also showed destruction of the films. A change in crystallinity was observed in DSC analysis and some degradation processes could be inferred from this as well. Published by Elsevier Ltd.