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Characterizing the cleaning process of chicken feathers.

Recently, there has been a surge in investigating the potential of using natural fibers for reinforcements in composite materials. One such natural fiber having immense potential for use in polymer composites is chicken feather fiber. Every year, over 4.8 million tonnes of chicken feathers are generated globally. Currently, feathers are hydrolyzed into feather-meal which is used as an animal feed and fertilizer. Chicken feathers are cheap, abundant and easily available. These feathers could be used as reinforcements in polymer composites. But, the feathers obtained from meat processing plants are coated with blood, offal fat, preen oil, debris and poultry processing water. This makes the feathers sticky, odoriferous and unfit for use as reinforcement. Extracting lipids from the feathers by leaching results in fibers which are not greasy and improves the fiber-matrix bonding of composites. The objective of this study was to characterize the cleaning process of chicken feather fibers. Also, the effect of hydrogen peroxide cleaning on the mechanical properties of feather fiber was tested. The raw feathers were decontaminated with sodium hypochlorite and these samples were used for the cleaning experiments. Cleaning was carried out using 0.15 % and 0.25% of H₂O₂. Stages of cleaning and time were varied. The sample to solvent ratio was 10g/500 ml of solvent. It was found that 10 minutes of leaching for 3 stages was efficient in extracting soluble impurities from the feathers. Equilibrium experiments were conducted and a mass balance based on lipid exchange was designed. An equilibrium graph was plotted. Also, single fiber tensile tests were done on the H₂O₂ treated samples. A two parameter Weibull distribution was plotted to predict the failure strength of the fibers. It was found that H₂O₂ treatment on feathers reduces its Tensile strength (by very less magnitude). It was also observed that fibers were not damaged due to H₂O₂ treatment.
Type of thesis
Sudalaiyandi, G. (2012). Characterizing the cleaning process of chicken feathers. (Thesis, Master of Engineering (ME)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7045
University of Waikato
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