Acetylation of chicken feathers for thermoplastic applications

Chunyan Hu, Narendra Reddy, Kelu Yan, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Poultry feathers are renewable resources, inexpensive and abundantly available, but have limited applications. Although keratin extracted from feathers has been chemically modified, there are no reports on the chemical modification or development of thermoplastics from poultry feathers. Acetylation is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly approach to make biopolymers thermoplastic. Several biopolymers have been acetylated and used to produce fibers, films, and extrudates. In this research, chicken feathers were acetylated, and the structure and properties of the acetylated feathers were studied. Acetylat on conditions such as concentration of chemicals and catalyst and time and temperature of acetylation were optimized. Acetylation of feathers was confirmed using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (P-GC-MS). The acetylated feathers were analyzed using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to understand their thermal behavior. Acetylated feathers were thermoplastic and could be compression molded to form transparent films despite the relatively low percentage of acetyl content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10517-10523
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 12 2011


  • acetylation
  • chicken feather
  • thermoplastics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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