Biothermoplastics from hydrolyzed and citric acid Crosslinked chicken feathers

Narendra Reddy, Lihong Chen, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


We demonstrate a novel approach of developing thermoplastic films from feathers by alkaline hydrolysis and crosslinking with citric acid. Unlike previous approaches that used toxic chemicals, complicated and/or expensive methods to develop films, in this research, feathers were hydrolyzed using various concentrations of alkali and the hydrolyzed feathers were compression molded into films using glycerol as plasticizer and crosslinked with citric acid to improve water stability. Alkali hydrolyzed feathers could be compression molded into films with tensile strength of 5.9 MPa and elongation of 31.7% but had poor wet strength. Feather films crosslinked with citric acid had tensile strength of 1.9 MPa and elongation of 24.6% after being in 90% humidity at 21 C for 24 hours. Alkaline hydrolysis and citric acid crosslinking provides an opportunity to develop inexpensive and biodegradable thermoplastics from the inexpensive, renewable and sustainable poultry feathers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1203-1208
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • Biodegradable films
  • Crosslinking
  • Feathers
  • Thermoplastics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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