Chicken feathers grafted with four different methacrylates show good potential to be made into inexpensive and biodegradable thermoplastics with high strength, excellent flexibility, and water stability. Feathers are available in large quantities and at a low price but have limited applications. Although thermoplastics have been developed from feathers by grafting acrylates and methacrylates, limited information is available on the properties of the thermoplastics and the effects of different methacrylate structures on the properties of thermoplastics. Similarly, the role of homopolymers on the properties of thermoplastics has also not been studied. In this research, feathers were grafted with methyl, ethyl, butyl, and hexyl methacrylates (MMA, EMA, BMA, and HMA, respectively), and the effects of graft polymerization conditions, such as monomer concentrations, temperature, and time of reaction, on the grafting parameters such as monomer conversion, %homopolymer, grafting efficiency, and molar grafting ratio were studied. Methacrylates were successfully grafted onto functional groups on the surfaces of the chicken feathers. Addition of homopolymers was crucial to obtain films with good strength, elongation, and water stability. Transparent feather films with strength up to 3.8 MPa and elongation of 2.5% were developed without the use of homopolymers. Films developed were also stable at high humidities.
- Chicken feathers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment