Thermoplastic films from cyanoethylated chicken feathers

Narendra Reddy, Chunyan Hu, Kelu Yan, Yiqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This paper demonstrates that etherification can be used to develop thermoplastic films from chicken feathers. Feathers are inexpensive, abundantly available and renewable resources but have limited applications mainly due to their non-thermoplasticity. However, it has been shown that chemical modifications such as grafting can make feathers thermoplastic. Etherification provides better thermoplasticity to biopolymers compared to chemical modifications such as acetylation. In this research, chicken feathers were etherified using acrylonitrile and various concentrations of catalyst. Even at low weight gain (3.6%), cyanoethylated feathers were thermoplastic and showed a melting peak at 167 °C. Films compression molded from the cyanoethylated feathers had strength ranging from 1.6 to 4.2 MPa and elongation ranging from 5.8 to 14% depending on the extent of cyanoethylation. Feathers modified by cyanoethylation had good thermoplasticity and could be useful to develop various thermoplastics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1706-1710
Number of pages5
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • Cyanoethylation
  • Feathers
  • Films
  • Mechanical properties
  • Thermoplastics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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