That’s the goal for the University of Waikato who’s scientists are taking chicken feathers and turning them into fibres that, when added to plastic, could be strong enough to be used in the marine industry.
Every year New Zealand produces about 50,000 tons of chicken feathers and for University of Waikato scientist Dr Johan Verbeek that’s a business opportunity. He and his team are taking those feathers and turning them into a biodegradable fibre.
to turn the feathers into fibres they are added to a plastic compound that produces a stronger, more resilient product.
Dr Verbeek says
The ultimate goal for us is a making something like a glass fibre that can be used on boat hulls for example, the advantage is that chicken feathers are lighter than glass or carbon and save on weight and therefore energy.
The next phase of this research is to improve on the initial work by improving the aesthetics of the end product.