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Chicken feathers based biocomposites: a new sustainable product?
Molins Durán, Gemma; Álvarez del Castillo, María Dolores; Garrido Soriano, Núria; Macanás de Benito, Jorge; Carrillo Navarrete, Fernando
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Escola d'Enginyeria de Terrassa (EET); Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament d'Enginyeria Química; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Departament de Màquines i Motors Tèrmics; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Institut d'Investigació Tèxtil i Cooperació Industrial de Terrassa; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. SUMMLab - Laboratori de Mesura i Modelització de la Sostenibilitat; Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. POLQUITEX - Materials Polimérics i Química Téxtil
Plastic composites are made of polymers and different reinforcements that originally were synthetic and non-biodegradable. Since 1990’s, many biodegradable composites, formed by a biodegradable matrix and natural fibers, have been proposed. In spite of the advantages of biocomposites, it is important to ponder the technical drawbacks of these natural fibers, mainly from a vegetable origin, and their environmental impacts (EIs). Vegetable fibers imply a land use that can compete with food production. Chicken feathers (CFs), made of keratin fibers, are a potential alternative as they are a waste material, produced in large quantities (800,000 ton/year in EU-27), do not compete with human food production and have been scarcely used up to now. Taking on board these premises, a biocomposite made of PLA and CFs was fabricated at lab-scale as new material. However, before using CFs as reinforcement, sanitizing pretreatments have been envisaged before, due to their quick decay. The EIs of these treatments were experimentally quantified and a cradle-to-gate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was performed to evaluate altogether the impacts of manufacturing a technical panel with different content of CFs (up to 35% v/v). As main results, the avoided burdens of the CF waste treatment and the energy consumption for the drying step must be optimized to achieve lower EIs for the preparation of CFs/PLA composites
Peer Reviewed
Àrees temàtiques de la UPC::Enginyeria biomèdica::Biomaterials
Composite materials
Chicken feathers
Waste recovering
Life Cycle Assessment
Materials compostos

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