The Green Cutting Board  |   Comment  |   Recipes  |   Links  |   Contact

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Chicken feathers into dashboards

Following the cancellation of this years televised Victoria's Secrets Fashion show feather manufacturers (or make that suppliers) don't seem to despair over lack of demand for their feathery by-product.

Agricultural Research Service scientists working at ARS' Environmental Quality Laboratory in Beltsville, MD. have succeeded in converting chicken feathers into industrial fiber.

ARS research chemist Walter Schmidt and research polymer scientist Justin Barone discovered that feathers can be compounded with certain plastics used in car parts such as dashboards to strengthen them while reducing their weight. Schmidt and Barone also found that feather fiber can be combined with wood pulp to make filter paper, decorative paper and other products.

Processed chicken feather fiber, because of its super-fine size and shape, may be used for filtration. Wood pulp filters have a width of 10-20 microns, compared to 5 microns for filters made from feather fiber. That means filters made from feather fibers will have a finer mesh, resulting in smaller pores for trapping more minute airborne particles.

A large-scale facility, now in the design phase and will be built in either southwest Missouri or on Maryland's eastern shore. When complete, the plant will produce about five tons of feather fiber per hour.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

From Farmed Animal Watch

"With nearly 46 billion slaughtered in 2003, chickens accounted for 93% all types of farmed animals included in the FAO database. Following chickens, more ducks were slaughtered for their flesh than any other animal; approximately 2.3 billion ducks were slaughtered in 2003. Not considering birds, the slaughter of pigs was highest with more than 1.2 billion pigs slaughtered in 2003, followed by more than 850 million rabbits slaughtered last year..."Farmed Animal Watch_ n_68, v_2

Read Matt Evans slightly bemusing story about a chance meeting with a duck and, well it's not "Sex in the City" but the characters may seem familiar.
The Morning News - Natural Selection