Bio-based nanocomposites from poultry feather keratin

  • Author / Creator
    Kaur, Manpreet
  • Chicken feathers are byproduct of poultry industries and except some minor low end application, they are generally dumped into landfills. An effort has been made to utilize this by-product by transforming them into nano-reinforced bioplastics which is not only a solution to feather waste disposal but also an attractive option to develop high performance nano-structured biomaterials from renewable and sustainable bioresource. To obtain bionanomaterials from these feathers, in-situ nanodispersions and modifications of feathers were carried out to obtain bionanocomposite (BNC) powders suitable for processing by compression molding technique. The obtained BNC powders were then simultaneously plasticized, cross-linked and processing conditions were optimized for film formation. Nano-fillers such as layered silicates and cellulose nanocrystals were used as nano-reinforcements for enhancing the material properties of the obtained films. The obtained bio-nanocomposite films were characterized by various analytical techniques. The thermal properties were analyzed by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). The thermomechanical properties of the samples were also investigated by Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA) over a temperature range of -50 °C to 150 °C. The glass transition temperatures for CNC reinforcements were found to be higher (225 to 242 ºC) than MMT (199 to 221 ºC) reinforcement. Slight increase in glass transition temperatures has been observed with increase in MMT content from 1% to 5% while bio-nanocomposites with 1% and 10% CNC content showed improvements in glass transition temperatures. Structural analysis was carried out by wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The arrangement of MMT in the bio-nanocomposite matrix ranged from intercalated to exfoliated at low content of the MMT (1% and 3%). However WAXD and TEM analysis displayed aggregations at higher concentration (10%) of both MMT and CNC nanoparticles. The mechanical properties of biomaterials were investigated by Universal Testing Machine (autograph AGS-X Shimadzu, Canada) instrument. The two nanoparticles had different effect on tensile strength and elongation at break of the nanocomposites. MMT enhanced the tensile strength while CNCs incorporated samples showed higher percent elongation. The preliminary investigations on biodegradability of these biomaterials were also carried out using soil burial tests. The onset of degradation was found to be soil moisture dependent with ~ 25-30% weight loss within 10 days.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.