Want you next camera made out of chicken feathers?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by RichA, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest


    Science & Environment

    31 March 2011 Last updated at 19:39 ET

    Chicken feathers suggested as basis for plastics
    Chickens feeding Estimates suggest that more than a billion kilos of
    feathers are produced each year in the US alone

    The millions of tonnes of chicken feathers discarded each year could
    be used in plastics, researchers say.

    A study reported at the American Chemical Society meeting in the US
    suggests feathers could lead to more environment-friendly, lighter

    The chemical recipe requires significantly less petroleum-derived

    However, tests on a grander scale will be necessary to establish the
    idea's industrial feasibility.

    Such "biowaste" materials have been proposed as components of plastic
    formulations before.

    Feathers, like hair and fingernails, are made up principally of the
    tough and chemically stable protein keratin, and can lend strength
    while reducing weight in the mixtures of plastics chemicals known as

    Researchers at the US agricultural authority have even published
    research into the possibility of incorporating chicken feathers into
    plastics, as an additive in composites that are made largely of a
    chemical polymer.

    But the work presented by Yiqi Yang, from the University of Nebraska,
    Lincoln, takes this idea further and uses the chicken feather fibres
    themselves as a principal ingredient - making up 50% of the mass of
    the composite.

    As a result, the plastics require less of the materials such as
    polyethylene and polypropylene that are derived from petroleum
    Continue reading the main story
    “Start Quote

    We should pursue things like these, try and use biomaterials -
    certainly if it's waste otherwise - and make something useful”

    End Quote Renko Akkerman Thermoplastic Composites Research Centre,
    University of Twente

    "[Prior] technology uses keratin as an 'additive' to polyethylene and
    polypropylene. Our work turns feathers into something like
    polyethylene and polypropylene," Professor Yang told BBC News.

    "If used as composite materials, no polyethylene or polypropylene are
    needed. Therefore [the plastics] will be more degradable and more

    Professor Yang's team processed chicken feathers and added a chemical
    known as methyl acrylate to turn them into a plastic, from which they
    made thin films.

    These films were tougher than comparable formulations using other
    biowaste materials, and Professor Yang said that a crucial advantage
    of the team's approach was that their plastics are much more resistant
    to water.

    Renko Akkerman, technical director of the Thermoplastic Composite
    Research Centre in the Netherlands, said that, depending on the
    application, feather-derived composites could be a strong addition to
    the palette of plastics.

    "Whenever you can use waste for a functional product, I'd say that's a
    good idea. So using biomaterials, whether it's for commodity products
    or even structural applications, that's worth pursuing," he told BBC

    However, he said that only by making larger amounts of the composite -
    and assessing the energy costs of production - could a full assessment
    of the idea be made.

    "For each material you can do things at a very minor scale, but making
    the transition to mass production is a large one and only then can you
    truly grade the performance in terms of economics, carbon footprint,
    and so on.

    "Despite all that we should pursue things like these, try and use
    biomaterials - certainly if it's waste otherwise - and make something
    RichA, Apr 1, 2011
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  2. What a slippery slope.

    Next they'll be making lenses out of sand or something! Or camera bodies
    leached out of rutile and ilmenite rich igneous rocks and sediments! The
    damn idiots. Oh where oh where will it all end?!

    A good thing we have hiley edjewmuhkayted folk like you here keeping us
    abreast of all this madness and lunacy!
    Outing Trolls is FUN!, Apr 1, 2011
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  3. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    Whatever you do, don't tell Rich Anderson ...


    Oh, you *are* Richard Anderson! :)
    Bruce, Apr 1, 2011
  4. How about camera bodies from metals leached out of emeralds!

    They would be nice and light, and, if chromium plated, not even
    dangerously toxic.

    Doug McDonald

    (P.S. the first Hasselblad in space WAS made of out emeralds, or similar ).
    Doug McDonald, Apr 1, 2011
  5. Look at the date of the post :)

    Sebnem Kurt Petre, Apr 1, 2011
  6. RichA

    Bruce Guest

    Bruce, Apr 1, 2011
  7. Doug McDonald, Apr 1, 2011
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