Microbial Biodegradation of Polymeric Materials Prepared from Chicken Feathers
Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory
Project Number: 8042-21660-004-12
Specific Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 15, 2011
End Date: Aug 31, 2015
Characterize the amounts and rate of compostability and biodegradation of poultry feather keratin-based polymer composite formulations in soils, potting soils, composts, and composting processes using ASTM 6400, ASTM 5338, ASTM D790 protocols and particle-size reduction along with spectroscopy/microscopy protocols developed by ARS for this project; determine the short and long-term growth response of selected horticultural plants grown in biodegradable pots; and provide USDA with data generated from controlled environment and field studies, including at least quarterly, a status report and completed milestones.
Determine the biodegradation of the subject keratin-based thermoplastic formulations under natural soil, soil with compost amendment, and during thermophilic and backyard composting conditions over short (1-3 months) and long (6-12 month) periods using ASTM 6400, ASTM 5338, ASTM D790, particle size reduction, and advanced microscopy and Raman spectroscopy; determine the short and long-term growth response of selected horticultural plants grown in biodegradable pots; the biopolymeric items to be tested will be provided by the Horticultural Research Institute, Washington, D.C.