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[GreenYes] Apparently they can make plastic out of anything...who need oil? :)

OK - now I've heard everything!

>Oh, Chicken Feathers! How to Reduce Plastic Waste
>Andrea Thompson
>LiveScience Staff Writer
>Wed Apr 4, 9:20 AM ET
>Poultry farmers could soon be the source of much more
>than buffalo wings and omelets. Chickens byproducts
>could be used to make biodegradable plastics and cheap
>energy, two new studies find.
>Many types of animal waste and plants, including corn
>and soybeans, have been proposed as alternative
>sources of plastics and fuel, and demand for them is
>on the rise.
>So one researcher has turned to agricultural waste,
>such as poultry feathers and eggs that didn?t pass
>inspection, which are currently used in low-value
>animal feed or simply thrown away, to develop more
>environmentally friendly plastics.
>?Twelve percent of all plastic packaging ends up in
>landfills because only a fraction is recycled,? said
>Virginia Tech researcher Justin Barone, who is heading
>up the agricultural waste effort. ?Once in a landfill,
>it doesn?t biodegrade. The challenge is, how can we
>create a simpler plastic bag or a bottle that will
>Today, packaging adds 29 million tons of
>non-biodegradable plastic waste to landfills every
>year, according to the U.S. Environmental
>Protection Agency,
>Plastics from biomass (animal waste and plant
>materials), like some recently developed to dissolve
>in seawater, are made the same way as petroleum-based
>plastics, are actually cheaper to manufacture and meet
>or exceed most performance standards. But they lack
>the same water resistance or longevity as conventional
>plastics, said Barone, who presented his research at
>the March 29 American Chemical Society National
>Meeting in Chicago.
>Adding polymers created with keratin, a protein that
>makes hair, nails and feathers strong, may improve the
>strength and longevity of the plastics made from
>chicken feathers and eggs. Other modifications to the
>polymer, such as adding chicken fat as a lubricant,
>should help the polymer to be processed faster and
>smell better.
>Another scientist has developed a furnace system that
>converts poultry litter into a fuel that can be used
>to heat chicken houses.
>The fuel, made from poultry waste and rice hulls and
>wood shavings once used as chicken bedding, can be
>gathered from hen houses, stored on-site, and put into
>a heat-generating furnace, reducing farmers? energy
>costs by as much as 80 percent.
>While the fuel would reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
>it does produce an ash that could hurt sensitive
>watersheds if dumped there, said Tom Costello of the
>University of Arkansas, who led work to develop the

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