Title: Microstructural characterisation of keratin fibres from chicken feathers

Authors: A.L. Martinez-Hernandez, C. Velasco-Santos, M. De Icaza, V.M. Castano

Addresses: Centro de Fisica Aplicada y Tecnologia Avanzada, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, A.P. 1-1010, Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro 76000, Mexico. ' Centro de Fisica Aplicada y Tecnologia Avanzada, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, A.P. 1-1010, Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro 76000, Mexico. ' Centro de Fisica Aplicada y Tecnologia Avanzada, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, A.P. 1-1010, Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro 76000, Mexico. ' Centro de Fisica Aplicada y Tecnologia Avanzada, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, A.P. 1-1010, Santiago de Queretaro, Queretaro 76000, Mexico

Abstract: Natural fibres have recently attracted scientists| attention because of their advantages from the environmental standpoint. However, almost all the research has been directed towards cellulose from vegetal sources without taking into account other potentially interesting compounds like keratin, which can be found in feathers, wool, nail or hair. In spite of its strength, low density and biodegradability, keratin has been studied only from the medical and textile point of view, whereas others aspects have not been highlighted. The object of this work is to give an exhaustive characterisation of one of the most abundant sources of keratin fibre, that is, of chicken feather. To accomplish this programme we have made spectroscopic analysis using both Fourier transform, infrared and Raman thermal analysis including differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis, and contact angle determinations. Finally optical, transmission and scanning electron microscopy have been realised to ensure a full characterisation.

Keywords: keratin fibre; chicken feathers; natural fibres; microstructural characterisation; microstructure; spectroscopic analysis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2005.006858

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2005 Vol.23 No.2, pp.162 - 178

Available online: 19 Apr 2005 *

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