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Industrial feather waste valorisation for sustainable keratin-based materials

Industrial processes are developed to valorise feather waste by sustainable transformations of keratin to new materials. Several thermomechanic and enzymatic methods are investigated in the project and tailored to give new raw materials and intermediates. End products include packaging, coatings, bioplastics and biocomposites

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Aim and goal

To utilize the value in the large amounts of largely neglected feather waste produced in the poultry industry


Feathers chiefly contains of keratin, which is a protein too valuable to be treated as waste. One of the challenges is to deal with the regulations that are applicable for the food industry and ensure a safe production without pathogens. Another is to tailor pretreatment methods for various intermediates and end products, and finally to develop a sustainable production of a range of competitive products that fulfil user requirements


The consortium has a very high competence in mechanical and chemical transformations and in the synthesis of new materials. This is complemented by assessments of the environmental and social impacts of the production and techno-economic assessments pointing out the road towards viable business models


Increased revenues for the poultry industry, possibly through an integration of further steps and processes in their business. The chemical industry gets access to a new renewable raw material, and ample opportunities are given for SME to find new markets. The society benefits from the utilization of a neglected material resource and a contribution to a change from fossil-based raw materials



Project name




RISE role in project

WP-leader, responsible for techno-economic and environmental assessments

Project start


3 years

Total budget

5,9 MEUR


CIDETEC, Grupo SADA, VTT, Centexbel, IBWCh, SIOEN, CNRS, Avantium, FKuR, Fertiberia, Vertech, Ciaotech, Daren labs, RISE Processum


European Commission (Horizon 2020)

Project website


Project members

Supports the UN sustainability goals

9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action