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Physical and Morphological Structure of Chicken Feathers (Keratin Biofiber) in Natural, Chemically and Thermally Modified Forms

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DOI: 10.4236/msa.2012.312129    5,050 Downloads   9,241 Views   Citations


Because of the constant challenge to preserve the environment and the search for new materials, a comparative study was carried out using keratin fiber, a fibrous protein, found in the chicken feathers. Five different samples of the feather were analyzed by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffractometer (XRD). First in their natural form Keratin Fiber (KF); the second treated with sodium hydroxide (KFNaOH); the third and fourth samples were semi carbonized at 220℃ in an oven without atmospheric control for 24 hours (samples obtained: Clear brown (SCFC) and Dark brown (SCFD)); and the fifth sample was carbonized by pyrolysis Carbonized Feathers (CF). The SEM result shows that the KF has a hollow structure, with knots and hooks. The KFNaOH structure presented rougher than that of the KF, but lost their hooks. The SCFC and SCFD presented brittle structures, but preserved the hollow structure of KF; however, it was only noticeable to a magnification of 3000 times. On the other hand, the CF, was shiny, black, and showed a higher amount of porosity with open micro-pores and micro-tubes, preserved the hollow structure of KF than any other samples studied, and also presented well-defined closed micro-tubes. From the XRD analysis of the KF, CF, KFNaOH, SCFC and SCFD, presented semi-crystalline structures, with the following indices of crystallinity, 20.09%, 18.93%, 17.97%, 15.02% and 14.31%, respectively. The CF presented smaller size crystallites, in between the micro- particulates, around 27 nm and the KFNaOH with larger size around 74 nm. From this study it was concluded that micro-porous carbon material from chicken feathers (KF) could be efficiently obtained through pyrolysis.

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D. Belarmino, R. Ladchumananandasivam, L. Belarmino, J. Pimentel, B. da Rocha, A. Galvão and S. de Andrade, "Physical and Morphological Structure of Chicken Feathers (Keratin Biofiber) in Natural, Chemically and Thermally Modified Forms," Materials Sciences and Applications, Vol. 3 No. 12, 2012, pp. 887-893. doi: 10.4236/msa.2012.312129.


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