Valorization of Poultry Feather Protein Residues Using Subcritical Water Hydrolysis

Author: Donna Murillo

Advisor: Michael Timko

Category: Undergraduate

This experiment analyzed the effect of subcritical water hydrolysis on natural poultry feathers for the isolation of high-value amino acids. Subcritical water hydrolysis is the process by which water in the range of 100 – 374 C converts and breaks down biomass into micromolecules. Often this process can result in the production of high-value products from poultry feathers. Poultry feathers are approximately 90 percent protein, which suggests that poultry feathers can be used to produce valuable amino acids. A non-toxic, economically viable, and environmentally favorable way to break down these poultry feathers is by subcritical water hydrolysis. In particular, this experiment focused on the effect of temperature on the hydrolysate. The hydrolysis machine was operated at three different temperatures (210, 230, and 250 C) at a constant flow rate of 10 mL / min. Differences between the hydrolysates were defined by performing Total Nitrogen, Chemical Oxygen Demand, and Nelson-Somogyi method testing. Initial hydrolysate analysis testing suggests that a low operating temperature and an operating time below 10 minutes may assist in getting optimum protein levels. No amino acid testing was conducted. All amino acid related results will be available at a later date.

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