According to European Commission, 13.1 million tons of poultry meat was produced in the European Union (EU-28) in 2014 with an estimated generation of 3.1 million tons feather waste. At present the majority of poultry feathers are converted into low nutritional value animal food or disposed in landfills, causing environmental and health hazards.
In this context, the overall objective of KaRMA2020 is the industrial exploitation of such underutilized waste to obtain added value raw materials for the chemical sector: keratin, bioplastics, flame retardant coatings, non-woven and thermoset biobased resins.
This will be accomplished through either innovative and sustainable approaches (already patented by some of KaRMA2020 partners), or by conventional and economic techniques.
The obtained raw materials will be manufactured at industrial scale and further used for the production of novel bio-based products such as: slow release fertilizers, biodegradable food packaging plastics, flame retardant coated textiles and flame retardant thermoset biobased composites. The sustainability of the new raw materials and end-products will be evaluated through LCA assessment. Additionally, an integrated waste management plan will be elaborated to minimize environmental impacts generated by wastes.