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Green and Sustainable Water Purification Alternative for Poultry Industry

2021 CPRF,Nutrition
Water is one of the most precious resources on the planet earth and is a life source for all living organisms. Water makes up 55 to 75% of a chicken’s body, about 65% of an egg and a compulsory medium for many chemical reactions within the bird’s body. Therefore, water with adequate physical, chemical, and microbiological quality is of paramount importance in the poultry industry. Majority of poultry farms use either surface, well or dugout water which depending upon the source has a variety of different contaminants including pathogenic microorganisms, heavy metals, organics, and salts. Presently, multiple treatments are used by poultry industry to maintain water quality including chemical treatment, disinfection by chlorination and in some cases reverse osmosis (RO). The RO is very expensive process and chemical treatments selectively reduce some contaminants but may also increase other contaminants as byproduct of the process. In this study, we use an innovative approach to treat drinking water for poultry birds using biopolymers as a sorbent material derived from chemically altered keratin proteins. These modified/engineered biopolymers can act as effective sorbents for toxic metals present in wastewater. Poultry feathers, an abundant waste material and a source of keratin proteins (above 90%) was transformed into adsorbent by dissolution and in-situ dispersion of graphene oxide. The results show that proper tuning of functionalities, the modified keratin biopolymers can be highly effective for sorption of trace metals. The high sorption capacity and simplicity of the modifications suggested a great potential for an industrial scale viability of the process. Our current research focus is to further understand application of these adsorbents for treating larger volumes of water.
Tags :
poultry byproducts,water purification
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PhD Candidate

University of Alberta

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