Releasing the potential of feathers to foster circularity in agriculture

15 partners from 7 EU countries will work together to transform waste from the poultry industry into bio-based products for agricultural applications.

The UNLOCK project, funded by the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), aims at designing economically and environmentally sustainable innovative value chains to create a feather based bio-economy.


In the course for the four-years project, the feathers will be valorised through four different processes, from mechanical treatment to steam explosion, microbial fermentaion or chemical hydrolysis, depending on the type of end products desired. The bio-based products generated will be tailored to the needs of the agriculture sector, with the creation of seed trays, nonwoven geotextiles, mulch films and hydroponic foams. Futhermore, the keratin contained in those innovative materials will bring additional environmental benefits at the end of the product’s life: keratin-based materials are targeted to be zero waste and allow for controlled biodegradability, while also enriching soils with organic nitrogen. 

The UNLOCK project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement nº 101023306.

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