Future Perspectives

Decomposition methods of keratinic waste like incineration or chemical treatments (Onifade et al. 1998) are rather expensive or environment-polluting. In contrast, Present day biotechnology offered an environmentally sound two stage fermentation system for conversion of keratinic waste into a useful product, biohydrogen (Balint et al. 2005). A keratin-degrading Bacillus strain (Perei et al. 2000) was used to obtain fermentation product which was rich in amino acids and peptides and subsequently used as major nutrient source for an anaerobic hyperthermophilic archaeon, Thermococcus litoralis, which produced hydrogen gas as a physiological byproduct. Besides T. litoralis, E. coli and Caldicellusiruptor saccharolyticus capable of producing hydrogen were also examined but neither of them could utilize the keratin hydrolysate for biohydrogen production (Balint 2006) . The application of keratinase as a detergent additive has also been suggested (Gupta and Ramnani 2006). Another field of interest is the application ofkeratinolytic enzymes in woolen textile industries for shrink proofing and to improve wool dyeing (Sousa et al. 2007). The scientists are also of opinion that the liquid nutrient residues from feather composting could be used for aquaculture and hydroponic crops (Ichida et al. 2001) . A new process for extracting fat from chicken feather meal using boiling water and processing it in to biodiesel has been described. The removal of fat from feather meal results in both high grade animal feed and better nitrogen source for fertilizer application (Kondamudi et al. 2009).

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