Canadian Poultry Magazine

From waste to power: chicken feathers offer clean energy solution

By Brett Ruffell   

News Energy Week Research

Scientists uncover sustainable breakthrough: fuel cells made from chicken feathers.

From left to right: Professor Ali Miserez from NTU’s School of Material Science and Engineering and School of Biological Sciences and NTU PhD student Mr Soon Wei Long are part of a joint research team who found a way to convert chicken feathers into a clean and sustainable material to build zero-waste fuel cells.

Researchers from NTU and ETH Zurich have discovered a sustainable way to create fuel cells using chicken feathers.

By extracting keratin from the feathers and processing it into ultra-fine fibres, the team created a thin membrane capable of conducting protons.

This feather-based membrane was tested in a commercial fuel cell setup and successfully powered an LED lamp, small fan, and toy car.


Unlike conventional fuel cells that use toxic chemicals, the keratin-based membrane is environmentally friendly and produced in a green process that doesn’t emit carbon.

Additionally, the abundance of industrial chicken feather waste makes this membrane up to three times cheaper to produce than conventional ones.

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