2015 - 2017

Optimize and scale-up preparation of spent hen adhesive

Principal Investigator: Jianping Wu, University of Alberta
Co-investigator: Chanchan Wang, University of Alberta; Laura McIlveen, Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures; Hong Qi, Alberta Agriculture
Status: Completed


To optimize adhesive preparation from spent hen carcass and to further mature the technology at pilot-scale processing and application of spent hen adhesive.


Petroleum-based adhesives dominate the market due to their affordable cost and satisfactory performance.  However, concerns over emission of volatile organic compounds and limited reserves of petroleum have regained the interest of developing bio-based adhesives from renewable resources.  Historical adhesives were prepared from casein, animal blood and gelatin, however adhesives prepared from proteins are reported to have low bonding strength and poor water resistance.  Research advancement has made significant progress in improving the adhesive properties of protein-based adhesives. Spent hen proteins are considered an agricultural waste or by-product in Canada.  In addition to disposal costs, environmental concerns due to increased waste volume and concentration, make disposal of hens in landfill less acceptable.  Therefore identifying methods of spent hen utilization is critical to eliminate increasing environmental concerns associated with spent hen disposal, while yielding residual value to the poultry industry. Recent research shows adhesive prepared from spent hen myofibril proteins have shown dry, wet and soaked strength values that are comparable to the British Standard of wood adhesives for interior use and adhesives prepared from soyabean. In addition to myofibril proteins, spent hens contain high amounts of collagen and proteins from blood and bone.  To maximize use of proteins and eliminate the cost of separation, it would be beneficial to fully utilize these protein materials for adhesive preparation.  Therefore, research is necessary to determine if spent hen carcass as whole can be used for adhesive preparation. Commercialized adhesives are very well formulated to achieve the needs of various applications.  Although spent hen adhesive prepared from myofibril showed comparable adhesive performance with that of soy proteins, further research is needed to improve  adhesive performance and applicability, including homogeneity and stability.  This will be performed by the addition of various additives (e.g. ions, nanofillers and suspension agents). The goal of this project is to optimize adhesive preparation from spent hen carcass, improve spent hen adhesive property by formulation of various additives, scale-up process spent hen adhesive and test the applicability of adhesives in furniture and building products.


$120,000 ($60,000 CPRC, $60,000 Mitacs)

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