Cryogenic pretreatment of keratinous waste for enhanced methane production

Elena Kuzmanova, Joseph C. Akunna, Nikolai Zhelev

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


    Significant amount of keratinous waste is generated every year, derived from various sources. The structure and complexity of a wool fibre as such, provides resistance and challenge for bacteria to degrade into compounds that can be metabolised. That is why cryogenic pretreatment was applied to improve the digestibility of four sheep breeds fibres. In addition to structural and molecular differences between the untreated, raw wool and treated samples, the effect of pretreatment on methane production for these raw fibres was investigated by anaerobic batch digestion at 37°C. As a response of cryogenic application, soluble protein content had increased in each pretreated sample in comparison with untreated samples, whereas the molecular structure of wool fibres remains intact. The degradation is additionally facilitated by structural changes in the morphological structure. Furthermore, treatment resulted in increased methane production for all treated wool fibres.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere14096
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2017
    EventWorld Biodiscovery Congress 2017 - The Sofia University, Sofia, Bulgaria
    Duration: 17 Jul 201719 Jul 2017


    • Cryogenic pretreatment
    • Wool
    • Methane production
    • Molecular structure
    • Morphology


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