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Recycling Waste Wool a Step Closer

Recycling Waste Wool a Step Closer

From the shearing shed to catwalk, world stockpiles of waste wool are suddenly in fashion with Flinders scientists who have found a way to give them high value.

University researchers have developed clean technology to dissolve waste wool and unwanted woollen products to produce a high-value protein called keratin and other byproducts with varied potential applications.

Well known on packaging of popular hair products, the scientists have worked out how to distil keratin from wool using a non-toxic, biodegradable chemical process to 'dissolve' the wool fibres with an eye on potential end uses in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and even animal feed markets.

The South Australia Premier's Professorial Research Fellow in Clean Technology at Flinders, Professor Colin Raston, says the discovery is an outstanding example of reducing waste in a safe way to make use of – and create value – from an existing resource.

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