Spills of oil from drilling and transportation operations will continue to cause environmental degradation and economic losses.
Millions of tons (annually) of sustainable (U.S.A-available) resources can help reduce the impact of the environmental insult of uncontained oil. Poultry feathers are being incinerated or disposed into landfills instead of being used as a renewable resource. Feathers have been used in various applications, such as insulation or circuit boards.
Feathers, alone, can help contain oil spills by limiting the spread of the oil in water. The adsorbent quality of chicken feathers, and other poultry feathers, can contain oil, just as living birds collect oil and must be cleaned.
When poultry-feather pieces are coated with oil-eating bacteria, augmented with nutrients, that can improve the long-term environmental response. Specific bacteria can be developed depending on the type of oil being introduced into the environment. Of particular interest, is the introduction of the enhanced feathers into marshland environments, where normal cleanup procedures are not effective. Reduction of hazardous oil constituents will improve environmental response to oil contamination.
This approach will pay back investment by reducing disposal costs and improving environmental remediation of oil releases.