The Life+GreenWoolF project proposes a green way to transform keratin waste into organic fertilizers close to the farm were they are produced. The hydrolysis of raw wool can be modulated as a function of time and temperature treatment, using superheated water only in order to tailor the release of fertilizers and their absorption from grasslands. Studies carried out by our research team in the past few years, deeply investigated materials obtained from hydrolysis and extraction of protein material from wool with superheated water.
Life+GreenWoolF project proposal will practically demonstrate the effectiveness of the green hydrolysis of waste wool with superheated water for the environmentally free conversion of a critical waste into a high value commodity, which can benefit grassland instead of contaminating pastures.
The proposed approach for green hydrolysis of wool wastes is a complementary step towards the establishment of environmental friendly and less expensive technology for treatment of wastes from sheep farming and butchery. As GreenWoolF would be the imaginary “environmentalist wolf” which only eat sheep’s wool which is disposed of, the project proposal is aimed to demonstrate the effectiveness of a green process to convert wool wastes into high value fertilizer, which could be of great help to farms throwing away wool-based materials. The process is designed to be cheap and chemical free, since neither alkalis or acids nor toxic sulphides or expensive enzymes are used.
The project proposal envisages an intense dissemination plan, firstly addressed to Local and Central Public Administrations, Farmer’s Organizations, other wool stakeholders and consumers. The model developed for Piedmont will be proposed for other EU regions where sheep breeding and the related production of coarse wools, unsuitable for textile application, represent an economic and environmental problem.