A termite resistant building board made from a composite of chicken feathers and compressed cement. This is the dream of Dr. Menandro N. Acda from the Dept. of Forest Products and Paper Science, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Banos.
Professor Acda is quoted as saying his composite boards, which he hopes to have perfected by the end of the year, would be "resistant to insect infestation such as termites because the feathers are inedible," as well as suggesting they'd be less flammable and combustible when compared to conventional cement and wood-fibre composite boards.Seems like he has plenty of raw material to work with given that the Philippines poultry industry is said to dump 2.4 million tonnes of feathers annually, mostly through burning and burial. It will, he suggests also reduce the volume of waste feathers being converted to animal feed, which might otherwise be a contributor to bird flu.
Apparently the feathers when used as wood chip replacement create a board suitable for "for paneling, ceilings and as insulation but not for weight-bearing building components like walls or pillars."
The research has been funded by which is funded by the Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants programme, hence the above pic of Ford Motor Company Philippines President Rick Baker, from the APF article.