three possible applications
1.4 trillion poultry eggs are produced annually, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This corresponds to about 1.5 million tons of egg membrane. In the industrial context, the eggshells and membranes are used for cement production, but only the calcium carbonate (lime) of the eggshell is utilised. The glycoprotein egg membranes simply burn away. In order to save the valuable membranes, I developed a procedure to separate them from the shells. In the following I illustrate the potential of this material with three possible applications.
The egg membrane encloses the egg white and protects it from microorganisms. We owe the long durability of eggs to the membrane. Its reuse as food packaging is therefore more than conclusive. With the help of sodium hydroxide, the protein chains can be dissolved and sprayed onto e.g. vegetables directly.
The dried membrane not only has an interesting material property for packaging, it also has a special aesthetic. If one covers a surface with it in the wet state, the membranes adhere to each other after they dry and create a kind of non-woven textile – a textile with a very special symbolism – especially striking for a wedding dress.
By compression moulding the egg membrane without any adhesive agents, the proteins link to a compostable bioplastic – a translucent material that is an alternative to fossil-based plastics.
Manifest by Fabian Hütter