Egg Shells Hatch into Sophisticated Uses24 April 2012
UK - A university research project in the UK is looking at useful ways to recycle egg shells, with the potential of saving millions of dollars a year from an item that is usually disposed of in landfills. The projected uses of recycled egg shells include applications in biomedicine and the creation of sustainable packaging.
Scientists at the University of Leicester, specialising in "green chemistry" and sustainable materials, are looking at how to extract the glycosaminoglycan proteins (GAGS) found in egg shells. GAGS are used in numerous biomedical applications and could prove useful in the pharmaceutical industry.
They are also hoping to identify ways to use the egg shells as fillers to bulk up different types of plastics, with all sorts of applications from ready-meal food trays to shop fittings.
“Egg shell is currently classified as a waste material by the food industry but is in fact a highly sophisticated composite,” says Richard Worrall of Food and Drink iNet, the East Midlands-based enterprise funding organisation that is sponsoring the research.
“The scientists at the University of Leicester have identified a number of uses for egg shell waste that could have potential benefits on many levels, both for food manufacturers and a much wider industry.”