Table of Contents
Journal of Waste Management
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 928618, 9 pages
Research Article

Metabolism of Chicken Feathers and Concomitant Electricity Generation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa by Employing Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC)

1School of Biotechnology, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, India
2Department of Microbiology, Central University of Rajasthan, NH-8, Bandarsindri, Kishangarh, Ajmer Rajasthan 305801, India

Received 17 September 2013; Accepted 10 December 2013; Published 9 January 2014

Academic Editor: Dimitris P. Makris

Copyright © 2014 Venkatesh Chaturvedi and Pradeep Verma. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Keratinolytic potential of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain SDS3 has been evaluated for the metabolism of chicken feathers. Results indicated that strain SDS3 showed complete metabolism of 0.1 and 0.5% (w/v) chicken feathers in minimal medium. Feathers were metabolized up to 80% at 1% (w/v) concentration. Maximum soluble protein ( μg/mL) and keratinase (  U/mL) were observed in the presence of 1% chicken feathers after five days of incubation. The effect of carbon and nitrogen sources showed that feather degradation was stimulated by complex carbon/nitrogen sources such as starch, malt extract, tryptone, and beef extract and was inhibited by simple carbon and nitrogen sources. Electricity production by employing chicken feathers as a substrate in microbial fuel cell (MFC) was evaluated. It was observed that maximum voltage corresponding to 141 mV was observed after 14 days of incubation. Maximum power density of 1206.78 mW/m2 and maximum current density of 8.6 mA/m2 were observed. The results clearly indicate that chicken feathers can be successfully employed as a cheap substrate for electricity production in MFC. This is the first report showing employment of chicken feathers as substrate in MFC.