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Polymers 2018, 10(9), 993;

Extraction of Keratin from Rabbit Hair by a Deep Eutectic Solvent and Its Characterization

National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, Soochow University, 199 Renai Road, Suzhou 215123, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Protein Biopolymer)
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Keratin from a variety of sources is one of the most abundant biopolymers. In livestock and textile industries, a large amount of rabbit hair waste is produced every year, and therefore it is of great significance to extract keratin from waste rabbit hair in terms of the treatment and utilization of wastes. In this study, a novel, eco-friendly and benign choline chloride/oxalic acid deep eutectic solvent at a molar ratio of 1:2 was applied to dissolve waste rabbit hair, and after dissolution keratin was separated by dialysis, filtration, and freeze-drying. The dissolution temperature effect was discussed, and the resulting keratin powder was characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, protein electrophoresis, thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry, and amino acid analysis. During the dissolution process, the α-helix structure of rabbit hair was deconstructed, and the disulfide bond linkages were broken. The solubility of rabbit hair was significantly enhanced by increasing dissolution temperature, and reached 88% at 120 °C. The keratin produced by dissolving at 120 °C displayed flaky powders after freeze-drying, and had a molecular weight ranging from 3.8 to 5.8 kDa with a high proportion of serine, glutamic acid, cysteine, leucine, and arginine. Such features of molecular weight and amino acid distribution provide more choices for the diverse applications of keratin materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: keratin; rabbit hair; deep eutectic solvent; dissolution; extraction; biopolymers keratin; rabbit hair; deep eutectic solvent; dissolution; extraction; biopolymers

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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Wang, D.; Yang, X.-H.; Tang, R.-C.; Yao, F. Extraction of Keratin from Rabbit Hair by a Deep Eutectic Solvent and Its Characterization. Polymers 2018, 10, 993.

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