Richard Wool has recently developed a circuit board made from soybeans and chicken feathers. A professor of chemical engineering who directs the Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources (ACRES) program at the University of Delaware, Dr. Wool seeks creative, locally-available substitutes for petroleum-based resources.
“With the demise of the oil business in about 25 years and the ever increasing utilization of electronic materials, it makes excellent green engineering sense to pursue new materials that are derived from renewable resources,” Wool said. “The biobased materials are derived from renewable plant and animal feedstock, which use carbon dioxide from the air and help minimize global warming, as compared to petroleum feedstock.”
A novel bio-based composite material developed from soybean oils and keratin feather fibers (KF), Feather Circuit Boards are suitable for electronic as well as automotive and aeronautical applications. Keratin fibers are a hollow, light, and tough material and are compatible with several soybean (S) resins, such as acrylated epoxidized soybean oil (AESO). Not only is the material lighter than that of conventional circuit boards, but electrons also move at twice the speed through the feather-based printed version as well. Moreover, these materials are both bountiful in Delaware.