Polymers, Plastics and Composite Materials from Agricultural Proteins


With a global aim to sustainability, using agricultural waste material as sources for otherwise newly manufactured material is at the forefront of emerging technologies. When transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) were linked to specific risk materials (SRM) from animal carcasses, necessary conditions were required to restructure the rendering process to safely handle SRMs. SRMs were banned from use in animal feed, pet food and fertilizers, which was a typical use prior to the emergence of TSEs related diseases (e.g. mad cow disease).

University of Alberta inventors developed a method for using animal by-products to prepare a protein based cross-linked polymer. During the process, conditions are
sufficient to destroy pathogens. The polymer can be used as an adhesive, or in preparation of a natural fiber composite material. The polymer can be further processed or blended to form thermoset plastics. The plastics can be biodegradable.


  • Converting low value animal waste into useful resources for circular economy
  • Minimizes waste to landfills and destructive contamination of agricultural land
  • Flexibility of chemical modifications in process allows to target specificity of end products

Protection Status

Issued Patents

Product Number

2011078, 2012046

Contact Information

Monica Varga
Technology Management Group
TEC Edmonton – University of Alberta
Phone: 780-492-5744
​Email: monica.varga@tecedmonton.com