ZERBRECHLICH – Diplomarbeit von Ulrike Boettcher

About the PROJECT (english)

EIERSCHALe is a project which is based on the idea of reusing eggshells. Today’s need of new materials is becoming stronger every day. In the same time it is important to find ways to develop ecological intelligent products which can reduce the total amount of waste. Eggshell so ever is a waste product common all over the world and a basically unused raw material. Almost 219 eggs are consumed by every  german citizen each year which makes it a total of 17 billion eggs produced only in Germany. A huge amount of albumen and yolk is also necessary to producing all kinds of products like cake mix, noodles or fast food. However the eggshell is left basically valueless and was nominated as waste number 15 on the EPA list of food industry pollution problems. Even so a part of the remained eggshells is feed to the hens to achieve that their calcium demand is high enough to produce new eggs, the main part is composted. Companies are paying up to $100,000 a year to dispose eggshells in landfills. On top of that, many landfill owners do not want eggshells because the protein-rich membrane which adheres to the shell attracts rats and other vermin. In fact it appears very irritating finding out that the shells are a valuable commodity which could be worth to pay for. They are rich in calcium and can fortify foods from animal feed to orange juice; finely ground, the shells could be used as a substitute for pulp in paper. Even more valuable, however, is the thin membrane that makes them such a nuisance to dispose of: It’s made up primarily of collagen. The biomedical uses for raw collagen are manifold: It’s used in the production of skin grafts, tissue replacement products, plastic surgery, angioplasty sleeves and cornea repair. Depending on all this facts there are plenty of reasons to find ways to recycle this unique renewable resource.

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