Hungry Filipino termites may have to look elsewhere if inventor finds partner to develop inedible composite panels

A Filipino scientist has invented a termite-resistant construction panel made from chicken feathers.

Professor Menandro Acda said the composite panels of feathers and cement could replace wood-fibre boards, which are susceptible to attack from insects in the region.

The future of construction?

Acda, from the University of the Philippines Los Baños in Manila, said the panels could be used for non-load bearing panelling, ceilings and insulation and were less flammable than traditional panels.

He told AFP that recycling the feathers would also benefit the environment. The Philippines poultry industry annually produces 2.1m tonnes of feathers, which are either incinerated or end up in landfill where they take a long time to decay because of the keratin protein in feathers.

Acda, who is funded by Ford’s Conservation and Environmental Grants programme, told AFP that he would be looking for a food company to produce the panel when he finishes his research later this year.