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Biodegradation of Ryeland and Shetland wool by Bacillus subtilis W3 and Streptomyces albidoflavus were investigated. The effect of treating raw wool with Rhamnolipid was also studied. It is shown that the wool surface morphology is improved with effective displacement of surface contaminants revealing a smooth outer cuticle layer after just 2 days. These results have important practical implications for the establishment of a quick and easy biodegradable process for wool scouring finishing in textile industry or for the pre-treatment of keratinous waste materials before degradation by bacteria or fungi. This methodology provides an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional chemical pre-treatments.
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