Brett Barton, Dixie State University
Dissolution using ionic liquids has been shown to be an efficient analytical method of dissolving keratin fibers. Using wool and hoof material from livestock, chloride-based ionic liquids were used to break down the hydrogen bonds important for keratin structure, making the extraction of constituent material much easier. Efficient methods of extraction allow for small samples to be analyzed while still providing high yields; efficient dissolution of keratin in a small sample size will be utilized to prevent any harmful effects on the animals. Ionic liquids are nondestructive solvents which allow for the safe extraction of organic substances. Denaturing keratin would help in the process of identifying any constituent radioactive materials. Efficient identification of radioactive material in livestock is crucial for maintaining health and quality of life.