Blood glue

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A water-resistant glue used in the early 20th century. Dried blood was obtained from cattle or hog slaughter houses then sold as a water-soluble dark red powder. It contains serum, Albumin, and globulin. The powder is dissolved in water, then activated by the addition of an alkali, such as Slaked lime, ashes, and/or Alum. This forms a dark color adhesive that dries to a water-resistant film. Blood glue has been used as plywood adhesive, as a paint for brickwork, and as an adhesive for filling joints between brick and building stones.

Synonyms and Related Terms

cola de albúmina (Esp.); colle à l'albumine (Fr.); blood cement; blood albumen glue; blood albumin glue;

Physical and Chemical Properties

Initially soluble in water (pH = 7.8).


  • Dried powder can develop a strong static charge.
  • Will produce dark, insoluble stains on cellulose.

Resources and Citations

  • J.Hubbard, "Animal Glues" in Handbook of Adhesives, I.Skeist (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1977, p.172-180.