Chitosan, From Residue to Industry
Pp. 224-256 (33)
María B. Bonecco, María G. Martínez Sáenz and Lautaro M. Buffa
Industrial activity associated with processing of crustaceans generates large
quantities of waste. The main residue corresponds to its exoskeletons constituted
primarily of chitin. Through a modification on its structure, chitosan is derived, the
only polycationic polymer in nature. This work aims to review a wide variety of
aspects concerning chitosan. First it studies the chitosan properties: biodegradability,
biocompatibility and non-toxicity. Its high density of positive charges makes it a
versatile material, being able to be used in practically all the industrial fields.
Agriculture, biotechnology, food, wastewater treatment and medicine are the main
examples. Then it compares different chitin and chitosan obtaining methods being
mostly used chemical treatments. The biological methods are presented as an
alternative. Several techniques are necessary for chitosan´s characterization. Molecular
weight and deacetylation degree are the most important characteristics which define its
potential applications. This chapter analyzes different methods according to the
necessity of each situation. An examination on the regulatory status and the global
market of this biopolymer is made. A report in 2010 projected its market in 21.4
thousand tons by 2015, placing Japan as the biggest contributor. The main industries
are placed in Asia and US. In Latin America, there are plants in Brazil, Chile and
México. In Argentina, despite the crustaceans fishing industry continuously growing,
there is no industrial chitosan production. This review concludes with a description of
the work that is being carried out at the National Institute of Industrial Technology of
Argentina in this regard.
Antimicrobial, Biocompatibility, Biodegradability, Biopolymer,
Characterization, Chitin, Chitosan, Deacetylation degree, Fishing industry,
Market, Molecular weight, Non-toxicity, Obtaining process, Polycation,
Regulations, Shrimp, Waste.
National Institute of Industrial Technology, Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina.