The Use of Exoskeletons of Shrimp (Litopenaeus vanammei) and Crab (Ucides cordatus) for the Extraction of Chitosan and Production of Nanomembrane


Chitin is widely distributed in nature, being the main structural component of the exoskeleton of crustaceans and is non-toxic, biodegradable and biocompatible. These exoskeletons once discarded become an industrial waste creating environmental pollutant. In order to find an alternative use, the present work exploits the extraction of the chitosan from chitin that is present in the exoskeletons of shrimps Litopenaeus vannamei and crabs Ucides cordatus and transforms it into high valued products, which can help solving the environmental problem as well to provide extra income to the fishermen. One example is the manufacture of nanomembranes from chitosan for the application in medical textiles. Nanomembranes using electrospinning of chitosan solutions (7% and 5wt%) with 100:0 v/v (TFA/DCM) and 70:30 v/v (TFA/DCM) were produced. Morphological properties of chitin and chitosan were studied using SEM, DRX, and thermal properties through TG/DTG and molecular structure by FTIR analysis. TG/DTG showed thermal decomposition of chitosan samples. X-ray diffraction analysis indicated the semi-crystalline structure of chitosan, and highly crystalline structure for chitin. Morphologies of the nanomembranes were also observed from scanning electron micrographs. Results showed that the nanomembranes with 5% chitosan solutions with 70:30 v/v (TFA/DCM) showed facilitation in the formation of the nanomembranes. The nanomembranes of shrimp and crab with 5% 70:30 v/v (TFA/DCM) had higher breaking tension and breaking extension. With positive results obtained, the present work will help the authorities to organize the fishermen to have consciousness in the collection of exoskeleton waste as well as helping to have a better environment.

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S. Andrade, R. Ladchumananandasivam, B. Rocha, D. Belarmino and A. Galvão, "The Use of Exoskeletons of Shrimp (Litopenaeus vanammei) and Crab (Ucides cordatus) for the Extraction of Chitosan and Production of Nanomembrane," Materials Sciences and Applications, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2012, pp. 495-508. doi: 10.4236/msa.2012.37070.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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