Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 2207–2218 | Cite as

Biopolymer (Chitin) from Various Marine Seashell Wastes: Isolation and Characterization

  • Ernestine Alabaraoye
  • Mathew Achilonu
  • Robert Hester
Original Paper


Chitin has been produced from different sea waste sources including, molluscs (mussel and oyster shell), crustacean (prawn and crab) and fish scale (pang and silver scales) using deproteinization and demineralization as chemical methods. The conditions of chemical extraction process determine the quality of chitin. The obtained results revealed that, about 1 and 10% HCl and NaOH were adequate concentrations for deproteinization and demineralization process respectively. Chitin from oyster and crab shell waste had the highest yield of 69.65 and 60.00% while prawn, mussel shell, pang and silver scales had the lowest yield of 40.89, 35.03, 35.07 and 31.11% respectively. Chitin solubility is controlled by the quantity of protonated acetyl groups within the polymeric chain of the chitin backbone, thus on the percentage of acetylated and non-acetylated d-glucos-acetamide unit. Good solubility results were obtained in mussel, oyster and crab shells respectively. The chitin molecular weight characteristics and activity are controlled by the degree of acetylation (DA) and the distribution of acetyl group extending in the polymer chain. DA is determined by acid-base titration methods and molecular weight determined by Brookfield viscometry. Both methods are found to be effective.


Marine sea shell wastes Chitin Isolation Characterization 


  1. 1.
    Rinaudo M (2006) Chitin and chitosan: properties and applications. Prog Polym Sci 31(7):603–632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rout SK (2001) Physicochemical, Functional, and Spectroscopic analysis of crawfish chitin and chitosan as affected by process modification. Dissertation 1–99Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kumar MN (2000) A review of chitin and chitosan applications. React Funct Polym, 46(1):1–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hsu CH, Jui lien H, Chen RH (2004) Wastewater treatment with chitosanGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Austin PR, Brine CJ, Castle JE, Zikakis JP (1981) Chitin: new facets of research, Science 212(4496):749–753CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Knorr D 1984. Use of chitinous polymers in food. Food Technol 38(1):85–97Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    No HK, Meyers SP 1989. Crawfish as a coagulant in recovery of organic compounds from sea food processing streams. J Agric Food Chem 37(3):580–583CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Capozza RC (1975) German Patent 2,505,305Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Yoon GL, Kim BT, Kim BO, Han SH (2003) Chemical–mechanical characteristics of crushed oyster-shell. Waste Manage 23(9):825–834CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Martino AD, Sittinger M, Risbud MV 2005. Chitossan: a versatile biopolymer for orthopaedic tissue-engineering. Biomaterials 26(30):5983–5990CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dhanaraj SA, Selvadurai M, Santhi K, Hui ALS, Wen CJ, Teng HC (2014) Targeted drug delivery system: formulation and evaluation of chitosan nanospheres containing doxorubicin hydrochloride. Int J Drug Deliv 6(2):186–193Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rinaudo M (2014) Materials based on chitin and chitosan. In: Kabasci S (ed) Bio-based plastics. Wiley, Chichester, pp 63–80Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Arbia W, Arbia L, Adour L, Amrane A (2013) Chitin extraction from crustacean shells using biological methods—A review. Food Technol Biotech 51(1):12–25Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gortari MC, Hours RA (2013) Biotechnological processes for chitin recovery out of crustacean waste: a mini-review. Electron J Biotechnol 16(3):14–14Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Younes I, Ghorbel-Bellaaj O, Nasri R, Chaabouni M, Rinaudo M, Nasri M (2012) Chitin and chitosan preparation from shrimp shells using optimized enzymatic deproteinization. Process Biochem 47(12):2032–2039CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kaur S, Dhillon GS 2015. Recent trends in biological extraction of chitin from marine shell wastes: a review. Crit Rev Biotechnol 35(1):44–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ghorbel-Bellaaj O, Younes I, Maalej H, Hajji S, Nasri M (2012) Chitin extraction from shrimp shell waste using Bacillus bacteria. Int J Biol Macromol 51(5):1196–1201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hajji S, Younes I, Ghorbel-Bellaaj O, Hajji R, Rinaudo M, Nasri M, Jellouli K (2014) Structural differences between chitin and chitosan extracted from three different marine sources. Int J Biol Macromol 65:298–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Blair HS, Guthrie J, Law TK, Turkington P (1987) Chitosan and modified chitosan membranes. Preparation and characterization. J Appl Polym Sci 33(2):641–656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tomihata K, Ikada Y (1997) In vitro and in vivo degradation of films of chitin and its deacetylated derivatives. Biomaterials 18(7):567–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Abdulkarim A, Isa AMT, Abdulsalam S, Muhammad AJ, Ameh AO (2013) Extraction and Characterization of Chitin and Chitosan from Mussel shell, Civil Environ Res 3(2):108–114Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Domard A, Rinaudo M (1983) Preparation and characterization of fully deacetylated chitosan. Int J Biol Macromol 5(1):49–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Brine CJ, Austin PR (1981) Chitin variability with species and method of preparation. Comp Biochem Physiol B69:283–286Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wang W, Bo SQ, Li SQ, Qin W (1991) Determination of the Mark-Houwink equation for chitosans with different degrees of deacetylation. Int J Biol Macromol 13(5):281–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Terbojevidh M, Cosani A (1997) Molecular weight determination of chitin and chitosan. In: Muzzarelli R. A. A., Peter MG (eds) Chitin handbook. European Chitin Society, pp 87–101Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    No HK, Hur EY (1998) Control of foam formation by antifoam during demineralization of crustacean shell in preparation of chitin. J Agric Food Chem 46(9):3844–3846CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Percot A, Viton C, Domard A (2003) Characterization of Shrimp shell deproteinization. Biomacromolecules 4(5):1380–1385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Moorjani MN, Achutha V, Khasim DL (1975) Parameters affecting the viscosity of chitosan from prawns waste. J Food Sci Technol 12:187–189Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Abdou ES, Nagy KS, Elsabee MZ (2008) Extraction and charscterization of chitin and chitosan from local sources. Bioresour Technol 99(5):1359–1367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kifune K, Inome K, Mori S (1990) Chitin fibers and process for the production of the same, US patent 4,932,404Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Urbariczyk GB, Lipp-Symonowicz B, Jeziorny A, Doran K, Wrzosek K, Urbaniak-Domagala H, Kowalska WS (1997) Progress on chemistry and application of chitin and its derivatives. Biomaterials 3:186–187Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Maghami GG, Roberts GA (1988) Studies on the adsorption of anionic dyes on chitosan. Macromol Chem 189(10):2239–2243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Brine CJ, Austin PR (1975) Renatured chitin fibrils, film and filamnets. In Marine chemistry in coastal environment, church, T.D., Ed.; ACS symposium series 18; American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, pp 505–518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Austin PR (1975) Solvent for and purification of chitin. US patent 3,892,731; and Austin, P.R, 1975 Purification of chitin, US patent 3,879,377Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Kifune K, Inome K, Mori S (1984) Process for the production of chitin fibers, US patent 4,431,601Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Tokura S, Seo H (1984) Manufacture of chitosan fiber and film. Japanese patent 59116418Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Unitika Co. Ltd. Chitin powder and its production. Japanese Patent, p 57139101Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Bough WA, Salter WL, Wu ACM, Perkins BE 1978. Influence of manufacturing variables on the characteristics and effectiveness of chitosan products. I. Chemical composition, viscosity, and molecular-weight distribution of chitosan products. Biotech Bioeng 20(12):1931–1943CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Fernandez-Kim BS (2004) The molecular weight of native chitin usually larger than one million Daltons, pp 1–99Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Li Q, Dunn ET, Grandmaison EW, Goosen MF 1992. Application and properties of chitosan. Bioactive Compatible Polym 7(4):370–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Islam S, Bhuiyan MR, Islam MN (2017) Chitin and chitosan: structure, properties and applications in biomedical engineering., J Polym Environ 25(3):854–866CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Younes I, Rinaudo M (2015) Chitin and chitosan preparation from marine sources. structure, properties and applications. Mar Drugs 13(3):1133–1174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Varum KM, Myhr MM, Hjerde RJ, SmidsrodIn O (1997) vitro degradation rates of partially N-acetylated chitosans in human serum. Carbohydr Res 299(1–2):99–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Sathirakul K, How NC, Stevens WF, Chandrkrachang S (1995) Application of chitin and chitosan bandages for wound healing. First International Conference of the European Chitin Society, Advances in Chitin Science. Brest, pp 490–492Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Hidaka Y, Ito M, Mori K, Yagasaki H, Kafrawy AH (1999). Histopathological and immunohistochemical studies of membranes of deacetylated chitin derivatives implanted over rat calvaria. J Biomed Mater Res 46(3):418–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    George AFR (1992) Solubility and solution behaviour of Chitin and Chitosan. Chitin Chemistry, pp 274–329Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Nielsen National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (1998) Chemical Contaminants in Oysters and Mussels” by Tom O’Connor. NOAA’s State of the Coast Report. NOAA, Silver Spring, MDGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    ̧Aygul K, Mehmet C, Yasemen Y, Beyza E, Mustafa C (2006) Proximate composition and mineral contents of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) breast meat, claw meat and hepatopancreas. Inter J Food Sci Technol 41(9):1023–1026CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Ruth HR,.Aslak E, Kjell MV (2008) A seasonal study of the chemical composition and chitin quality of shrimp shells obtained from northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis). Carbohydr Polym 71(3):388–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Nakano T, Ikawa NI, Ozimek L (2003) Chemical composition of chicken egg shell and shell membranes. Poult Sci 82:510–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Ferrer J, Paez G, Marmol Z, Ramones E, Garcia H, Forster CF (1996) Acid hydrolysis of shrimp-shell wastes and the production of single cell protein from the hydrolysate. Bioresour Technol 57(1):55–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Gildberg A, Stenberg E (2001) A new process for advanced utilisation of shrimp waste. Process Biochem 36:(8–9):809–812CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernestine Alabaraoye
    • 1
  • Mathew Achilonu
    • 1
  • Robert Hester
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Health and Environmental SciencesCentral University of TechnologyBloemfonteinSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations