Synthesis of High Molecular Weight Chitosan from Chitin by Mechanochemistry and Aging
2019-01-30T16:25:21Z (GMT) by
Chitosan can be obtained from the deacetylation of chitin. This process is however difficult and usually accompanied by depolymerization, affording low molecular weight chitosan. We report a novel path, relying on a combination of mechanochemitry and aging, to afford high molecular weight chitosan with minimal use of energy and solvent. This method is versatile and applicable to a number of chitin sources, including crude crustaceans and insect shells, yielding deacetylation up to 98% and remarkably high molecular weights. Chitin deacetylation was measured by magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance and molecular weight by viscometry. This process affords chitosan in a safer fashion and with less materials and energy usage than the classic hydrothermal one.