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Synthesis of High Molecular Weight Chitosan from Chitin by Mechanochemistry and Aging

revised on 30.01.2019, 02:19 and posted on 30.01.2019, 16:25 by Thomas Di Nardo, Caroline Hadad, Albert Nguyen Van Nhien, Audrey Moores
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.


Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant & Discovery Accelerator programs, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Canada Research Chairs (CRC), the Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Nature et Technologies (FRQNT) Equipe program, the Centre for Green Chemistry and Catalysis (CGCC), McGill University


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McGill University



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

There is no conflict of interest associated with this research

Version Notes

In this version, we added energy comparison between our method and solvothermal ones. We also changed the presentation of the MW discussion to focus on viscosity parameters instead