Synthesis and Characterization of Low Molecular Weight Chitosan

Xue Zheng, Yihui Yin, Wei Jiang, Liyan Xing, Junwen Pu

Abstract


Chitosan can be widely used in many areas owing to its unique properties, although its poor solubility in water is still a limiting factor. In the present study, low molecular weight chitosan (LMWC) was prepared by degradation with NaClO so that chitosan was able to dissolve in water. Chitosan to liquor ratio, NaClO content, temperature, and time were considered variables of NaClO degradation, and the Box-Behnken design was used to determine optimal conditions. There was good agreement between the experimental data and their predicted counterparts. The optimum conditions for chitosan degradation were estimated to be 1:67.91 of chitosan to liquor ratio, 22.03% of NaClO content, a temperature of 90.3 °C, and a time of 3.07 h. It was found that synthesis under these optimized conditions achieved the lowest molecular weight (10,937.4 Daltons). In addition, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffractograms, and thermogravimetric analysis showed that the structure of LMWC was similar to the original chitosan, while the crystallinity and thermal stability decreased after degradation.

Keywords


Chitosan; Low molecular weight; Sodium hypochlorite; Box-Behnken design

Full Text: PDF

Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126