Postgraduate Seminar Presentation : Green Reagents for Crustacean Shell Waste Fractionation: Urea and Lactic acid/Acetic acid

Speaker Gokalp Gozaydin (Supervisor: A/P Yan Ning)

Host Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Date/Time 23 Nov - 23 Nov, 3.00pm

Venue E5-02-32 , Faculty of Engineering, National University of Singapore


In fishery industry, an enormous quantity of crustacean shell wastes, 6-8 million tonnes per year globally, has been generated and most of them are dumped into landfill.  In general, crustacean shells compose of calcium carbonate (20-50%), protein (20-40%) and chitin (15-40%), which is the second most abundant biopolymer subsequent to cellulose on Earth. In this manner, a fractionation of seafood shells has a prominent role to obtain a valuable chitin prior to further upgrading into nitrogen-containing chemicals and biopolymers within the context of ‘Shell Biorefinery’ concept. Herein, the opportunity of shrimp shell waste fractionation, deproteinization and demineralization, to minimise the underutilization of the chitin-based waste valorization by green solvents was demonstrated. While the removal of protein using with urea solution was performed, bio-based chemicals including lactic acid and acetic acid were introduced to acquire value-added by products like calcium lactate and calcium acetate during the subsequent demineralization process. The purity of chitin product was confirmed via various characterisation techniques. This economically and ecologically feasible approach could be a beneficial option to expand the market of nitrogen-containing chemicals and materials from waste shells.