Waste Shells to Chemicals and Materials

Singapore is reputed for tasty seafood such as chili crab. 60% of a crab’s weight, belonging to the shell, is typically left as waste. About 1.5 million tons of such waste is generated annually in Southeast Asia region, most of which is dumped or landfilled without utilization. We proposed a new concept, entitled “waste-shell-refinery”, to transform “waste” into “wealth”. By analogy with traditional oil based refinery, waste shells are fractionated into different components and subsequently each component is converted through an array of processes into chemicals and materials. This new concept, although in an early stage of development, is receiving increasing international awareness and recognition, as exemplified by a recent invited Comment “Sustainability: Don’t Waste Seafood Waste” in Nature.

Yan Large


This work has been published in Nature on August 23, 2015 (doi: 10.1038/524155a)

Corresponding author(s): Ning Yan ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
Corresponding author(s) webpage: http://cheed.nus.edu.sg/stf/cheyann/index.html