Saturday, June 28, 2008

Honeybee Corpses Source of ‘High Quality’ Chitin

Honeybee Corpses as an Available Source of Chitin
Journal of Applied Polymer Science, Volume 109 Issue 3, Pages 1974 - 1981

Abstract: Corpses of naturally died honeybees were used as a raw material for chitin isolation.

Process of deproteinization of the powder made from clean bee corpses was carried out in the presence of 1M NaOH at 80°C. Influence of time of alkaline treatment on the yield and molar mass of chitin was studied and optimal conditions of proteins removal were found.

Process of final depigmentation of protein-free remainders was carried out using oxidization-reduction reagents. Dependences of the yield of reaction and molar mass of the obtained chitin samples from concentration of oxidizing agent KMnO4 and from time of discoloring treatment were determined.

Final product - high quality chitin with molar masses in range from 318 × 103 to 424 × 103 Da - was obtained in amount of 18% from initial mass of honeybee corpses. Chemical structure of chitin was determined in 1H NMR investigation. It was found that honeybee chitin has high degree of acetylation of about 96%. FTIR spectra of honeybee chitin did not differ from FTIR spectrum of control sample of shrimps chitin with degree of acetylation about 95%.

Results of quantitative determination of isolated chitin and its molar characteristic showed that applied treatment of honeybee corpses allowed to acquire successfully chitin of high quality in wide range of molar masses.

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