Extraction Characterization and Dye Adsorption Ability of Chitin From Crab Shell Watste

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Chitin is the second most abundant natural polysaccharide after cellulose and is present in the crustacean exoskeleton like crab, shrimp, insects and fungi. It is the main structural component of the exoskeletons of the animals like insects and crustaceans. Crab, shrimp, squilla and fish scale waste is ideal raw material for chitin production.

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The present work is aimed at extraction of chitin from crab shells. The methodology include acid hydrolysis, demineralization followed by deproteinization step. The chitin produced is analysed by FTIR based on the interpretation of the spectrogram of the two samples of chitin synthesized in the present work, it can be said that all functional groups expected are seen. The applications of the chitin are numerous but the study is focused on dye adsorption ability.


The shell fish industry which is prominent in all costal countries generates about 60,000 to 80,000 tons of waste (Muzzarelli et al,1986). Even though the wastes are biodegradable, the dumping off large quantities makes degradation process slow resulting in accumulation of waste overtime which is a major environmental concern. A quick and effective solution to this is recycling of shell wastes and extraction of commercially viable substances like chitin from them. Chitin on its own has various applications. Chtin is a natural polysaccharide of major importance. This biopolymer is synthesized by enormous number of living organisms and it belongs to the most abundant natural polymers, after cellulose (Rinaudo et al,2006).

Expelling of dyestuff into water resource system causes major threat to the environment. Adsorption is the cost effective and potential method to remove the dyes from the effluents. Effluents from various industries contain harmful coloring agents, which have to be removed to maintain the quality of the environment. Paper, fabric, leather and dyestuff production are some of the industries that release harmful effluents (Lin S, Lin Cet al,1993).The aim of the present study was to investigate the chitin adsorption capability on major industrial dye, Methylene Blue.


Sample preparation- Crabs were collected from Dapodi fish market, Pune. Crabs inedible parts including head, body shells and tails were removed from the whole body for extraction of chitin. The crab shell were washed and air dried and used for extraction.

Extraction of chitin-

Crab shell waste Crab shell powder Demineralization Deproteination Extracted Chitin

Figure 1.Flow chart of basic steps of Extraction of Chitin.

Process I-

10 grams of sun dried crab shell waste was demineralized by adding 1.5 N HCl at room temperature for 1 hour. Acid was discarded and the shells were washed with distilled water until the pH is neutral. The shells were then de-proteinized with 0.5% NaOH at 100°C for 30 minutes.

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