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January 6, 2016


New Process for Extracting Chitin


By showing that chitin can be extracted from shells at scale in an efficient and environmentally sustainable manner, the EU-funded CHIBIO project has positive implications, not just for Europe’s seafood industry, but also for a range of sectors keen to replace fossil-based polymers with bio-based polymers.


The key breakthrough achieved by the CHIBIO project shows that chitin can be harvested cost-effectively and efficiently.  A major challenge to establishing a viable chitin extracting industry has until now been the expense and vast amount of energy needed to extract chitin at a profitable scale.


Using microorganisms to degrade the shell in order to get at the chitin, the project developed an integrated bio-refinery platform to produce high-value, high-performance, bio-based polymers, removing any need for chemicals.  In addition to saving the seafood industry from having to dispose of its wastes, the new process opens up a potential new revenue stream.


The next step will be to get funding to upscale and demonstrate that the process is economically viable at an industrial level.


Also see USA—Alaska—Chitin Processing


Information: Christoph Schulte, Community Research and Development Information Service, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Foerderung Der Angewandten Forschung E.V, Germany (phone +49-89-1205-2728, fax +49-89-1205-7534, webpage


Source: The FishSite.  Cost-Effective New Process gets Chitin Out of Shellfish.  January 6, 2016.

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