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Keywords:

  • chitosan;
  • decolorization;
  • depolymerization;
  • molecular weight;
  • ozonation

ABSTRACT:  Currently, depolymerization and decolorization of chitosan are achieved by chemical or enzymatic methods, which are time consuming and expensive. Ozone has been shown to be able to degrade macromolecules and remove pigments due to its high oxidation potential. In this study, the effects of ozone treatment on depolymerization and decolorization of chitosan were investigated. Crawfish chitosan was ozonated in water and acetic acid solution for 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 min at room temperature with 12 wt% gas. In this study, the effects of ozone treatment on depolymerization and decolorization of chitosan were investigated by measuring the molecular weight, viscosity, and color of chitosan. The color of ozone-treated chitosan was analyzed using a Minolta spectrophotometer. The degree of deacetylation was determined by a colloid titration method. Molecular weight of ozone-treated chitosan in acetic acid solution decreased appreciably as the ozone treatment duration increased. Ozonation for 20 min reduced the molecular weight of the chitosan by 92% (104 kDa) compared to the untreated chitosan (1333 kDa) with a decrease in viscosity of the chitosan solution. Ozonation for 5 min markedly increased the whiteness of chitosan with a molecular weight of 432 kDa; however, further ozonation resulted in development of yellowness. In the case of the ozonation in water, there were no significant differences in the molecular weight and color between ozone-treated chitosans. This study showed that ozone can be used to modify molecular weight and remove pigments of chitosan without chemical use in a shorter time and with less cost.