Indexed on: 06 Jul '14Published on: 06 Jul '14Published in: International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Chitosan is obtained by deacetylation of chitin. Chitosan versatility is directly related to the polymer's characteristics depending on the deacetylation process. The aim of this research was to study the parameters influencing deacetylation and to elucidate their effect on acetylation degree (DA) and molecular weight (MW). The effect on chitosan DA was investigated using a fractional factorial design 2(7-3) with seven factors and two variation levels. The tested factors were: X1=number of successive baths, X2=reaction time, X3=temperature, X4=alkali reagent, X5=sodium borohydride, X6=the atmospheric conditions and X7=alkali concentration. A mathematical model was investigated corresponding to the following relation ŷ=7.469-1.344X1-1.094X2-3.094X3+1.906X4+0.656X5+0.906X6-1.031X7+0.469X1X2-0.781X3X4+0.906X1X3X4 with R2=0.99. This model allows fixing experimental conditions for each desired DA. To study the effect on chitosan MW, only atmospheric conditions and use of sodium borohydride as an oxygen scavenger were investigated. The use of sodium borohydride and nitrogen atmosphere was found to have a protective effect against chitosan degradation during deacetylation.