Chitosan is a natural organic polymer with cationic charge. It is derived from partially deacetylated Chitin, and may be given different properties and degree of pureness depending on production conditions that can be regulated. The different properties makes Chitosan useful in several industrial applications.
Since its discovery in 1811 Chitosan has gained much attention due to the many interesting properties, such as biodegradability, biocompatibility and non-toxicity and more unique properties, such as adsorbtion properties, chelation, film-forming ability, anti-bacterial activity and others.
Since Chitosan is recovered from the shells of shrimps and crabs, it is a natural and harmless product. Thus it can be used as an alternative to the synthetic polymers found in all kinds of today’s applications, in order to make industry more environmentally friendly. Chitin is one of the world’s most abundant natural polymers, and using Chitin and Chitosan in different processes will be sustainable.
Chitosan is a water soluble polymer, derived from Chitin by deacetylation. In the deacetylation process volume is removed from inside the polymer chain and results in more structural mobility, making Chitosan more applicable than Chitin. The structure and properties of the Chitosan polymers depend on the deacetylation degree.
Although Chitosan shows unique properties in nutrition, cosmetic and medical related applications, its potential within water treatment is growing. Chitosan’s properties make it a great alternative to the harmful aluminium and iron based coagulants, which are the most common products used in water treatment today. Using Chitosan in water treatment reduces energy and water consumption due to a significant improvement in process stability. You also avoid control tests of metallic carryovers in the treated water. The production of mud is influenced by a significant reduction to almost 50 %. The mud can be used as soil fertilizer in agriculture.