Mechanistic insights into controlled depolymerization of Chitosan using H-Mordenite.


Department of Chemical Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, Mumbai-19, India. Electronic address: [Email]


Kinetics of chitosan depolymerization were studied in dilute acetic acid solution, in presence of H-Mordenite (H-MOR). Rate constants for chitosan depolymerization were determined by measurement of molecular weight, using Gel permeation Chromatography (GPC). Depolymerization rate of chitosan was altered in presence of an acidic, porous material like H-MOR. Maximum concentration of H-MOR studied during process led to minimal increase in energy of activation, from 20.54 kJ/moL to 23.25 kJ/moL. Infra-red spectroscopy, adsorption studies and rheological assessment indicated adsorption /grafting of chitosan onto porous H-MOR surface as the possible mechanism for facilitation of the depolymerization process. Under extreme conditions investigated during process optimization, H-MOR resulted in a three-fold reduction in 5-Hydroxy Methyl Furfural (5-HMF) formation and over ten times decrease in glucosamine content, as compared to reactions conducted without H-MOR. Therefore, presence of H-MOR is imperative to cleave chitosan in controlled manner and obtain products of desired molecular weight, with fewer impurities.


Chitosan,Depolymerization,H-Mordenite,Reaction kinetics,Solid acid,

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