The project aims to study the Ultrasound-assisted Deacetylation of chitin, USAD Process, which is being developed at the Grupo de Físico-Química Orgânica (GFQO - IQSC/USP). The relative importance of the process parameters and its interactions will be studied by employing fractional factorial planning and optimization by response surface methodology, aiming to determine the best process conditions to produce chitosan with the desired characteristics, mainly extensively deacetylated chitosan of high molecular weight. The process parameters to be studied include the irradiation duration and intensity, the concentration of the sodium hydroxide aqueous solution, the ratio chitin/sodium hydroxide solution (w/v), the volume of the suspension of chitin in sodium hydroxide solution and the temperature. The kinetics of the ultrasound-assisted deacetylation of chitin is proposed aiming the determination of the apparent activation energy and the reaction mechanism. The depolymerization occurring simultaneously to the ultrasound-assisted deacetylation of chitin will also be studied. Thus, developing this project will generate new insights on the production of chitosan and it will also allow the evaluation of exploring the USAD process to produce quitooligosaccharides, which are usually produced via acid hydrolysis of chitosan.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: