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Martha Benavente, Selene Arias, Luis Moreno and Joaquín Martínez
The use of chitin as raw material to obtain glucosamine hydrochloride at laboratory level was investigated. Chitin was
extracted from shrimp shells by deproteinization, demineralization and depigmentation. Afterwards, glucosamine hydrochloride was produced in four main stages: (1) acid hydrolysis of chitin with 12 M hydrochloric acid using the reflux technique; (2) filtration of the solution to discard solid impurities; (3) recrystallization of the product using 95% ethyl alcohol as solvent, and (4) filtration, washing and drying of final product at 50 °C. The FTIR spectrum of the product was compared to a commercial glucosamine hydrochloride of 99.86% purity, and a coincidence between 96.90% and 99.66% was obtained. The influence of temperature, solid/liquid ratio (g/mL), and agitation (with-without) on acid hydrolysis was studied. The best correlation corresponds to the hydrolysis product obtained at solid/liquid ratio of 1:20, temperature of 85 °C, and with agitation. The yields of glucosamine hydrochloride with respect to chitin were 42, 58, 36 and 48% for solid/liquid ratios of 1:10, 1:20, 1:30, and 1:40 respectively, at high
hydrolysis reaction temperature and with agitation. These results showed that in the range examined, glucosamine hydrochloride with high quality is produced with solid/liquid ratio of 1:20.
Acid hydrolysis, chitin, glucosamine, reflux technique, shrimp shells.