Benefits for the environment

So far commercially available chitosans worldwide are generated exclusively from chitin isolated from shrimp and crab shell waste biomass using rather harsh chemical procedures requiring high energy input and employing i.a. concentrated acid and alkali solutions leading to the generation of large volumes of salt effluents and to a high use of freshwater which in turn require sophisticated and expensive waste-water treatments. Nano3Bio aims at changing this by developing chitosans which will be produced more efficiently, with less resource use and environmental pollution.

Along the Nano3Bio project comprehensive life cycle assessments of the novel biotechnologically produced chitosans will be performed, to ensure environmental criteria are considered right from the start of technology development. This will contribute to the overall objectives of the transition to a bio-economy, namely reduced energy input, reduced environmental burden, and concomitantly improved product quality and increased consumer safety.

The ocean as the classical source of chitosans raw materials
Up to now the ocean has been the main source of raw materials for chitosans.

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Why chitosans now?

Consumers asks for eco-products:
Chitosans are consumer-safe, non-toxic, non-allergenic, biodegradable and biocompatible.

Industry asks for biopolymers:
Chitosans are versatile and bioactive basic substances with superior material and functional properties.

Society asks for sustainability:
Chitosans are derived from the abunĀ­dant renewable resource chitin availĀ­able from different waste materials.

Science asks for challenges:
Chitosans are naturally polydisperse materials with complex functionalities and high potentials.