Project Title

Extracting Chitosan from a Fungal Source by Dilute Sulfuric Acid

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Christopher T. Cornelison

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide extracted from the cell walls of fungi and the exoskeletons of shellfish. It has many uses in the wastewater treatment, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, agricultural, food, and biomedical industries. Currently, most of these industries utilize shellfish chitosan. However, obtaining chitosan from shellfish is energy-intensive and produces many toxic wastes. Alternative methods of extracting chitosan from fungi are environmentally safer, sustainable, and less energy-intensive. This experiment extracted fungal chitosan from Rhizopus oryzae grown on brewer’s spent grain due to its temperature-dependent solubility in sulfuric acid. An initial biomass of 0.19g produced a negligible amount of chitosan. Further research with a larger initial biomass is currently in progress.

Disciplines

Integrative Biology | Laboratory and Basic Science Research | Microbiology

Project Type

Poster

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Extracting Chitosan from a Fungal Source by Dilute Sulfuric Acid

Chitosan is a linear polysaccharide extracted from the cell walls of fungi and the exoskeletons of shellfish. It has many uses in the wastewater treatment, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, agricultural, food, and biomedical industries. Currently, most of these industries utilize shellfish chitosan. However, obtaining chitosan from shellfish is energy-intensive and produces many toxic wastes. Alternative methods of extracting chitosan from fungi are environmentally safer, sustainable, and less energy-intensive. This experiment extracted fungal chitosan from Rhizopus oryzae grown on brewer’s spent grain due to its temperature-dependent solubility in sulfuric acid. An initial biomass of 0.19g produced a negligible amount of chitosan. Further research with a larger initial biomass is currently in progress.

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