Chitosan application as a biocoagulant in wastewater contaminated with hydrocarbons


  • Juan M. Álava Universidad Técnica de Manabí



Jar test, shrimp shell, clarification, deacetylation, intrinsic viscosimetry


The environment contamination in Ecuador, done by the production, transport and commercialization of hydrocarbons, requires further research regarding new treatment alternatives that use biodegradable substances. In this study, abdominal shrimp shell waste, Litopenaeus vannamei was used to obtain chitosan and then apply it as a biocoagulant to a wastewater sample contaminated with hydrocarbon products. The produced chitosan was characterised by potentiometric titration, resulting in a deacetylation degree (%DD) of 87.18%– 93.72% and by intrinsic viscosimetry, obtaining an average molecular weight (g/mol) of 5.2x105 –5.4x105. The application of chitosan was done in a jar test, for which a completely randomised factorial design 2k was set, resulting in an evident statistically significant effect for all the factor studied, that is, pH (Initial), chitosan type and agitation method, using the turbidity percentage removal as the response variable. As a result, a pH of 5.5, a 2 mg(Chitosan)/L(sample) and a fast agitation method were applied to a contaminated sample reducing the turbidity in 98.19%, the oxygen chemical demand in 78.17%, color in 91.45% and total petroleum hydrocarbon in 99.09%.


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How to Cite

Álava, J. M. (2015). Chitosan application as a biocoagulant in wastewater contaminated with hydrocarbons. Enfoque UTE, 6(3), pp. 52 - 64.