Project: Development and production of new insect chitosan and chitosan based functional coatings for yarns and textile fabrics

Chitin is besides cellulose the second most important natural polymer in the world, found in marine crustaceans, like shrimps and crabs, insects and fungi. With the growth of the ecological awareness, the commercial interest for chitin and chitin-based products is increasing due to its biodegradability, biocompatibility, antimicrobial activity, and non-toxicity. Major end-user applications are found in wastewater treatment, animal feed, agriculture, cosmetics, and medicine. The total annual world production of purified chitin obtained from byproducts of the seafood industry is about 1600 tones, with Japan and USA being the main producers. The European market is increasing steadily. However, chitin and chitosan have to be imported to Europe for industrial application. A new European chitin source is insect chitin, a side-product within animal feed production. Insect larvae are used as protein source for animal feed whereas adult insects are used for reproduction. This leads to cocoons and insect bodies which can be used as chitin-rich resource. The aim of ChitoTex is the valorization of these insect chitin side-products and the application of insect chitin in functional coatings for textile surfaces, especially for technical purposes in mobile process development, home areas, packaging materials, building construction, civil engineering, geotextiles as well as clothing for working and protection. Through the interdisciplinary network and cooperation of microbiologists, chemists, and engineers an enzymatic-chemical approach will be developed for the allocation of chitin-based raw-materials with different properties (e.g. watersolubility) which can be further processed by the industrial textile partners to first functional coatings for textiles out of insect chitin.

Acronym ChitoTex
Website visit project website
Network ERA-IB-2
Call ERA-IB 5th joint call for proposals: Industrial biotechnology for Europe: an integrated approach

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
Lauffenmühle Germany
Norwegian University of Life Sciences Norway
Eucodis Bioscience GmbH Austria
Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research - Fraunhofer Institute of Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology Coordinator Germany
Textilchemie Dr. Petry GmbH Germany
Institute of Textile Technology and Process Engineering Denkendorf Germany
Protix Biosystems Netherlands