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August 15, 2015

United States

Alaska—Chitin Processing

 

Chitin is a compound found in the shells of insects, lobsters crabs and shrimp.  It’s molecules bond together similar to nylon and resins, making it ideal for fabrics, bio-plastics, bandages, stitches, bio-pesticides, coatings that heal their own scratches—and most recently, sun block!   Processed chitin, called “chitosan”, which sells for up to $100 a pound, can’t be made in the USA because all the chemicals must be disposed of properly, and it’s just too expensive to do that in the USA because of all the environmental rules.  Currently all the chitin in the world is produced in China and India because they have less strict regulations on disposal.

 

Craig Kasberg, CEO of Tidal Vision in Juneau, Alaska, has changed all of that.  His team’s new eco-friendly process is turning the world of chitin production on its head.

 

Kasberg said: “Instead of putting it in a series of chemicals, you put it in one mixture and it doesn’t contain any hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide.  It’s an ionic solution extraction so that everything else stays intact and the chitin dislodges itself from everything else in the shells in this slurry and disperses itself into the fluid.”

 

The slurry goes through filters in a closed loop system that allows for repeated use and recycling.

 

The shipping van-sized production units will be mobile for remote use!  “What we determined with the seasonality and production everywhere, we had to make these closed loop systems mobile, so we can ship these unites to a remote location and only ship the valuable part out,” said Kasberg.

 

Tidal Vision recently signed a non-disclosure agreement with a major seafood company.  A pilot plant is going up that Kasberg says will be making up to 1,500 pounds of chitin per day in Alaska by late October 2015.

 

Also See: What is the Shrimp Processing Industry Doing with Its Surplus of Heads and Shells?

 

Information: Craig Kasberg, Tidal Vision, P.O. Box 20161, Juneau, Alaska 99802, USA (phone 1-907-321-9121, email craig@tidalvisionusa.com, webpage http://tidalvisionusa.com).

 

Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  Juneau’s Tidal Vision to Begin Chitin Processing with Unnamed Alaska Company in Oct (Fish Radio).  Michael Ramsingh (phone 1-732-240-5330, email michaelramsingh@seafood.com).  August 12, 2015.

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