Modified Biopolymer (Chitin–Chitosan Derivatives) for the Removal of Heavy Metals in Poultry Wastewater

  • Ernestine AtanganaEmail author
  • Paul J. Oberholster
Original Paper


In the meat production industry, large volumes of wastewater are generated containing great quantities of organic matter that requires y safe disposal or utilization. As a result, management of poultry wastewater is of great concern worldwide. However, problems associated with wastewater disposal are a well-known phenomenon. Nevertheless finding solutions to treat different waste types are not always an orderly method to solve and this have cause a lot of adverse effects on the receiving environment. In the current study, chitosan was synthesized from shrimp chitin to determine its usefulness in removing heavy metals from meat wastewater. Factors for example yield, moisture and ash content and deacetylation (DDA) were tested as well and results showed that chitosan was a source from shrimp chitin. Structural properties such FTIR, SEM and XRD were used to determine the structural morphology, and the final results implies successful isolation of chitosan. Modification of chitosan product was then accomplished via cross-linked chitosan with a series of cross-linking agent; glutaraldehyde, epichlorohydrine, p-benzoquinone s-methylbutylamine and 1,3-dichloroaceone adsorbents. Satisfactory percentages were obtained from shrimp chitosan cross-linked s-methylbutylamine, glutaraldehyde and epichlorohydrine (63–72%) whereas lower yield was observed from chitosan starch cross-linked p-benzoquinone (57%). The usefulness of the chitosan modified products were then investigated in purifying wastewater effluent using HG-AAS. Results of qualitative and quantitative analysis on the elemental content showed the presence of the following elements present in different concentrations: Pb, Cr, Cu, Fe and Zn in the meat wastewaters. Lower concentration ranges (0.01–0.9 mg/L) of these heavy metals were observed for Pb(II), Cr(VI), Cu(II), Fe(II) and Zn(II) after testing the different chitosan cross-linked products (A–E). Among all the metals tested, shrimp chitosan cross-linked with 1,3-dichloroacetone was found to be the most effective product for heavy metals removal. These results also revealed that there is a decrease in the amount of heavy metals present in meat wastewater effluent.


Chitosan Chitosan-starch cross-linked derivatives Poultry meat wastewater effluents Heavy metals removal Qualitative and quantitative analysis Hydride generation atomic absorption spectroscopy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors proclaims that there are no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Centre for Environmental ManagementUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa

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