Crystalline structure and thermal property characterization of chitin from Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba)

Yanchao Wang, Yaoguang Chang, Long Yu, Cuiyu Zhang, Xiaoqi Xu, Yong Xue, Zhaojie Li, Changhu Xue

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174 Citations (Scopus)


Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) has been widely studied and extensively recognized as a target for commercial fishing. In this study, Antarctic krill chitin was extracted from defatted Antarctic krill shell, and its crystalline structure and thermal properties were characterized by employing Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry, scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetry, and differential scanning calorimetry. Results showed that Antarctic krill chitin corresponded to the α-polymorph, and was composed of small, stable, and uniform microcrystals. The degree of N-deacetylation was 11.28 ± 0.86%. The d-spacings of Antarctic krill chitin were 9.78 Å and 4.63 Å at (0 2 0) and (1 1 0) planes. The crystalline sizes were 6.07 nm and 5.16 nm at (0 2 0) and (1 1 0) planes, respectively. The activation energy of the polysaccharide chain decomposition was 123.35 kJ/mol and the glass transition (Tg) of Antarctic krill chitin was 164.96 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Antarctic krill
  • Chitin
  • Crystalline structure
  • Thermal property


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