Fabrication of nanomaterials from biomass for adsorption and antimicrobial applications
Uche, Cosmas Chinedu
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The Black soldier fly (BSF) is an environmentally friendly and sustainable insect utilised in the decomposition of organic waste. This is due to its voracious consumption capability, disruptive functions and economic importance. The sustained global increase in commercial BSF farming has resulted in an expanded waste generation from its carcases to which beneficial uses ought to be developed. This study focused on the beneficial use of the generated waste by extracting chitosan from waste pupae and commercially reared BSF adult carcases. The study also considered the conversion of the extracted chitosan to nanofibres and nanoparticles for application in adsorption of inorganic Pb2+ or Cd2+ and antimicrobial studies, respectively. To achieve the aim of this study, the optimal extraction conditions of chitin and chitosan from both pupal exuviae and adult BSF waste materials were attained after a series of experiments. The extraction process involved three stages which were demineralisation, deproteination and deacetylation. The extracted adult and pupal chitin and chitosan were characterised using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction studies (XRD), high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM) and solid-state carbon nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (13C NMR). Additionally, the adult (ACH20_9) and pupal (PCH21_9) chitosan samples, due to their solubility, were further characterised to determine their molecular weight, fat and water binding capacities, solubility and ash contents.