A Conceptual Design and Economic Assessment of a Chitin Biorefinery Based on Shrimp Processing Wastes

Ana Fonseca, Bruno Santoro, Omar Jose Guerra Fernandez, Moises Teles dos Santos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Due to the extensive production of shrimp in captivity, waste generation has increased significantly and has become an environmental problem. The recovery of biomolecules can be an important way to mitigate the environmental problems associated with processing in this sector. In this sense, the present work aimed to evaluate a biorefinery approach for valuing shrimp farming waste to obtain astaxanthin, chitin and chitosan. Stoichiometric segmentation was used as a tool to identify the process steps, whose information on process variables (fresh water consumption, flow rate and reaction conditions) was adapted from the literature. A biorefinery coupled to a shrimp processing plant was proposed for the immediate use of highly perishable biomass, to guarantee the quality of the extracted products and reduce storage and transportation costs. In practice, the biomass treatment sequence adopted (demineralization followed by deproteinization) eliminates the depigmentation step, as the chitin obtained has a lighter tone. The proposed route was evaluated for four scenarios based on two indicators: gross economic potential (EGP) and metrics for inspection of sales and reagents (MISR). The results indicate that economic viability is achieved only for the production of chitosan, resulting in a gross revenue of US$832.50/cycle and a MISR value > 1. The sale of astaxanthin promotes an increase of US$3.73/cycle in the EGP, considered too low for the inclusion of another stage in the process.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationComputer Aided Chemical Engineering
Subtitle of host publication34th European Symposium on Computer Aided Process Engineering / 15th International Symposium on Process Systems Engineering
EditorsF. Manenti, G. V. Reklaitis
StatePublished - 2024

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CH-6A40-90506


  • astaxanthin
  • biorefinery
  • chitin
  • chitosan
  • shrimp waste


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