Scope of ChitoTex is to develop and produce new insect chitosan and chitosan based functional coatings for yarns and textile fabrics. The three-year project with seven academic and industry partners is funded through the ERA-NET Scheme of the 7th EU Framework Programme.
Chitin from insects is a novel and renewable resource available in Europe as a side-product from animal protein feed production. Currently, state-of-the-art chitosan is based on chemically treated crab shells that are mainly available from Asia.
The aim of the ERA-IB project ChitoTex is the modification of insect chitin as a novel and sustainable chitin resource in order to establish novel, bio-based, eco-friendly functional chitosan-coated textile fibers and formulations for the textile industry.
The consortium approach comprises the whole value chain: the production of the chitin from insects, the conversion to chitosan with different chain lengths and degree of acetylation, followed by a chemical modification of chitin and finally the application of the functional coatings for textile fibers and yarns.
Within the project consortium with partners from Germany, Norway and the Netherlands EUCODIS Bioscience will focus on the development and supply of novel enzymes for the biochemical conversion of chitin to chitosan and its enzyme-based downstream modification. Thereby, EUCODIS Bioscience will expand its enzyme portfolio into a completely novel area of chitin- and chitosan-modifying enzymes.
EUCODIS Bioscience will identify novel enzymes in genomic databases and literature and will develop production processes for these enzymes. The most promising candidates will be target of enzyme engineering to improve performance by EUCODIS Biosciences potent mutagenesis and recombination toolbox in respect to selectivity and activity. Subsequently, the enzymes can be used by the project partners in different combinations to establish novel production processes for modified chitosan derivatives and functional chitosan-coated fibers and textiles.
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