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Chitosan Dissolution in [BMIM]Cl Ionic Liquid: An Optimisation and Bacterial Ecotoxicity Study

Mok Shue Yee, Magaret Sivapragasam and Maisara Shahrom Raja Shahrom

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 31, Issue 6, October 2023


Keywords: Bacterial ecotoxicity, chitosan, dissolution, ionic liquids, optimisation

Published on: 12 October 2023

Chitosan is formed from chitin deacetylation, but its insolubility remains challenging for industrial applications. An alternative would be employing Ionic Liquids (ILs) as a potential green solvent to dissolve chitosan. Hence, this research aims to study the optimum conditions of chitosan-[BMIM]Cl dissolution using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) and evaluate the ecotoxicity of chitosan-[BMIM]Cl mixture against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Chitosan was obtained from heterogenous N-deacetylation of chitin using 50% sodium hydroxide solution at 100°C for 2.5 h. Chitosan dissolution in [BMIM]Cl was optimised using Central Composite Design (CCD) via RSM based on three independent factors: temperature, initial chitosan loading and dissolution time. Ecotoxicity of chitosan-[BMIM]Cl was evaluated using broth microdilution test against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Chitosan with a degree of deacetylation (DD) of 83.42% was obtained after three successive alkali treatments. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed the presence of free hydroxyl groups, additional amino groups, and reduced C=O and C-H stretch intensity, indicating successful chitin deacetylation. The regression model for chitosan dissolution in [BMIM]Cl was significant (p < 0.05) with a non-significant lack of fit (p > 0.05). The optimised conditions to dissolve chitosan in [BMIM]Cl was 130°C, 1 wt. % and 72 h with a mean relative error of 1.78% and RMSE of 5.0496 wt. %. The toxicity of 10 wt. % chitosan-[BMIM]Cl mixture was “relatively harmless” (EC50 > 1000 mg/L) with an EC50 value of 3.1 wt. % for Escherichia coli and 3.2 wt. % for Staphylococcus aureus.

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