What are typical applications of chitin?
Most of the commercially produced chitin (an estimated 90-95%) is converted into glucosamine (an estimated 20,000 tons per year) to be used in anti-arthritis treatments. The second largest volume goes into the production of chitosans (an estimated 2,000 tons per year). The production of chitin oligomers with potential for biomedical or agricultural applications is a niche market, mostly for research purposes. Chitin has also been reported to be applicable as a surgical suture material which slowly self-decomposes in the tissue, and it is approved in the European Union as a soil additive to improve plant growth.