World Journal of Chemical Education
ISSN (Print): 2375-1665 ISSN (Online): 2375-1657 Website: Editor-in-chief: Prof. V. Jagannadham
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World Journal of Chemical Education. 2023, 11(4), 127-133
DOI: 10.12691/wjce-11-4-1
Open AccessArticle

Cicada Shells as Chemical Education Resources to Study Functional Groups and Environmental Cycles

Naoki Maruyama1 and Toratane Munegumi1,

1The Joint Graduate School (Ph.D. Program) in Science of School Education, Hyogo University of Teacher Education,

Pub. Date: October 17, 2023

Cite this paper:
Naoki Maruyama and Toratane Munegumi. Cicada Shells as Chemical Education Resources to Study Functional Groups and Environmental Cycles. World Journal of Chemical Education. 2023; 11(4):127-133. doi: 10.12691/wjce-11-4-1


Cicada shells are widely available and have been used to teach insect anatomy; their tactile nature is ideal for students who are reluctant to handle living insects. The main component of cicada shells is chitin, which has a polymer structure of N-acetylglucosamine that produces an amorphous gel in neutral aqueous solutions. Glucosamine has a reducing group (hemiacetal structure) and an amino group, and these functional groups can be detected with Benedict reagent and ninhydrin, respectively. This research proposes a procedure to detect the glucosamine structural features present in cicada shells and highlights the link between chemicals in the cicada shells and the environment. Cicada shells can thus be useful for teaching classes about chemicals and their role in the environment.

cicada shells chitin glucosamine educational materials environmental cycles

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