Castor Oil Extraction Info @ CastorOil.in

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This section of CastorOil.in provides details and web resources on castor oil extraction.

Note:

  1. If you are looking for Indian companies to source castor oil or castor oil derivative products, please see Castor Sourcing Directory.
  2. If you looking for inputs on other plant oils, please see Plant Oils WWW Resources ( Plant Oils A-Z )
  3. If you are looking for castor industry terms & definitions, see Castor Dictionary & Castor Oil Translations

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Oil  Extraction Process

Castor Oil Production

Castor seed is grown commercially on plantations but also harvested from wild plants.  The seed must be hulled after harvesting.  This can be done laboriously by hand or, more commonly, by machine.  Small-scale hand-operated dehullers are available.

The seeds contain about 50 percent oil by weight.  To extract the oil they must be crushed and pressed with hydraulic or continuous screw pressing at high or low temperature.  High temperature hydraulic pressing yields 80 percent of available oil.  Further solvent extraction can release much of the remaining oil.

Modification of the oil is achieved by a variety of chemical processes including oxidation, hydrogenation and thermal treatments to produce products for specific applications. 

Castor Oil Extraction

Extraction of oil from castor seeds is done in a manner similar to that for most other oil seeds. The ripe seeds are allowed to dry, when they split open and discharge the seeds. These seeds are cleaned, cooked and dried prior to extraction. Cooking is done to coagulate protein (necessary to permit efficient extraction), and to free the oil for efficient pressing.

The first stage of oil extraction is pre-pressing, using a high pressure continuous screw press called the expeller. Extracted oil is filtered, and the material removed from the oil is fed back into the stream along with fresh material. Material finally discharged from the press, called cake, contains 8 to 10 percent oil. It is crushed into a coarse meal, and subjected to solvent extraction with hexane (Hexane from Wikipedia, n-Hexane Data from ILO) or heptane (Heptane from Wikipedia, n-Heptane Data from ILO).

Oil Purification

Once the oil has been extracted from the seed, it is necessary to remove impurities from the oil.

The oil is essentially a pure triglyceride, and contains almost 90% of glyceryl tricinoleate. It is the ricinoleic triglyceride that is needed in order to produce high quality castor oil.

The steps to refining the crude oil include: