Castor Oil Based Biodegradable Foam Plastics

This work –, explains a approach  for preparing biodegradable plastic foams with a high content of castor oil. Castor oil is reacted with maleic anhydride to produce maleated castor oil (MACO) without the aid of any catalyst. Then plastic foams were synthesized through free radical initiated copolymerization between MACO and diluent monomer styrene. With changes in MACO/St ratio and species of curing initiator, mechanical properties of MACO foams can be easily adjusted. In this way, biofoams with comparable compressive stress at 25% strain as commercial polyurethane (PU) foams were prepared, while the content of castor oil can be as high as 61 wt %. The soil burial tests further proved that the castor oil based foams kept the biodegradability of renewable resources despite the fact that some petrol-based components were introduced.

Get to know more about related derivatives:

Some interesting links

Building Energy Analytics

Some Innovative & Unique Solar Power

Rigid foam polyurethane derived from castor oil for thermal insulation in roof systems

Paper Abstract

This paper discusses the response of the thermal insulation lining of rigid foam polyurethane (PU) derived from castor oil (Ricinus communis) in heat conditions, based on dynamic climate approach. Liners have been widely used, because the coverage of buildings is responsible for the greatest absorption of heat by radiation, but the use of PU foam derived from this vegetable oil is unprecedented and has the advantage of being biodegradable and renewable. The hot wire parallel method provided the thermal conductivity value of the foam. The thermogravimetric analysis enabled the study of the foam decomposition and its lifetime by kinetic evaluation that involves the decomposition process. The PU foam thermal behavior analysis was performed by collecting experimental data of internal surface temperature measured by thermocouples and assessed by representative episode of the climatic fact. The results lead to the conclusion that the PU foam derived from castor oil can be applied to thermal insulation of roof systems and is an environmentally friendly material.

Read the full article here –


Proteome analysis of castor bean seeds

Research Abstract: Castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) seeds serve as raw material for the production of nonedible oil used in medicine and industry, whereas the presence of allergenic and toxic proteins in the residue left after oil extraction precludes the use of this protein-rich by-product in animal feeding. To better understand the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of fatty acids and to identify proteins with toxic/anti-nutritional properties, extracts of developing and germinating seeds were prepared and prefractionated according to solubility properties of the proteins. An enriched plastid organelle fraction embracing mostly plastids and mitochondria was also prepared. Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE) reference maps of these fractions were obtained from which nearly 400 proteins were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight-time of flight (MALDI-TOF-TOF) mass spectrometry after a search in a National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database and in an expressed sequence tag (EST) primary bank prepared from a cDNA library of developing seeds. These proteomics techniques resulted in the identification of several classes of seed reserve proteins such as 2S albumins, legumin-like and seed storage proteins, as well as other proteins of plastidial or mitochondrial functions and proteins involved in plant defense against biotic and abiotic stresses. It is expected that the collected data will facilitate the application of genetic techniques to improve the quality/profile of castor seed fatty acids, and pave the way for a rational approach to inactivate allergenic and toxic proteins, allowing the use of castor bean meal in animal feeding.

Read the full article from here –×0259.pdf


Kaiima Seed Tech Company of Israel Gets $65 Million

Kaima seed company of Israel, has received $65 million investment to continue developing its technology for edible wheat, corn, and rice markets,and castor biodiesel.

Investors include the socially conscious Horizons Ventures, managing the private pay-it-forward investments of Li Ka-shing (Horizon previously invested in Facebook and the Israeli startup Waze); the International Financial Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group; and Infinity Group.

Kaiima currently has a commercial product available for castor plants. Read more:

Some interesting links

Building Energy Analytics

Some Innovative & Unique Solar Power

Castor Bean Proteins Mapped;Results Unconvincing For Castor Biodiesel

Danish scientists say a study of one biodiesel source plant — the castor bean — predicts problems if it’s considered for large-scale use as a fuel source.

While countries like Brazil and India grow large quantities of castor oil beans that can be refined into bio-diesel, the beans contain allergens and also the extremely potent poison ricin, meaning bean pulp left after extraction of the oil cannot be used for animal feed and becomes a problematic waste byproduct.

“Therefore we are interested in finding out if it in some way could be possible to eliminate the allergenic proteins and the ricin from the beans, so that the pulp can be used for animal feed,” said biochemist Peter Roepstorff at the University of Southern Denmark.

Roepstorff and a team of Danish/Brazilian colleagues have mapped thousands of proteins found in castor beans, with discouraging results.

While both ricin and the allergen 2S Albumin are only present in low amounts in the early development stages of the bean, they found, as the beans mature the content of ricin and 2S Albumin increases.

“Unfortunately, the mature beans also have the highest oil content and therefore an oil producer will not harvest the beans before they are fully mature,” Roepstorff said. “The price of optimizing the oil production is that you also get a toxic and allergenic pulp that cannot be used for animal feed.”

One option would be to eliminate the unwanted proteins by plant breeding, the researchers said. Another option is to remove them by genetic engineering

Read more:

Evaluation of Productivity and Profitability of Castor-based Intercropping Systems

A field experiment was conducted to have a comprehensive understanding of various approaches to draw inferences from intercropping of castor with different crops on sandy clay loam soil at the National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Hyderabad during rainy seasons of 2007 and 2008. The experiment was laid out in a randomized block design with 14 treatments each replicated thrice. The intercrops tested were sorghum, pearl millet, green gram, black gram, soybean and sunflower. The univariate analysis of variance showed that the intercropping of 2 rows of black gram in castor spaced uniformly at 90 cm or 3 rows in between paired rows of castor spaced at 120/60 cm yielded bonus yield of the pulse with no significant loss in yield of castor compared to the sole crop. The bivariate analysis of variance confirmed that this was the most productive intercropping system in both low and high rainfall seasons. The land equivalent ratios (LERs) showed that 24 to 61% additional total productivity was obtained by intercropping black gram, soybean or green gram. Such an advantage also occurred to the extent of 29 to 39% in terms of better land and time use efficiency (area time equivalent ratio). The other approaches like competition ratio, land equivalent coefficient and crop performance ratio also confirmed the higher productive efficiency of these intercropping systems. The monetary advantage assessed through conventional approaches like gross and net returns as well as through the advanced and refined technique of relative net returns (RNR) established that the profit was also significantly increased by this expedient of companion cropping with black gram.


Effect of Different Soil Types on Mycorrhizal Colonization of Castor Plant

This study evaluated the mycorrhizal colonization of four cultivars of castor bean in five different agricultural soil types collected from different locations of Mahabubnagar District, India. Among four cultivars of Castor, Kranthi is the best supporting one in clay type of soil, which is the most widely, used cultivar in Mahabubnagar. Its mycorrhizal colonization was found to be the maximum in comparison with other cultivars in different soil types which are most effective in increasing the height, dry weight and yield of plant.

Read more:

Characterization of Blend Properties of Castor Biodiesel and Bioethanol

Some important properties of biodiesel such as viscosity, melting point, thermal stability, and cetane index can be directly related to the chemical composition of the biomass source used. However, the viscosity of castor oil ethyl ester (COEE) is about four times greater than the biodiesel viscosity specification, and this fact restricts the uses of this biofuel. The main goal of this work is to investigate the physical–chemical properties of COEE in ethanol blends and present an option to decrease the castor oil biodiesel viscosity specification. COEE viscosity is 14.413 mm2/s. The results show an evident decrease in biodiesel viscosity with the addition of ethanol. Samples with 30, 40, and 50 vol % of ethanol present the following viscosities 5.316, 4.044, and 3.136 mm2/s, respectively. These results are in agreement with Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural gas and Biodiesel (ANP), and European (EN 14214) specifications. Three correlations that describe the decrease in viscosity and density with ethanol concentration, and the variation of viscosity with the density in COEE ethanol blends were obtained. The behavior of COEE ethanol blends with diesel also were analyzed. The increase in solubility of ethanol in commercial diesel was verified because COEE acts as a cosolvent in an ethanol–diesel mixture.


Application of Castor Oil-Based Cutting Fluids in Precision Turning

In this study, a new green castor based emulsion has been successfully developed and investigated.

Abstract: Green machining is a process that implements sustainable development strategy. In order to reduce cost and decrease environmental pollution in manufacturing process, a sort of biodegradable castor oil-based emulsion is developed, whose physical and chemical properties can correspond with the national standards. The cooling and lubricating properties of the emulsion are better while machining steel materials through comparative experiments with certain imported commodity synthetic cutting fluid. The emulsion can successfully substitute for commodity fluid because of its high performance-price ratio.

Read more:

Development of Oleogels Using Castor Oil Derivatives for Lubricating Greases

This blog post is an abstract of the research work focused on the development of new oleogels, using castor oil and cellulose derivatives, which could be potentially used as biodegradable lubricating greases

Thermal and thermo-rheological behaviours of castor oil and cellulose derivatives were characterised by means of TGA analysis and SAOS measurements, in order to evaluate the evolution of oleogel microstructure with temperature. Moreover, both roll-stability and leakage tendency standard tests, usually performed in the grease industry, were used to evaluate the mechanical resistance of each sample. The evolution of biogrease linear viscoelasticity functions with frequency is quite similar to that found for traditional lithium lubricating greases. However, the influence of temperature on biogreases linear viscoelasticity functions is less important than that found for traditional greases. In general, the biogrease samples studied show both slightly lower mechanical stability and higher leakage tendency than traditional lubricating greases. The use of a blend of ethyl and methyl cellulose as thickener provides a mechanical stability comparable to that found for commercial greases.


Some interesting links

Building Energy Analytics

Some Innovative & Unique Solar Power