New Catalyst for Castor Oil Biodiesel Production

Recent study finds ferromagnetic zinc oxide nanocomposite as a suitable heterogeneous catalyst for biodiesel production from castor oil.

The conventional method to produce biodiesel is basic transesterification using a homogeneous catalyst. But this process requires steps of neutralization and washing of the catalyst which increase biodiesel cost.castor oil biodiesel

Some heterogeneous and lipase catalysts are being developed to fight against some of these drawbacks.

Now scientists from India have performed an experiment to synthesise biodiesel from castor oil using ferromagnetic zinc oxide nanocomposite as heterogenous catalyst.

Results showed that ferromagnetic zinc oxide nanocomposite could help to achieve a biodiesel yield of 91% under milder reaction conditions.


New Improved Castor Oil Fatliquoring Agent

Castor oil in water emulsions, also known as fatliquors are used for lubrication of tanned leather fibres to get softness and improve strength properties. Fatliquoring agents are usually obtained by chemical modification.

Now scientists have performed an experiment using nano-TiO2 as emulsifying agent. imagesThe fatliquoring agent based on castor oil was prepared using nano-TiO2 as emulsifying agent by mechanical mixing. Thus castor oil/nano-TiO2 composite fatliquoring agent (CTF) was obtained via Pickering emulsion method.

Pickering emulsion method is the process of preparing emulsion that is stabilized by solid particles which adsorb onto the interface between the two phases.

Results showed that the addition of nano-TiO2 stabilized the emulsion and the application of emulsion in the leather fatliquoring process of goatskin garment improved the physical and mechanical properties of leather. Also, CTF was biodegradable compared to chemically modified castor oil fatliquoring agent.


New Medicated Soap from Castor

Recent study has found the production of medicated soap from castor oil.

Medicated soaps are those used for bathing, and contains additives that helps kill germs and other microorganisms. They can also have other functions like skin toning and age defying effects. Generally all types of soaps are prepared using caustic soda.

Now scientists from Nigeria have performed an experiment to produce medicated soap castor oilfrom castor oil extract. Castor oil was extracted via soxhlet extractor and the characterization studies were carried out. It was found that the acid value and saponification value of the oil were between the ranges of values specified by ASTM.

The soap produced gave a pH of 8.9 and the antibacterial activity of the soap on the bacterial isolate Staphylococcus aureus showed a greater inhibition zone, thus concluding that a highly effective soap can be produced from castor oil.


Castor Oil and Meal Prices – Feb 1 – 5, 2016 brings you the weekly report of castor oil and meal prices at Bombay Commodities Exchange.

Check out the table and the graphical data.

Date Castor commercial oil Prices US$/MT Castor Meal US$/MT
1 Feb 2016 948
2 Feb 2016 970 70
3 Feb 2016 977 70
4 Feb 2016 984 70
5 Feb 2016 977 70


castor oil and meal prices - feb 1 to 5, 2016