Sudha Sahay and M Shyam
Problem statement: It is known that the chemical composition of oil varies according to the climate and locality. Jatropha seeds are the main feed stock available for biodiesel production. Since, Jatropha oil is hydroscopic - absorbs water. Also, it is high in acid, has high tendency to degrade quickly, particularly if not handled properly through the supply chain. In the presence of high moisture content, the poly chains of fatty acid (oil) gets oxidized and free fatty acid radicals are generated that deteriorates the oil quality in terms of increased viscosity, reduced trans-esterification; reduced energy efficiency and high corrosion to the IC engines.
Approach: Seeds need to be kept in proper storage conditions, not only to maintain moisture but also to prevent undue degradation and contamination / spoilage due to pest and microbial attack. Exposure to air and moisture must be minimized because that attracts microbes to attack seeds. Our efforts are in the direction to increase shelf life/stability of Jatropha curcas seeds in terms of seed contamination / infection caused by insects and pests as well as the quality of oil recovered.
Result: Among all storage parameters the seeds kept at cold temperature i.e. –20 °C showed the significant decrease in FFA percentage in comparison to fresh seed oil and at 10 °C. Conclusion: Although cold