Development of a prototype equipment ofor jatropha oil processing technology, on going.
The Metal Industry Research and Development Center, in cooperation with the Industrial Technology and Development Institute (ITDI) and Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and development (PCIERD), is developing a technology for Jatropha. The MIRDC is now developing the design of the equipment is the jatropha seed and after passing through the four equipment, namely: steamer/boiler, decorticator /desheller, oil expeller, and filter press, the yield is the crude oil which can now be utilized as fuel to a low speed diesel engine. The processing will start with deshelling or dehulling, then will proceed to screw pressing and finally filtering.
The sizes of the equipment are more compact and durable. The frames of the equipment are cast solid metal. It has a capacity of 100 kgs seed of jatropha that yields 30-40 liters of crude oil. The oil content, the methyl esther, is about 38%. As compared to other biofuels, jatropha methyl esther is more flammable than coconut methyl esther (coconut) and palm oil methyl esther (palm oil). However, the cake produced after processing at the oil expeller is toxic. This is why the crude oil out from jatropha is only dedicated for fuel and not as food stuff.
Jatropha curcas is found throughout the Philippines, in the Tagalog region, it is known as tubing-bakod; in Bicol, as tuba; in Visayas, and Mindanao regions, as tuba-tuba. It is a drought-resistant perennial shrub or small tree that has an economic life of 35 to 50 years. The seeds of jatropha can usually be harvested one year after planting. Seeds for replanting can be gathered when the fruits are already yellow to dark brown.
The development of the equiptment is now on its fabrication stage. Specifically, some of the pattern of the parts were already made and other parts were being drawn. The project runs from July 2007 and is set to be completed by the end of 2009. The project cost is 1.5 million peseos.
Source: Metal Industry Trends & Events vol 22 no. 4 (MIRDC)