Submitted to: American Oil Chemists' Society Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 26, 2004
Publication Date: May 12, 2004
Citation: ISBELL, T., CERMAK, S.C., EVANGELISTA, R.L. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE INDUSTRIAL UTILIZATION OF HIGH CAPRIC CUPHEA OIL. AMERICAN OIL CHEMISTS' SOCIETY MEETING. 2004. Technical Abstract: Cuphea is a new oilseed crop currently being domesticated as a rotation crop in the Midwestern United States. The current cuphea lines that have been developed are high in capric fatty acid (70%). Capric is supplied in limited quantities as a by-product of lauric acid production from coconut (6%) and palm kernel oils (3%). Since high capric cuphea is a new crop in the initial phases of commercial production all phases from farm to consumer will need to be throughly researched for its successful introduction. We report here preliminary seed oil processing and derivatization research efforts within our laboratory. Freshly harvested cuphea seed is high in moisture (25 to 50%) due to the indeterminate nature of the plant and the need to harvest seed prior to shattering. This high water content requires immediate drying and cleaning to ensure seed quality. Seed cleaning was also required to remove both trash and aborted seeds prior to oil pressing operations. Oil content of the bulk material was increased from 14% (dwt) to 33% by a series of screening, aspiration, and gravity table separations. Subsequent, full pressing of cuphea seed gave a 76% oil recovery. Cuphea oil was then converted to its fatty acids and condensed with oleic acid using 0.05 equivalents of perchloric acid at 60 deg C for 24 hours. In situ esterification with 2-ethylhexanol gave the corresponding cuphea capped estolide. Physical properties of this estolide had very good low temperature properties (pour point = -42 deg C) and good oxidative stability. The cuphea estolide has good potential for a variety of lubricant applications.