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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Isolation of Cuticular Wax from Flax Processing Waste Using Hexane Extraction and Super Critical Fluid Extraction with Carbon Dioxide

item Morrison Iii, Wiley
item Holser, Ronald
item Akin, Danny

Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 14, 2005
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
Citation: Morrison III, W.H., Holser, R.A., Akin, D.E. 2006. Isolation of cuticular wax from flax processing waste using hexane extraction and super critical fluid extraction with carbon dioxide. Industrial Crops and Products. 24:119-122.

Interpretive Summary: Waste material produced from processing if retted flax fiber is generally sent to a landfill of burned. This waste material contains compounds that have been shown to improve blood chemistry but reducing total cholesterol, raising high density lipoproteins (HDL) and lowering low density lipoproteins (LDL). Two methods of isolation that can be used by industry were compared. Extraction with carbon dioxide in its liquid state yielded about 7% wax compared to about 4% with hexane. The use of carbon dioxide reduces the amount of volatile organics produced and provides an increased yield of a material that is not only avalue added product but one that is a benefit to human health.

Technical Abstract: Waste material produced when retted flax is processed was extracted with CO2 under super critical fluid extraction (SCFE) conditions and hexane to isolate the cuticular waxes that contain policosanols. Policosanol is a general term for long chain alcohols and have been shown to improve blood chemistry. SCFE produced a yield of 7.4% wax compared to a 4.0% yield with hexane. There was no statistical difference in composition except for triacontanoic acid (a C-30 acid) and hexacosanal (a C-26 aldehyde) which were higher in the hexane extract. Recovery of this material from the waste produced from flax processing can provide an attractive value added product with positive health benefits.

Last Modified: 4/19/2015
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