Submitted to: Industrial Crops and Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/31/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The dependence of man on plant products is as old as civilization. There is a continuing interest in evaluation and development of alternate crops to meet the continuing demand for fuels, chemical, and raw materials. Many plants from various parts of the world remain to be evaluated for their potential as possible energy producing plants. The objective of this study was to evaluate seed of fifteen species of oil bearing plants from the Western Ghats (Tamil Nadu) Region of India for extractable hydrocarbons, heat content, carbohydrates, and oil content and composition. The highest oil content was observed in Achras sapota with 13.8%. This species also had a high heat content in the oil and hydrocarbons, exceeding the heat value of anthracite coal. Seeds of Prosopis spicigera had the highest protein content with 20.9%. This species also possessed the highest carbohydrate content with 7.9%. Calophyllum elatum had the highest mono-unsaturated fatty acid with 39%. Several species have been identified as potential candidates for further study as energy sources. Use of chemical (bio-induction) should also be explored to increase the extractable chemicals from several of these species.
Technical Abstract: Fifteen species of plants from the Western Ghats were screened as alternative sources of energy, oil, polyphenol, hydrocarbon, and phytochemicals. The highest oil content was observed in Achras sapota with 13.8%. The highest polyphenol and hydrocarbon content was observed in seeds of Dalbergia sissoo with 7.1% and 1.9%, respectively. The seeds of Prosopis spicigera yielded the highest protein content with 20.9%. Prosopis spicigera exhibits highest quantity of carbohydrate. The gross heat value of 5506.0 cal/g for the seeds of Terminalia tomentosa was the highest among the species analyzed. The gross heat value of oil and hydrocarbon fractions of A. sapota were very high with 8717.0 and 9930.0 cal/g, respectively. The fatty acid composition of Calophyllum elatus seed oil contained oleic acid (38.02%), palmitic acid (20.98%), and linoleic acid (14.48%). The hydrocarbon fractions were also analyzed to determine the type of isoprene present.