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First stage of bio-jet fuel production: non-food sunflower oil extraction using cold press method

Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota 57007, USA

Special Issues: Bio-blended Fuels

As a result of concerning petroleum price increasing and environmental impact, more attention is attracted to renewable resources for transportation fuels. Because not conflict with human and animal food resources, non-food vegetable oils are promising sources for developing bio-jet fuels. Extracting vegetable oil from oilseeds is the first critical step in the pathway of bio-jet fuel production. When sunflower seeds are de-hulled, there are always about 5%–15% broken seed kernels (fine meat particles) left over as residual wastes with oil content up to 48%. However, the oil extracted from these sunflower seed residues is non-edible due to its quality not meeting food standards. Genetically modified sunflower grown on margin lands has been identified one of sustainable biofuel sources since it doesn't compete to arable land uses. Sunflower oils extraction from non-food sunflower seeds, sunflower meats, and fine sunflower meats (seed de-hulling residue) was carried out using a cold press method in this study. Characterization of the sunflower oils produced was performed. The effect of cold press rotary frequency on oil recovery and quality was discussed. The results show that higher oil recovery was obtained at lower rotary frequencies. The highest oil recovery for sunflower seeds, sunflower meats, and fine sunflower meats in the tests were 75.67%, 89.74% and 83.19% respectively. The cold press operating conditions had minor influence on the sunflower oil quality. Sunflower meat oils produced at 15 Hz were preliminarily upgraded and distilled. The properties of the upgraded sunflower oils were improved. Though further study is needed for the improvement of processing cost and oil recovery, cold press has shown promising to extract oil from non-food sunflower seeds for future bio-jet fuel production.
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