Removal of Color from Crude Cotton Seed Oil using Local Materials





The cotton plant is primarily grown for its lint for textile production. Additionally, the cotton seed can be utilized to obtain animal feed and processed to obtain oil for human consumption. Crude cotton seed oil is usually dark in colour and this is attributed to presence of gossypol, a polyphenolic aldehyde as the main colour fixating agent.  Current processes used to purify cotton seed oil to make it suitable for human consumption are expensive and involve imported materials and technologies. The present work, therefore investigated the potential of utilization of locally available biosorbent materials in purification of crude cotton seed oil, with emphasis of colour removal.


The decolouring ability of readily available local materials such as Micaceous Earth mineral, Spent Brewery Grains,  and  Eicchornia Crassipes (Water Hyacinth) were investigate. The procedure involved the use of a Constant Head Conductivity Cell, which was packed with adsorbent standardized sorbent material over size <300 μm and volume 196.75 cm3. Crude cotton seed oil, locally obtained, was passed through the cell and the collected oil tested against the crude oil reference by means of a UV-Visible Spectrometer at a dilution of x50. Among the three materials studied, Eicchornia Crassipes gave the greatest color reduction and was therefore selected for further testing. The Percentage color reduction was found to decrease with time.


In light of these results, further investigation is recommended to incorporate such locally available biosorbent materials as an alternative to conventional refining methods currently in use. Further work is recommended for quantitative analysis of gossypols in the crude and refined cotton seed oils.

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