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Valorisation of Indonesian plant oil resources

07 September 2012

PhD ceremony: Mr. L. Daniel, 12.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Valorisation of Indonesian plant oil resources

Promotor(s): prof. H.J. Heeres, prof. R. Manurung

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences

In future bio-based societies, biomass is the feedstock of choice for the production of energy, transportation fuels, chemicals, and materials. The transition from fossil- to bio-based societies will create new economic activities and provide ample opportunities for biomass rich countries such as Indonesia. In such bio-based societies, traditional oil refineries are replaced by the so called biorefineries, in which biomass is used as the input and converted in an integrated and energy and material efficient manner to bio-based chemicals, bio-fuels, and bio-energy.

In bio-based societies, careful selection of the biomass sources is of pivotal importance and will ultimately determine the sustainability of the conversion chains. Competition with food products should be avoided and as such preferably woody biomass, agricultural waste product, or aquatic biomass (micro- and macro algae) are used. In this respect, non-edible plant oils are also attractive biomass feedstocks, though direct and indirect land use aspects should be carefully considered.

Jatropha curcas L . is an example of an oil-bearing plant that produces a toxic oil, unsuitable for human consumption. The plant is well known in many tropical countries like Indonesia. It has potential to become an important oil producing plant in the future, though many techno- and socio-economical hurdles will need to be taken before large scale production will become attractive. The plant oil extracted from its seeds is a potential feed for biofuels as well as oleochemicals. Examples are the conversion of the oil to biodiesel and jet fuel. Particularly the latter application is investigated in detail by the aviation sector at the moment (KLM, Boeing, Airbus). However, when applying the biorefinery concept, all plant parts need to be valorised and not only the plant oil. Also in this respect, the Jatropha curcas L. offers ample opportunities. The remaining part of the seeds after oil extraction is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and lignin. These components are interesting starting materials for the production of bio-based chemicals and performance materials. In addition, various plant parts contains interesting bio-active component that could be of interest for the pharmaceutical industry.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.42 p.m.
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