PREPARATION OF BIODIESEL FROM KARANJA OIL(part 1)

Karanja is a medium sized tree is found almost throughout India. Karanja tree is wonderful tree almost like neem tree. The common name of the oil is Karanja Seed Oil and the botanical name is Pongamia glabra of Leguminaceae family. Pongamia is widely distributed in tropical Asia and it is nonedible oil of Indian origin . It is found mainly in the Western Ghats in India, northern Australia, Fiji and in some regions of Eastern Asia. .The plant is also said to be highly tolerant to salinity and can be grown in various soil textures viz. stony, sandy and clayey.

Karanja can grow in humid as well as subtropical environments with annual rainfall ranging between 500 and 2500 mm. This is one of the reasons for wide availability of this plant species. The tree bears green pods which after some 10 months change to a tan colour. The pods are flat to elliptic, 5-7 cm long and contain 1 or 2 kidney shaped brownish red kernels. The yield of kernels per tree is reported between 8 and 24 kg. .The kernels are white and covered by a thin reddish skin. The composition of typical air dried kernels is: Moisture 19%, Oil 27.5%, and Protein 17.4%. The present production of karanja oil approximately is 200 million tons per annum. The time needed by the tree to mature ranges from 4 to 7 years and depending on the size of the tree the yield of kernels per tree is between 8 and 24 kg.

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