Environment-friendly oil extraction

G. Narasimha Rao

VISAKHAPATNAM: An institute located in Paralakhemundi in Orissa is planning to establish a plant to extract oil from flowers by using super critical carbon dioxide in a totally environmental friendly manner.

“The process is called super critical fluid extraction and petroleum or chemical residue is not used and this is not only an environmental-friendly method but also the oil extracted will smell as good as the original (flower)”, said director of Jagannath Institute for Technology and Management and managing trustee of Centurion School of Rural Enterprise Management, of Paralakhemundi, D.N. Rao, while explaining about the process to The Hindu.

This could be the first of its kind on the entire east coast, he said. Several such plants are located on the west coast because species of plants and flowers with oil are abundantly available in that region. The plant to be established at Paralakhemundi would make use of the cavada (mogali in Telugu). An entrepreneur who is also running such extraction plants in Pune, R.S. Deshpande is helping JITM in establishing the plant.

Efficacy was very high in the extraction process, to be put in the pharma industry parlance. The natural botanical character is retained and there is no pesticidal residue, Prof. Rao said.

The oil extracted in this process commands a premium in the overseas market. However, the process though clean, is a delicate one. The carbon dioxide used for extraction is put back into the process.

The quantity and quality of the oil extracted varies from crop to crop and region to region.