Fractionation of commercial hexane and use of its fractions as extracting solvent of cottonseed oil
Keywords:Commercial hexane, Cottonseed oil, Extracting, Fractionation
The problem of producing off-graded cottonseed oil using locally produced commercial hexane as extracting solvent has explored this research. It was aimed in this work to investigate whether this problem can be solved by controlling the boiling range of the extracting solvent. Four different hexane fractions of different boiling ranges were prepared from commercial hexane. The boiling range of commercial hexane was 62-68ºC while the boiling ranges of the four fractions were 62- 64, 64-65, 65-66 and 66-68ºC. Commercial hexane and the prepared four hexane fractions were then used to extract cottonseed oil from a fixed seed sample. The five crude oil samples were then refined and bleached and their colours were measured. The results have shown that the heaviest hexane fraction ( b.r 66-68ºC) produced the lightest coloured oils. The colour index of the bleached oil using this heavy cut was 190 compared to 350 using the original commercial hexane. However, the production of a commercial hexane cut having a narrow boiling range will be costly. Therefore, this research has been extended to investigate the suitability of a heavy petroleum cut which has a boiling range as wide as that of commercial hexane to extract cottonseed oil. The boiling range of this cut was 66-72ºC. The obtained results proved that the extraction of cottonseed oil using that heavy petroleum fraction produces much lighter oil than the use of conventional hexane solvent.
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