A newly developed technology for easy de-husking and oil extraction from oilseeds has increased local community participation in Hassan district of Karnataka bringing in not just monetary benefits but also helping improve de-centralised non-fossil fuel production.
“The participation of the farming community in feedstock production has played an important role in developing strategies for biofuel production. It will thus help fulfil the target of 175 GW of non-fossil fuel of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said a release from the Ministry of Science and Technology on Tuesday.
The manual de-husking of ‘Pongamia’ (‘Karanj’ or ‘Honge’), a potential biofuel crop, is a laborious process, because of which the farmers do not show much interest for its collection. The motorised de-husking machine was much desired to bring back their enthusiasm for collection and processing.
Under the project ‘Development and evaluation of pongamia pod decorticator and mini-vegetable seed oil extraction machine’, the Pongamia decorticator, which runs on 1 HP single-phase electric motor, was designed, and developed using mild steel with a capacity of 80-100 kg/hr with grant-in-aid from ‘Scheme for Young Scientists and Technologists’ programme, ‘Science for Equity, Empowerment and Development’ Division of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) at University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru.
The machine has efficiency of nearly 85-90 per cent and damage of the seeds to the tune of 10 per cent. Usually, the damaged seeds are broken into cotyledons which may not have any effect on oil extraction process.
The newly developed oil extraction machines and pongamia pod decorticators will help improve biofuel production and by-product utilisation at the village level to augment the income of farmers in Hassan district of Karnataka, the release added.
A total of 10 mini-vegetable oil extraction machines and eight pongamia pod decorticators have been distributed recently to farmers’ self-help groups at Hassan district in Karnataka, which are linked to farmers’ producer organisations.
These small-scale oil extraction machines would be ideal for rural areas for oil extraction in villages and use of by-products like the cake for manure, biogas and also edible oil cake as animal feed.
These machines were developed and tested for edible and non-edible oilseeds. It runs on single phase 230 V power with variable speed. Heating mechanism with temperature control has been developed for heating of the expeller at the cake flow to enhance the extraction efficiency. Power consumption for oil extraction is 500 W/h.
The oil extractor is removable and can be easily cleaned before using for different oilseeds. Different sets of extractors may be used for edible and non-edible oils. The machine has been tested for edible oil seeds such as Sunflower, Coconut, Groundnut, Mustard, Sesame, etc., and non-edible oil seeds such as Pongamia, Neem and Mahua, the release said.