Keywords: rubber seed oil, solvent extraction, oil properties, nonedible oil, rubber seeds, Malaysia, density, viscosity, calorific value, refractive index, acid value, composition, biofuels, surface coating, low-cost soaps
Solvent extraction and characterisation of rubber seed oil
Rubber seeds are an abundant source of non-edible oil that is available in Malaysia. Nonetheless, the seeds remain underutilised although oil produced has the potential to be used in a number of applications. For this industry to be developed, a reliable study is required to establish oil extraction parameters and oil properties. Rubber seeds were collected and characterised in order to study variables effecting oil yield from the seed. N-Hexane was the solvent of choice in the extraction where temperature was kept constant at the selected solvent's boiling point (69°C). The effect of solvent/seed ratio, extraction time and drying time over the oil yield were studied. Physio-chemical and thermodynamic properties of the semi drying oil including density, viscosity, calorific value, refractive index, acid value and composition were calculated and presented. Rubber seed oil had properties that qualify it to be used in several industries such as biofuels, surface coating (resins) and low-cost soaps.