Extraction Of Wax From Cocoa Pod

Project and Seminar Material for Chemical Engineering

Extraction Of Wax From Cocoa Pod

Chapter One


The word wax describes a large variety of substances of plant and animal origin, as well as man made products which are mostly petroleum derivatives.

However, natural waxes are not single substances, but a mixture of various of long-chain fatty acids and a variety of other constituents, depending on their origin.

Each wax therefore has unique physical and chemical characteristics which are exploited in a multitude of applications.

The increasing important of raw materials together with the complexity of modern technology for their production, processing, collection, distribution, quality control, marketing, utilization and extractions hould not be overemphasized.

For the course of study, which is extraction of wax from cocoa pod, it is vital to understand the physical properties, compositions and characteristics of waxes so that maximum efficiency will be achieved while carrying out the practical.

The characterization of waxes for industrial or domestic use is physic-chemical rather than structural. Although all waxes, possess the same characteristic physical properties of feel, consistency, melting point and water disability. It physical characteristic of water insolubility, made it good for use in coatings of paper, wood, textiles, metal fruits and vegetables; to protect against moisture, chemical and mechanical damage to food packaging. For the fact that it serves as an ingredient in diverse materials, its uses has increased over the years with industrialization. It is obvious that wax has so many functions and uses than other material. For this reason many investigations ahs been carried out into the production of wax from vegetable, plants such as grass sugar-cane cotton orange, jojobus feed, palm leaf, cocoa pod etc.

Initially all quantity of products made of wax being consumed in Nigeria were mainly from oversea countries. At this time of economic diversification, there is need for us to embark upon our locally made raw material. For this reason plants which are available in the country are being research on as source of producing wax and this helps us to make use of our local raw material which had been left out and neglected.

It is because of this that the work in question has been indicated, with the purpose of finding locally available source of producing wax as that contained in cocoa pod. For this work, comparisons were made with the yield of wax produced from cocoa pod with that of other similar vegetable plants. Also comparison were made with the physical properties of wax from cocoap pod and other waxes. The properties compared are moisture content, melting point, characterization point and refractive index.

Chapter Six

Conclusion / Recommendation

Summary from the results of the work done on ripe and unripe cocoa husks from ore (Ondo state), the following conclusions and recommendations are made.

  1. Both ripe and unripe cocoa pod contains wax
  2. The unripe contains more moisture than the ripe when sundried
  3. The wax yield was a function of particle size (the lower the better but should not be less than 0.15mm otherwise percolation will be hindered.

Solvent used (xylen was so far the better).

Age (ripe husk gave higher yield than the unripe. Yield could also be attributed to climate conditions or locality (which include growth conditions).

  1. The higher wax content in the ripe pods could be due to the fact that wax content in the pod increased with age and got more loosened from the pods as they mature.
  2. The wax colour was dependent on the age and solvent used, but predominantly on the husk age,
  3. Since the physical and chemical properties of the wax are similar to carnauba, candelilla cocoa were could be used for the following floor polishers, carbon paper vanishes, sealing wax, electrical insulation, celoid, water proofing, matches etc.

Based on the above conclusion reached in the course of this work, cocoa pod is not a good source of wax for commercial consumption.

Therefore, investment into either small or commercial production should not be embarked on.

Other sources of wax should be looked into such as sugarcane, palm leaf, orange peel cotton, rice bran, sorghum grain, which are all abundant in Nigeria.

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