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Effect Of Particle Size In Extracting Oil From Baobab Seed And Characterization

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1.0 Preamble

Adansonia digitata L. (Bombacaceae family) is a native deciduous tree from the African savannas. The English common name is baobab, probably derived from the Arabic bu hibab, which means “fruit with several seeds”. There are many dif-ferent local names used in southern Africa. Umkhomo and Muuju in Zimbabwe; Mowana, Moana, Dovuyu, Ibozu, Mbuyu and Mobuyu in Botswana; Mnambe and Mbuye in Malawi; Muuyu, Mbuyu, Mkulukumba, Mlambe in Zambia (Kurebgaseka, 2005).

It is characterized by an unusual, swollen, relatively short, bottle shaped trunk (about 15 m in height) in which spongy fibers store water for the dry season. For this reason, it is also called “bottle tree”. The mature circumference can exceed 20 m; the diameter at chest height is about 10m. The crown is rounded and shows a stiff branching habit. The tree has an extensive lateral root system, which produces tubers at the end. African baobab is a very long-living tree. It normally lives for about 500 years, but it is believed that some trees are up to 5000 years old.

The tree sheds its leaves during the dry season, which can last most of the year depending on the climate zone. Leaves are digitate, normally having 5 leaflets when mature. The leaflets have entire margins and are elliptic to obovate-elliptic, with acuminate apex and a decurrent base. Mature leaf size may reach a diameter of 20 cm. The flowers bloom during the wet season and the dry season as well. They are very large and suspended on long peduncles. The fruit is bottle or cu-cumber shaped and develops 5-6 months after florescence. It has a woody outer shell, 7.5-54 cm long x 7.5-20 cm wide, covered by velvety yellowish, sometimes greenish hairs. The internal fruit pulp is split into mealy agglomerates that enclose several reniform seeds (approximately 10 mm long) (Sidibe and Williams, 2002).

Because of its great size and diffusion, Adansonia digitata is an extremely impressive tree. It symbolizes the African savanna better than any other plant. Its spongy wood does not burn; therefore the plant is protected from fire. Hollowed out bao-bab trunks in the vicinity of villages are used for water storage.

In areas where the baobab tree grows, there are traditions that prohibit communi-ties from cutting down the baobab tree and any other fruit bearing trees. Where there has been extensive deforestation, this has resulted in a situation whereby the baobab and other fruit trees are the only trees to remain standing (Kurebgaseka, 2005).

The baobab tree is also a good fodder tree especially for game. Cattle eat the leaves and flowers that would otherwise fall to the ground. Baobab roots can be tapped where water is a problem.

On the other hand, where domestic plants are cultivated and/or domestic animals are raised, the natural reproduction cycle of the baobab is often threatened. Above all, in areas with high elephant densities baobab is endangered, because in the dry periods, they chew the wood for its stored water and thereby severely damage the tree.

1.1 Problem Statements

Waste of agricultural product that would have been put into use.

Cheaper drugs and antibiotic can be produce locally from baobab.

1.2 Aim and Objectives

This project is aimed at determining the effect of particle size in extracting oil from baobab seed and characterization.

The effect of size particle on the yield of oil extracted from baobab seed characterization of the oil extracted from baobab.


This research work is to investigate on the effect of size particle on extraction of oil and characterization from baobab seed.

1.4 Limitation

The work is to extraction of oil and its characterization from baobab seed oil. Two size particles (2mm and 1mm) and three solvent (n-Hexane, methanol and ethanol).

1.5 Justification

  • Baobab oil has wide variety of usage, to prevent it wastage yet to be employed.
  • Extraction and processing baobab can be a great source of employment.
  • Waste agricultural product is process to obtain oil.



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