Category Archives: 2003 Vol 15 No 1

Recovery of glycerol and diglycerol from glycerol pitch

Glycerol pitch is one of the wastes generated by the Malaysian oleochemicals industry. A recovery technique which involved an acid-based extraction was developed in which the pitch was separated into three components – crude glycerol containing diglycerol, fatty acids and inorganic salts. The crude glycerol was subjected to vacuum distillation to produce pure glycerol, leaving behind an undistilled fraction rich in diglycerol. Several analyses, such as glycerol content, ash content, moisture content and acidity, and Fourier transform infra red (FTIR) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) were employed to determine the purity and the compositions of glycerol pitch and the products thus isolated from the waste. The analyses showed that the glycerol pitch comprised 55%-65% glycerol, 15%-25% diglycerol, and less than 10% each of fatty acids and inorganic salts. The method developed is simple and suitable for the recovery of glycerol and diglycerol in the waste.

Palm-based chiral compounds

Palm-based chiral compounds are potential values although they are either taken for granted or largely ignore. This paper reports on the chirality features and optical activities of readily available palm-based chiral compounds such as asymmetrical acylglycerols, phospholipids, tools, carotenoids and sterols

Preliminary attempts at the construction of large insert DNA libraries of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.)

Oil palm is one of the most important oil bearing crops, being by far the highest oil yielder per unit land area in the world. In order to facilitate oil palm genome analysis leading to physical mapping, identification of molecular markers associated with quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and map-based cloning, we attempted to develop the tools and techniques needed to construct a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for oil palm. A suitable methods to purify and prepare the single copy vector (pBeloBACII) for BAC transformation was established. The proper partial digestion conditions for oil palm megabase DNA for BAC library construction were also determined. Several BAC clones were successfully identified. Hybridization of these BAC clones with oil palm DNA as probe confirmed the presence of oil palm DNA in those clones.

Performances of some pisiferas of Binga, Ekona, URT and Angolan origins : Part 1 breeding background and fruit bunch traits

The Unilever-Harrisons & Crosfield’s Combined Breeding Programme-Part 13 (CBP13) was a progeny testing of pisiferas from Binga (Congo), Ekona (Cameroon) and URT (Malaysia). The pisiferas were tested in dura x pisifera (DxP) crosses with selected Deli and African x Deli duras. The three pisifera populations had been developed independently and under different conditions. The Binga programme focussed on high yield in an environment endemic with Fusarium wilt, selection at Ekona emphasized high bunch oil content, especially from oil/mesocarp, and Ulu Remis were developed from Deli dura x African pisiferas. The widely used Algemeene Vereniging van Rubber Planters ter Oostkust can Sumatra (AVROS) pisiferas, first developed in Sumatra, were also included as Deli x AVROS pisifera link crosses. The Angolan origin was represented by only one pisifera.

The DxP progenies of AVROS and Ekona gave the highest bunch oil content. In AVROS, the superiority was obtained from more fruit/bunch and mesocarp/fruit whereas in Ekona, it was better oil/mesocarp. The DxP of Binga and URT pisiferas were poorer in bunch oil content because of lower mesocarp/fruit and less oil/mesocarp. The DxP of both the latter, especially some of the URT pisiferas, gave more kernel/bunch, while those of Binga PKg111 pisiferas had more fruit/bunch. Binga pisiferas were more variable for DxP bunch traits than AVROS and Ekona.

Among the dura female parents, Deli had a higher DxP bunch oil content than those of African or African x Deli duras, the better value obtained from more fruit/bunch and mesocarp/fruit. The fruits were also larger. The DxP of African duras and African x Deli duras, especially of the former, had more oil/mesocarp and correspondingly less moisture and fibre. The large variation in mesocarp fibre in both the dura and pisifera populations suggests breeding for an optimal value based on maximum oil expression with the current milling technology. Inter-crossing Deli and African duras and among pisiferas of different origins should generate trait combinations for higher bunch oil content than that of the currently widely used Deli x AVROS.

Design and development of a prototype trailed type oil palm seedling transplanter

A prototype trailed type transplanter for oil palm seedlings with a configuration consisting of the main chassis, seedling bin, seedling planting assembly, operator compartment, and associated hydraulic system has been designed and developed at the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Malaysia. AutoCAD 2000 software was employed to develop the 3D dimensional model of the prototype machine. The transplanter is to be trailed from a 4-wheel tractor having at least 85 hp (63.4 kW) engine size and equipped with a seedling bin that could accommodate 20 oil palm seedlings per operating trip. Two operators are required in the involved transplanting operation; a driver for the tractor and an operator for transplanter. The driver drives the tractor-transplanter combination in the field, while the operator operates the hydraulic control system of the transplanter to integrate the preparations of planting hole, placement of seedling in the prepared hole, covering of the seedling in the prepared hole, and compacting of the soil around the planted seedling

Preliminary field and cost evaluations of a prototype oil palm seedling transplanter

Mechanized field transplanting of oil palm seedling with the trailed type transplanter resulted with a planting capacity of 99 seedlings/man-day or 0.62 ha man-day-1 as compared to 0.28 ha man-day-1 or 45 seedling man day-1with the manual transplanting planting system; an improvement of 2.2 times. The quality of planting with the mechanized transplanting system indicated insignificant variations in leaning angles, spacing, row alignment, pulling forces and height increment among planted seedlings. Almost 99.45% of the total seedlings planted by the transplanter were categorized under upright palms. The average spacing between adjacent planted seedlings was 8.56 m and exceeded only by 0.06 ± 0.02 m from the proposed distance, whereas row alignment of planted seedlings variations was 1.78 ± 0.33 cm along planting lines in each row. The soil around the planted seedling was almost uniformly compacted with an averaged pulling force of 347.39 ± 20.27 N per planted seedling. The entire seedlings were successfully planted in the field by the transplanter with averaged palms height increment of 18.6+2.45 cm after the first month of planting and 22.5+3.34 cm after the second month of planting. The estimated planting cost is RM 2.11 per seedling with mechanized transplanting as compared to RM 2.26 with manual transplanting; a reduction of 6.64%.