Various edible oils extracted from natural seeds such as olives, groundnuts and soya bean has become quite popular these days. Globally, this concept is on a major rise. United States of America, as usual, is leading the way. The annual production of various edible oils is currently crossing 16 billion pounds.
This level of heavy production can be owed to the increase in demand for such products. People are making more and more money and can afford edible oils. The demand and sale of edible oils is increasing alongside people’s salaries. These oils can be used for cooking, especially for those people who are health conscious or have certain allergies. The extraction of oils from their seeds has a lot of potential yet to be realized. A lot of money making can be done in this area. Production of Oilseeds is something of a talent for our country. We are their largest producer. Our agricultural sector Is also greatly benefited by the production of oilseeds.
Edible oils and their seeds are very essential and very delicate commodities. These need to be grown with the utmost care and technique. 26 million hectare of India’s land is allotted to oilseed production. A 1000kg of oilseeds are produced in each hectare of land. But, in spite of the huge numbers, we are not exactly self-reliant. We still have to import a lot of our oil seed needs.
Thanks to our diverse climatic zone, India is the mother land of many different type of oil seeds. Castor, linseed, sesame, you name it and we produce it all. Sunflower and soya bean, of course, remain to be the most popular in the recent years. Other less popular but most essential oils include cottonseed and rice bran. We have around 15 thousand oil mills, some 600 extractions units and about 250 to 400 refining units, with efforts being made to open up more.
According to recent researches being conducted upon this subject, it has been noted that the demand for seed extracted oils is expected to reach 29.5 million tons in the coming years. Refined and crude oil are being imported. But, most of the oil being sold is not branded. 80 to 90 percent of edible oil is being sold as unbranded. This is expected to change, as people are growing more and more conscious of brands and brand names. Also, the price difference between the branded and non-branded oils is slowly coming down. This, along with the growing demand for premium quality is set to make the branded edible oils a lot more popular. As of now, Marico, ITC, Godrej foods, Ruchi etc can be named as the major players of the market. At times like these, if a person would like to venture into the field of extracting edible oils from their seeds, the potential for success is huge. The demand and the customer base is only going to increase in the coming years.
India Edible Oil Market Outlook
Edible oil industry in the India, which is hugely driven by import of edible oils, registered revenues of INR ~ billion in FY’2012. With an increase in consumption of edible oils in the country, the revenue of edible oils had inclined by 30.8% compared to FY’2011. Each segment in the edible oil industry is subject to a gamut of different factors such as price hikes and change in government policies play an important role in determining their respective revenues. The edible oil industry in the India has grown at a CAGR of 13.1% from INR 638.4 billion in FY’2009 to INR ~ billion in FY’2014. The competition in India edible oil market is highly fragmented owing to the presence of a large number of organized as well as local and unorganized players. The major players are Cargill, Adani Wilmar, Ruchi Soya, Agrotech Foods, and others.
India is the second-largest producer of Rice bran oil after China and the country has the potential to produce more than 1.4 million tonnes of rice bran oil. Rice Bran Oil market in India is still at its nascent stage, but the segment has showcased immense growth in the past few years. In FY’2012, the market for Rice Bran Oil in India grew at a sizeable growth rate of 14.0%. Adani Wilmar is the leading player in the Rice Bran oil segment. A large proportion of the rice bran oil market is dominated by regional and local players
Sunflower oil market in India has showcased a promising growth in revenues during the past few years. The sunflower oil market revenues during the period FY’2009-FY’2014 has surged at a healthy CAGR of 3.2%. The market for Sunflower oil in India has been dominated by Kauleeshwari. Ruchi Soya, Cargill, Adani Wilmar and other players such as Rasoya proteins, Kaneriya Oil industries, local and regional players as well as imported brands also command a substantial proportion in the overall market.
Blended Oil market in India has showcased a healthy and steady growth during the span of last five years from FY’2009-FY’2014. The market for Blended Oil in India has been largely subjugated by organized players which has accounted for major share in the overall market. The organized market which incorporates branded players such as Agrotech Foods, Marico and Adani Wilmar also has a strong regional dominance in the country.
The edible oil market is expected to be dominated by various national and multinational players due to the increasing import dependence of the country in the near future. Rice bran and blended oil market are expected to be the fastest growing categories in the entire edible oil segment with Oils such as Mustard, Sunflower, Groundnut and Cottonseed tend to remain region specific in the near future with a moderate fluctuation in their prices.
Non-edible oils as the potential source for the production of Biofuel
Energy consumption, economic growth, population growth and industrialization lead to a higher energy demand. The non-renewable sources of energy in the planet are finite and are depleting fast. The dependence on liquid fossil fuels is high and increasing rapidly for the transport sector compared to other sectors of the economy. Continuous use and dependence on fossil fuels has seriously degraded the environment causing irreparable damage and leading to catastrophes. Development of biofuels as a renewable source of energy for transportation is critical towards achieving higher self-reliance of energy security. The situation offers a challenge as well as an opportunity to look for substitutes of fossil fuels for both economic and environmental benefits.
Biodiesel is fatty acid ethyl or methyl ester made from virgin or used vegetable oils (both edible and non-edible) and animal fats. Bio-diesel is considered a clean fuel since it has almost no sulphur, no aromatics and contains about 10% oxygen which improves combustion. Its higher cetane number (50-52) improves the ignition quality even when blended in petroleum diesel. Biofuels production using plant derived oils or biomass has a huge opportunity as renewable energy since it indirectly converts solar energy into fuel energy derived from vegetable oils through photosynthesis. Large parts of the earth are bestowed with unlimited solar energy and support good plant growth.
Biofuels are being given serious consideration as potential sources of energy in the future, particularly in developing countries like India. Due to recent petroleum crisis and unavailability of petroleum diesel the demand for petroleum diesel is increasing day by day hence there is a need to find out an appropriate solution.
Biodiesel is a clean burning alternate fuel, produced from renewable resources like virgin or used vegetable oils, both edible and nonedible.It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications. Bio diesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. It can be stored just like petroleum diesel fuel and hence does not require a separate infrastructure. The use of biodiesel in conventional diesel engines results in substantial reduction of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matters. Its higher cetane number improves the ignition quality even when blended in petroleum diesel. The use of edible oil to produce bio diesel in India is not feasible in view of big gap in demand and supply of such oil.
In the United States, the majority of biodiesel is made from soybean and other edible vegetable oils, although biodiesel made from used cooking oils, animal fats, and wastes are also significant.
Indian plants like Jatropha (Jatropha curcas), Mahua (Madhuca Indica ), Karanja (Pongamia pinnata) and Neem (Mellia azadirachta) contain 30% or more oil in their seed, fruit or nut. Better environmental performance, greening of wastelands and creation of new employment opportunities are the main advantages of biofuels. In India, as edible oils are in short supply, non-edible tree borne oil seeds (TBOs) of karanja, Jatropha , Mahua and Neem are being considered as the source of straight vegetable oil (SVO) and biodiesel. Plant species, which have 30% or more fixed oil in their seeds or kernel, have been identified. Traditionally the collection and selling of tree-based oil seeds was generally carried out by poor people for use as fuel for lighting. Presently there is an extended use of these oils in soaps, varnishes, lubricants, candles, cosmetics, etc.
However, the current utilization of non-edible oil seeds is very low. There are many ways and procedures to convert vegetable oil into a Diesel like fuel, the transesterification process was found to be the most viable process.Trans-esterification is the process of using an alcohol (e.g. methanol, ethanol or propanol), in the presence of a catalyst, such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide, to break the molecule of the raw renewable oil chemically into methyl or ethyl esters of the renewable oil, with glycerol as a by product. Trans-esterified oils have proven to be a viable alternative diesel engine fuel with characteristics similar to those of Diesel fuel. Its physical and chemical properties required for operation of diesel engine are similar to petroleum based diesel fuel. Just like petroleum diesel, biodiesel operates in compression-ignition engines. Transesterification is a chemical reaction that aims at substituting the glycerol of the glycerides with three molecules of monoalcohols such as methanol thus leading to three molecules of methyl ester of vegetable oil. The molecular weight of ester molecule is 1/3rd of oil and low viscosity. Methanol and ethanol is widely used in the transesterification .Methanol is used because of low cost, and physicochemical advantages with triglycerides and sodium hydroxide. The alkali hydrolysis of the oil must have acid value <1 and moisture content of <0.5%. The acid catalyst is the choice for transesterification when low-grade vegetable oil used as raw material because it contains high free fatty acid (FFA) and moisture. Acid catalyst as sulphuric acid (H2SO4) is used for esterification process.
Future of Biodiesel in India
The annual estimated potential is about 20 million tones per annum.
India has great potential for production of biodiesel from non-edible oil seeds. From about 100 varieties of oil seeds, only 10-12 varieties have been tapped so far. The annual estimated potential is about 20 million tones per annum. Wild crops cultivated in the westland also form a source of biodiesel production in India and according to the Economic Survey of Government of India, out of the cultivated land area, about 175 million hectares are classified as waste and degraded land. Thus, given a demand-based market, India can easily tap its potential and produce biodiesel in a large scale.
Government agencies like Ministry of Rural Development, Environment and Forestry, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Agriculture, and Non-Conventional Energy Source can all play leading roles in this program.. Industry and research institutes have also the vital role for the success and a clear supply chain mechanism with utilization plan is necessary in national level like elsewhere across the globe. research organizations should be encouraged to undertake Life Cycle Analysis exercise for bio diesel produced from varied feed stock being used India and need to quickly develop high-yielding varieties of plants for various regions .
Both scientific and agricultural research bodies should be involved directly and on a regular basis to regularly enhance the efficiency levels of both production and processing of bio diesel..It is required to select and evolve quick growing and high-yield varieties and improved methods of propagation to produce better quality oil and to provide farmer’s with a choice of Tree Borne Oil (TBO ) species that are most appropriate to local agro-climatic conditions The seed collection and the processing of raw oil could also be taken up as a cooperative movement, which has led to several success stories in India. Small and medium scale industrial sector are required to take initiative for the downstream processing of raw oil and its supply to petroleum marketing companies .At the national level it is required to set up a very effictive task force for the coordination of plantation, production, distribution and marketing activities.The Government of India through its Planning Commission has initiated a national program to cultivate vast areas of waste lands by plantation of oil-bearing trees and as a result of this, substantial quantities of biodiesel can be available in the near future.
Prospects of Non Edible Vegetable Oil as a Potential Resource for Biolubricant
Increasing environmental pollution concerns and diminishing petroleum reserves has brought in attention towards the use of non edible vegetable oils as an alternative to petroleum oil based lubricants. Non edible vegetable oil plant contains high amount of oil in its seeds which can be converted into biolubricant. Biolubricant is a renewable lubricant that is biodegradable, non toxic and has a net zero greenhouse gases. There is a need to explore the possibility of using non edible varieties and their blends as biolubricant in order to achieve the twin objectives of reducing environmental and energy security of the country.
Biolubricant have come a long way in recent years, and they are now capable of providing extremely low friction and wear coefficients under certain or highly controlled test conditions. Biolubricant from non edible vegetable oils have received considerable research attention in the last decades owing to their remarkable improved tribological characteristics. Yet full potential has not been explored for the biolubricant production.