Technical and Economic Evaluation of Phorbol Esters Extraction from Jatropha curcas Seed Cake using Supercritical Carbon Dioxide

Cristiane de Souza Siqueira Pereira, Fernando Luiz Pelegrini Pessoa, Simone Mendonca, Jose Antonio de Aquino Ribeiro and Marisa Fernandes Mendes

Jatropha curcas plant shrub of Euphorbiaceae family is a plant whose seeds are rich in oil that can be used for biofuel production. However the seeds contain many toxic compounds which the most important ones are known as phorbol esters (PEs). This study has as aim the study of the technical and economic feasibility of the supercritical fluid for the PEs extraction present in the Jatropha seed cake. The effect of temperature (40-100°C) and pressure (100-500 bar) on the phorbol yield was investigated using a central composite design methodology to determine the significance and interactions of these parameters. PEs in the extracted samples were analyzed and quantified by HPLC. The supercritical fluid extraction was effective in the recovery of PE extracted from Jatropha curcas cake varying from 23.0%, at 70°C and 500 bar to 2.6% at 90°C and 160 bar. The results showed that pressure had the most significant enhancing effect on the phorbol ester yield. Simulations of phorbol ester extraction from Jatropha curcas cake were carried out using SuperPro Designer 9.0 (Intelligen, Inc) to evaluate production costs of an industrial process to treat the necessary quantity of cake. It was possible to conclude that the supercritical extraction is viable to be applied.