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Mahua: Uses
 

Mahua Oil (MO Oil) is an underutilized non-edible vegetable oil, which is available in large quantities in India. The fuel properties of the MO Oil biodiesel were found to be within the limits of biodiesel specifications of many countries. Fuel properties of diesel, mahua oil and blends are comparable. The calorific value of mahua oil was found as 96.30% on volume basis of diesel. It was found that mahua could be easily substituted up to 20% in diesel without any significant difference in power output, brake specific fuel consumption and brake thermal efficiency. The performance of engine with mahua oil blends improved with the increase in compression ratio from 16:1 to 20:1. Based on this study, it has been observed that esters of mahua oil could be used as a substitute for diesel.

Historically mahua has been the single largest indigenous source of natural hard fat in soap manufacture both by the small scale and organized sector. However the quantities of fat available do not commensurate the requirement White mahua fat is satisfactory for production of washing soaps, its utility as virgin fat in toilet soap

Seed Oil is used as ointment, in rheumatism and to prevent crack in the skin in winter. It is used for edible purposes culinary, hair oil, illumination, lighting, keeps body glossy and warm.

The present of toxic and bitter saponins in mahua cake/meal preludes its utilization in poultry/animal feeds. ?Mahua cake can be used as cheap organic manure. It contains N=3.5%, Pro 50.51% and it can be used as cattle feed when treed from bitters and saponins, since it contains 20% crude protein. To be used as feed it must be supplemented with essential amino acids e.g. Arginine and trytophan. The saponin in the cake is a powerful fish poison and the cake can be used to control predatory fish present in the pounds and lakhs.The cake is a cheap and effective wormicide to maintain the turf, lawn and golf ground, free from earth warms.

The flowers are used as vegetable, for making cake, liquor; flower juice is used in the treatment of enlargement of axillary grand, neurotic disorder and taken with cow’s milk as an aphrodisiac, in cough and bronchitis. The derived liquor desired from the fermentation of flowers is considered to be a tonic and nutritive.

Seed paste is applied to curve muscle fatigue and relieve pain in the muscle and joints to improve the texture and vigor of skin. Bark decoction is used in curing bleeding gums and ulcers.

Fodder: Leaves, flowers and fruits are lopped for goats and sheep. Seed cake is also fed to cattle.

Timber: The heartwood is reddish brown, strong, hard and durable; very heavy (929 kg/cu. m), takes a fine finish. It is used for house construction, naves and felloes of cartwheels, door and window frames

Erosion control: Mahua has a large spreading superficial root system that holds soil together

Shade or shelter: The wide spreading crown provides shade for animals. Reclamation: Mahua is planted on wasteland with hard lateritic soils in India.

Nitrogen fixing: Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal associations and root colonization have been observed in mahua.

Soil improver: The seed cake has been used as fertilizer

Ornamental: Mahua is occasionally planted as an avenue tree.

Boundary or barrier or support: It is planted along the boundaries of fields.

Intercropping: M. latifolia can be raised with agricultural crops.

Cake has export value.



Mahua cake composition is as follows
 
Composition% Expelled Solvent Extracted
Moisture 7.0 - 11.1 8.0 - 10.0
Fat '8 - 13.3  
Protein 15.0 - 17.4 14 - 16
Fiber 5.3 - 5.9 8.0 - 10.0
Ash 6.4 - 6.8 4.0 - 6.0
Saponim 4.6 6.0 - 8.0
Carbohydrates 48.7 - 54.6 40 - 50
Ref : SEA Millennium Hand Book 2000 pp 1025
 

One of the few trees that may not need deliberate conservation efforts due to its assimilation in cultural identity. In the tribal belt the center of the village is usually adorned with a huge Mahua tree, beneath which all the village meetings are held. Regeneration is plentiful. The tree is rarely cut due to its economic importance and religious taboos threatening wrath of the spirits upon cutting the trees.

OILL
Mahua seed contains 35% oil and 16% protein.The characteristics of fat are as under:>

 
CHARACTERISTICS OF FAT
 
s.No Characters Characterstic/ valve
1 Colours Pole Yellow
2 Consistency Plastic
3 Refrective Index at 40 degree C1.452 to 1.462
4 Specific gravity at 15 degree C 0.856 to 0.870
5 Iodine valve 58.00 to 70.00
6 Specification valve 187 to 196
7 Un sponification valve 1.00 to 3.00
 
COMPOSITION OF FATTY ACIDS
 
s.No Fatty Acid Percentage
1 Fatty Acid 16 - 28.2
2 Palmitic Acid 20 - 25.1
3 Stearic 0.00 - 3.3
4 Arachidic 41.0 - 51.0
5 Linoleic 8.9 - 13.7
 
Fuel properties of mahua oil and diesel
 
Properties Unit Diesel Mahua Oil IS Limits for Grade A and B diesel
Specific Gravity   0.828 0.904  
Kinematic viscocity at C & T      
40 deg celcius   2.44 37.18 2.0 - 7.5 at 38°C grade A
80 deg celcius   0.66 11.66 2.5 - 15.7 at 38 °C grade B
Calorific Value mj/kg 44.03 38.963  
Pour Point °C -5 15 6 max grade A 12-18 max grade B
Flash Point °C 47 238 55 min grade A 66 min grade B
Carbon Residue % 0.033 0.4215 0.2 max grade A 1.5 max grade B
Ash Content % 0.006 0.021 0.01 max grade A 0.02 max grade B
Water Content °C Trace Trace 0.05 max grade A 0.25 max grade B
Distillation temperature IBP   Trace 90  
90% Recovery   365 285 366 °C for grade A
 
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