(2015) Bin Abu Ghazali, Muhammad Yusuf Abduh
The main objective of the research presented in this thesis is to identify interesting biobased products from the seeds of the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). The seeds are of particular interest as they are currently not valorised and regarded as waste. The rubber seeds consist of a kernel (61 wt%) surrounded by a hard shell (39 wt%). The kernel contains 40-50 wt% of a plant oil embedded in a protein rich matrix. Potentially interesting products are the rubber seed oil and the protein rich press cake after isolation of the oil. With the composition data above and reported rubber seed yields in the range of 100-1200 kg/(ha.y), the rubber seed oil yield is estimated to be in the range of 5-300 kg/(ha.y). The oil can be isolated from the seeds by using for instance an expeller. In this thesis, the isolation of the oil from the seeds and the use of the oil as a valuable source for the production of biodiesel (and by-product glycerol) and biopolymers is explored. In addition, preliminary techno-economic evaluations on a rubber seed expeller unit and a biodiesel unit in central Kalimantan (Palangkaraya) are presented. The production costs for rubber seed oil in a small-scale rubber seed expeller unit were estimated to be 0.42 €/l (55 ton/y scale). In addition, the total production cost for biodiesel production at small scale (55 ton/y) from rubber seed oil using centrifugal contactor separator technology was also evaluated and found to be 1.00 €/l. The research activities reported in this thesis are not only performed with rubber seed oil but complemented with jatropha and sunflower oil.