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Exhaustive valorization of cashew nut shell waste as a potential bioresource material.

Authors: Nyirenda, J., Zombe, K., Kalaba, G., Siabbamba, C., & Mukela, I. Journal: Sci Rep. Year: 2021 Pages: 1-14 Volume: 11(1)
Fruits: Cashews
Subject: By-products

In this paper, we report extraction of cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) from cashew nut shell waste (CNSW) and further use of residues for generation of activated carbon for removal of heavy metals and methylene blue (MB). Solvent extraction yielded 24.6 ± 0.4%, 38.2 ± 0.4% and 40.1 ± 0.9% for petroleum ether, hexane and ethanol respectively. Phytochemical screening showed presence of alkaloids, carbohydrates, saponins, phenols, tannins, flavonoids, amino acids, terpenoids, proteins, steroids, glycosides and carboxylic acids. The CNSL had a pH of 3.2, viscosity (104.6 ± 1.8 mPa s), moisture (6.5%), ash (1.6 ± 0.1%), refractive index (1.52 ± 0.001), specific density (0.9561 ± 0.0002 g/cm3), acid value (118.7 ± 9.2 mg KOH/g), free fatty acid value (60.1 ± 4.7%), saponification number (138.1 ± 3.2 mg KOH/g) and iodine value (188.1 ± 2.3 mgI 2/100 g). The average percentage removal of Cu (II), Pb (II), Cd (II) and Zn (II) was 99.4 ± 0.5, 95.4 ± 1.5, 99.5 ± 0.1, 98.4 ± 0.1%, and removal efficiency of MB at 50, 150, 250 and 350 mg/L was 99.63, 97.66, 96.48 and 94.81%, respectively. Equilibrium data were best described by the Freundlich isotherm model. The maximum monolayer adsorption capacity was 12.1 mg/g. The adsorption kinetics conformed to pseudo-second-order model. ∆G° was negative and a ∆H° of + 22.76 kJ/mol indicated that adsorption was endothermic. The ΔS° (+ 0.086 kJ/mol/K) showed that there was spontaneous interaction of the solution and adsorbate. These results show that CNSW is a potential bioresource for CNSL production for use in the paints, varnishes, surface coatings, agrochemicals and ethnomedicine industries. Residual shells can be exploited as fuels or converted to activated carbon for use as low-cost filters in water purification.

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