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Lipid Science & Technology


Core Competencies & Research Area

Newer extraction and processing methodologies

Enzymatic degumming of rice bran oil, supercritical CO2 extraction, membrane processing, refining process for emu and eri-pupal oils, value added products from processing by-products, process for refined and hydrogenated rice bran wax, triacontanol, rice bran lysolecithin

Biolubricants based on vegetable oils

Lubricant basestocks with tailor made specifications like pour point and viscosity range etc. (polyol esters, dibasic esters, estolide esters, C36 dimer and C21 diacid esters, epoxidised oils and fatty acid esters, acylated oils and fatty acid esters, bio-based additives with antioxidants, anti- wear and extreme pressure properties


Fatty acid-based surfactants, heterocyclic-based monocationic and gemini surfactants, mannitol-based surfactants, alkanolamine-based surfactants, estolide-based surfactants, amino acid-based surfactants, protein-based surfactants, lecithin-based surfactants, specialized surfactants for specific applications like adjuvants, fat liquors, personal care, etc.

Castor oil-based products

Hydrogenated castor oil, 12-hydroxy stearic acid (12-HSA), polyricinoleic acid, dimer acids, enriched methyl ricinoleate, undecenoic acid (UDA) and heptaldehyde, 11-bromo and 11-amino, undecanoic acid

Specialty oleochemicals

Cetyl myristoleate (CMO), undecalactone, fatty acid-based triazoles, guerbet alcohols, designer wax esters, sodium stearoyl lactylate

Industrial products from processing by- prodcuts of vegetable oils

Upgraded rice bran wax, hydrogenated rice bran wax, triacontanol, long chain fatty acids, lyso lecithin

Nutraceuticals and structured lipids from vegetable oils

Tocopherols, phytosterols, stanol esters, octacosanol polycosanol), food grade lecithin, glycolipid, gamma oryzanol, synthetic oryzanol, reduced calorie fat, DAG oil, trans-free vanaspati

Bioactive compounds

Alkanolamines, claviminols, triazoles, fatty imidazolines, fatty schiffs bases, lipophilic antioxidants, karanjin

Biodiesel and its by-products

Continuous process for multi-feedstock (vegetable oils and algal oils), glycerol based heterogeneous carbon acid and base catalysts, fuel additives, value added products from deoiled cakes and glycerol

Analytical support

Analytical support and data interpretation will be provided to Industry, R&D and Academic Institutes in oils, fats and allied products (lubricants, surfactants, biodiesel etc.), specialty lipids employing Chemical, Chromatographic and Spectral analysis.

Enzymatic Degumming of Rice Bran Oil

Enzymatic Degumming of Rice Bran Oil: Rice bran is a valuable co-product of the rice milling industry and its oil content ranges from 12-25% depending upon the quality of the bran. Chemical refining of rice bran oil generally results in losses considerably higher than those encountered in other vegetable oils due to the presence of larger amounts of free fatty acids and non-triacylglycerol constituents. Refining losses can be considerably reduced by using physical refining. For successful implementation of physical refining, the most important pre-requisite is the efficient removal of gums. Many Indian oil-processing units have adopted physical refining without taking proper measures to lower the phosphorus content. The resulting dark coloured oil fetches less value in the market. Enzymatic degumming process is the answer for the entire problem as it catalyzes the conversion of hydratable and non-hydratable phospholipids into water-soluble lyso-phospholipids, which are then removed by centrifugation, yielding degummed oil with lower phosphorus. CSIR-IICT was actively involved in solving the problems related to rice bran processing under programmes funded by Technology Mission on Oilseeds, Pulses & Maize (TMOP & M), Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India and came out with an efficient enzymatic degumming technology for rice bran oil (US patent No.7494676B2) employing a commercially available enzyme to bring down the residual phosphorus levels to 0 to 5 ppm after bleaching and de-waxing. This oil, if refined in a well-maintained physical refining unit, will produce good quality edible rice bran oil. The enzymatic degumming process is less energy intensive, minimizes the loss of oil, reduces water consumption and is more environment-friendly.

The enzymatic degumming technology is one of the outstanding projects of CSIR-IICT in terms of its reach and impact on the Indian vegetable Oil industry. CSIR-IICT has transferred the technology to nineteen rice bran refineries and eight Project Engineering companies (as licensee) spread over nine states of the country.

Rice Bran Wax

Rice bran wax (3 to 6% of crude oil) is a by-product obtained during dewaxing process. A simple bench-scale process was developed for the upgradation and bleaching of crude rice bran wax. The upgraded wax is a good substitute to the imported carnauba wax fully or partially. The process has been demonstrated to seven industries. A process for the hydrogenated wax was also developed and transferred to one industry.

Triacontanol and Octacosanol

Triacontanol and octacosanol are presently marketed as plant growth stimulant and cholesterol reducing agents respectively. IICT has developed a bench-scale patented process for the production of these two products (triacontanol with 30% purity and octacosanol with 20% purity) from crude rice bran wax and transferred the process to three industries.


The soap-stock generated during alkali refining is a good source for oryzanol, a biologically active component used in foods and pharmaceuticals with several biological activities like cholesterol lowering property. Two processes were developed on laboratory scale for the isolation of oryzanol upto 60-70% purity and the patents were granted.

Lecithin and Lysolecithin

Lecithin and lysolecithin are the by-products of water and enzymatic degumming processes of rice bran oil. These products have lot of potential in food and pharmaceuticals applications. A laboratory scale-process was developed for bleaching of these products.

Eri Silkworm Oil

Eri silkworms (Samia cynthia ricini) are grown on two different host plants, castor (Ricinus communis Linn.) and tapioca (Manihot utilizsima Phol.) leaves. CSIR-IICT has developed pilot scale process for the extraction of oil (upto 18-20% on dry pupae basis) for eri silkworm pupae grown on both varieties. The pupal oil was found to be rich with a-linolenic acid (ALA) up to 58 and 43% in the oil of silkworm pupae grown on tapioca and castor leaves respectively. A laboratory scale process was also developed for the refining of eri silkworm oil.

Glycerol-Based Carbon Acid and Base Catalysts for Green Processes

Utilization of glycerol for the preparation of carbon catalysts is completely a novel concept and enhances the value of glycerol and the economy of biodiesel and oleochemical industry. Heterogeneous carbon-based acid and base catalysts were developed from crude glycerol (by-product of biodiesel process / technical grade glycerol / glycerol-pitch-waste product from fat splitting industry). The carbon acid catalyst exhibited excellent esterification activity particularly for the conversion of free fatty acids present in indigenous non-edible oils to biodiesel thus reducing effluent load by avoiding sulfuric acid as catalyst. The acid catalyst was modified to base catalyst with a very good transesterification activity for the production of biodiesel from neat vegetable oils. These carbon catalysts are very stable, water resistant and exhibited extra-ordinary recycling capability without any leaching into the reaction systems. The carbon acid catalyst was successfully employed for the preparation of variety of esters, protection and deprotection of alcohols and phenols. Apart from biodiesel preparation, the carbon acid catalyst has extra-ordinary potential to replace sulfuric acid or other heterogeneous catalysts for variety of reactions

Glycerol-based Crown Ethers and Dendrimers

CSIR-IICT prepared several glycerol-based crown ethers namely, hydroxymethyl 15-crown-5, crown ether mixture and alkyloxy methyl-15-crown-5, benzyl vanillin methyl 15-crown-5 and veratryl methyl 15-crown-5 etc. All these crown ethers exhibited very good surface active property, CMC and alkali metal ion extraction ability. Glycerol-based dendrimers with pentaerythritol core and amine and Schiff’s base functionalities at the periphery were also prepared and are being evaluated for biological activity and enzyme immobilization studies.

Synthetic Aviation Lubricant

This is a project of utmost importance in the strategic sector. India is totally dependent on imports for its requirement of aviation lubricants. It was felt necessary to develop indigenous aviation lubricants. The Phase I activities of the project on Synthetic Aviation Lubricants (SAL) executed by the consortium involving CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad as Nodal Agency, Indian Oil Corporation, Research & Development Centre (IOC R&D) Faridabad, National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Bengaluru, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Bengaluru, Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE), Bengaluru and Centre for Military Airworthiness & Certification (CEMILAC), Bengaluru was successfully completed. This work was sponsored by Centre for High Technology (CHT), Noida (U.P). Two Synthetic Aviation Lubricants were successfully developed and Airworthiness Certification approvals were granted by CEMILAC. The phase II activities of the project involving inflight trails would start very soon.

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