The cashew tree is evergreen. It grows up to 12 metres high and has a spread of 25 metres. Its extensive root system allows it to tolerate a wide range of moisture levels and soil types, although, commercial production is advisable only in well-drained, sandy loam or red soils. Annual rainfall needs to be at least 889mm (35 inches) and not more than 3048mm (120 inches). Cashew trees are most frequently found in coastal areas. It is exported to countries like Japan and Korea and its domestic use is also increasing. Konkan region of Maharashtra could be an ideal location as there are many manuals and few mechanised cashew processing factories in the region. Likewise, there are several processing factories in adjoining Goa state as well. Kerala can also be an ideal location.
The main commercial product of the cashew tree is the nut
Cashew Nut (Anacardium occidentale)
Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) is the versatile by product of the cashew industry. The Cashew Nut has a shell of about 0.1 inch thickness inside which is a soft honey comb structure containing a dark reddish brown viscous liquid. It is called the Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL) which is the pericarp fluid of the nut. It is often considered to be better as well as cheaper material containing unsaturated phenols. The oil is obtained from the spongy layer (pericarp) between the inner and outer shell of cashew nuts. Raw cashewnut shell contains around 20% oil. When cashewnuts are processed by oil extraction process, about 50% oil is extracted. Balance oil (or liquid as it is known) can be further extracted with the help of expellers.
Applications in Petroleum industry
Stabilization of Crude
Crude oils, especially heavy crude oils and crude blends that are subject to instability on storage or during transportation and processing can be treated with additives in order to stabilizer the crude oil in regard to precipitating contaminants such as asphaltenes. Diesel...