Investigatory Project

Topics: Orange, Orange oil, Citrus Pages: 5 (1096 words) Published: March 2, 2011
Limonene Contained in Orange Oil
as an Alternative Source of Energy to Produce Heat


The study was conducted to determine if the limonene contained in orange oil is a possible alternative source of energy to produce heat. It is concluded that duration of flame is significantly influenced by the amount or volume of limonene content. The limonene was effective enough as a fire starter. The flame produced had a consistent intensity. Its lengthy duration implied that it has the potential to be an alternative source of energy.

Background of the Study
Orange peeling does not simply serve as a protective covering to the fruit but it has various benefits used in different ways such as a dried seasoning, a candied desert, an air freshener, an insect repellant, an aromatic support in relieving tension, and in many other medicinal actions. However, on unusual use for dried orange peelings is a kindling for fire. The orange oils found in the peels are indeed flammable but they burn more steadily than other common kindling materials such as newspaper. Orange peels also have the advantage of creating a pleasant odor as they burn.

This study aims to generate a possible alternative renewable source of energy from a recycled raw material of a cist-effective and ecological energy to produce fires and provide power or heat. It specifically aims to extract and generate limonene present in the orange peelings as a possible substitute of fuels to produce fire or heat. It also aims to determine if limonene in orange (Citrus sinensis)is an effective source of energy in terms of the time duration of the fire produced and to determine how the amount of limonene utilized would affect the duration of the flame produced.


d-Limonene is the major component of the oil extracted from citrus rind. When citrus fruits are juiced, the oil is pressed out of the rind. This oil is separated from the juice and distilled to recover certain flavor and fragrance. The bulk of the oil is left behind and collected. This is food-grade d-Limonene. After the juicing process, the peels are conveyed to a steam extractor. This extracts more of the oil from the peel. When the steam is condensed, a layer of oil floats on the surface of the condensed water. This is technical-grade d-Limonene.

Limonene is from a family of hydrocarbons produced by plants known as terpenes. Limonene is an orange terpene. Terpenes are present in essential oils, especially citrus oils. Limonene melts at -95.2oC and it boils at 176oC; therefore, limonene is liquid at room temperature. It is lighter than water and insoluble in water, unless a surfactant is added. Limonene is considered a combustible liquid. Limonene can be used as an alternative to mineral oils. Limonene is flammable and can irritate the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Essential Oils

Essential oils come from the flowers, fruits, leaves, roots, seeds, and bark of many plants. The oils are formed in the green (chlorophyll-bearing) parts of the plant. As the plant matures, the oils are transported to other tissues, particularly to the flowering shoots. The essential oils are volatile liquids, mostly insoluble in water, but freely soluble in alcohol, ether, and vegetable and mineral oils. They are usually not oily to the touch. Essential oils are obtained by one of four methods: steam distillation, extraction by volatile solvents, expression by hand or machine, and enfleurage, a process in which fat is used as a solvent.


Preparation of Orange Peelings
Orange peelings were recovered from oranges and washed. The white piths were removed. Then the peelings were cut into thin strips. The strips went through the expeller. A liquid substance with some solid orange peeling residue was recovered.

A mixture of water and the expelled orange peelings were boiled. The steam went through...
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