The heart-leaved moonseed serves as eco-friendly antioxidant alternative for various biodiesels

An extract from the stem of the heart-leaved moonseed (Tinospora cordifolia) could be used as an alternative antioxidant additive for biodiesels. Indian researchers reported that an extract from the stem of the plant could improve the activity of biodiesel made from the oil of the Karanja tree (Pongamia glabra).

The study was conducted by the Central University of Jharkhand. The researchers published their findings in the journal Industrial Crops and Products.

  • A biodiesel needs to possess a certain level of oxidative stability in order to be considered an efficient fuel. Biodiesels that score poorly in this parameter reduce the performance of the engine. They also cause higher levels of vehicle emissions.
  • Unsaturated fatty acids made up ~69 percent of Karanja oil. The biodiesel derived from this oil displayed an oxidation induction period of 2.49 hours. This was not long enough to satisfy the ASTM D6751 requirement of 3?hours and the EN 14214 requirement of 6?hours.
  • Stems of the moonseed were processed to produce the extract. Assays showed that the extract contained high levels of phenolic compounds that were very effective at scavenging free radicals.
  • The extract proved to be soluble in Karanja biodiesel. Once added to the fuel, the moonseed extract increased the oxidative-induction time of the biodiesel.
  • A loading of 100 parts per million (ppm) of stem extract fulfilled the ASTM D6751 requirements for biodiesel fuel blends. The 600 ppm loading met the EN 14214 specifications for bioheating fuel.

The researchers concluded that the stem extract of the moonseed could be used as a cleaner, inexpensive, natural, and renewable source of antioxidant additive that can greatly improve the performance of Karanja biodiesel.

For more stories about the beneficial properties of the heart-leaved moonseed, visit

Journal Reference:

Kumar D, Singh B. TINOSPORA CORDIFOLIA STEM EXTRACT AS AN ANTIOXIDANT ADDITIVE FOR ENHANCED STABILITY OF KARANJA BIODIESEL. Industrial Crops and Products. 20 June 2018;123:10–16. DOI: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2018.06.049.

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