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The Effect of Tertiary Butyl Hydroquinone on the Biodegradability of Palm Olein

Author(s): Emmanuel ALUYOR | Innocent OBOH | Charity OKIEIMEN

Journal: Leonardo Electronic Journal of Practices and Technologies
ISSN 1583-1078

Volume: 8;
Issue: 14;
Start page: 47;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Biodegradation | Vegetable oils | Oxidative stability | Antioxidants | Cumulative Oxygen Depletion

Poor oxidative stability is demonstrated by most vegetable oils especially in industrial situations. Antioxidants are widely used for overcoming poor oxidative stability in vegetable oils. The adverse effect of additives on the overall biodegradability of vegetable oil based industrial fluids could however be a concern. Biodegradability provides an indication of the persistence of any particular substance in the environment. The superior biodegradation of vegetable oils in comparison with mineral based oils has been demonstrated severally, leaving scientists with the lone challenge of finding economic and safe means to improve their working efficiency in terms of their poor oxidative stability. This study investigated the extent to which the use of the antioxidant Tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) in palm olein impaired biodegradability, and described the relationship between antioxidant loading and biodegradability. Increased antioxidant loading resulted in a matching decrease in biodegradability. Using the total cumulative oxygen depletion value of pure refined palm olein at the end of the 28 day period as a standard of comparison, a 0.02% concentration of TBHQ in palm olein resulted in a 25% loss in biodegradability; a 2% concentration of TBHQ resulted in a 56.5% loss in biodegradability. At 6% TBHQ concentration, no biodegradation was observed in the palm olein sample studied.
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