Great Economic Potential
With dwindling petroleum resources, to find alternative sources of energy has become the world urgent need. Castor is renewable source and majority of the petroleum derivative products can be obtained from the castor oil deep process. Experts regarded that Castor oil can be great potential for development of renewable “oil” resources. Therefore, the promotion of cultivation of castor-oil plant is a strategic choice. Castor is one of the world’s top ten oil-bearing crops and it is important industrial raw materials also. The chemical derivatives of castor oil generated more than 170 series of products over 3000 items, has a special purpose and tremendous value. The United States marked castor oil as one of the eight strategic materials; France use castor oil to produce nylon-11 resin technology as the country-level secrets. Castor oil can process products such as nylon-11 resin, 12-hydroxy stearic acid which are widely used in medicine, aerospace, aviation, military, communications, machinery manufacturing, fine chemicals and other high-tech fields.
The world’s major importers of castor oil industrial countries such as France, the United States, Germany, Britain, the Netherlands are five countries accounted 61% of annual consumption. Castor mainly grows in India, China, Brazil, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Paraguay, Thailand, Pakistan and Vietnam. The world’s castor production more than 1.55 million tons, which India accounted 69%; China accounted 14%; Brazil accounted 7%. India, China, Brazil, the three countries together accounted about 90% of the world total.
According to castor oil plant market research, show that from 1999 until now, uses of castor oil increase year after year. Demand and price rising every year, in recent years, castor oil become a hot market commodity product. Until year 2015, global castor oil demand will reach 100 million tons, include castor beans equivalent of 240 million tons. At present, there still do not have any alternative material can replace castor oil. Underground oil and natural gas resources are decreasing, use of petrol for transportation, use of oil for life and gas has risen sharply. Thus, castor oil demand will show a sharply rising trend. Therefore, castor oil prices caused double at the international market. At present, the international market price for castor oil has reached from 1100 to 1800 USD / ton. With the access to deep-processing products, its value would increase.
Alternative to Petroleum-based Derivatives
Castor oil’s derivatives are similar to petroleum’s derivatives, thus it is a perfect alternative to petroleum. Furthermore, there is a huge potential for castor oil to be used as a renewable alternatives to petrol chemicals for e.g. lubricants for vehicles. Due to the rising crude oil price, the demand for castor oil has increased enormously as well.
Castor oil is the best substance for producing Biodiesel because it is the only one that is soluble in alcohol, and does not require heat and the consequent energy requirement of other vegetable oils in transforming them into fuel.
Castor oil creates environmental friendly and biodegradable lubricants, bio-fuel and many other applications. Its root system and its leaves shedding patterns actually enhance and replenish the qualities of the soil.
And unintended but important advantage to a castor bean project is that the plants absorb carbon dioxide, thereby reducing greenhouse gas accumulations in the atmosphere. The estimated carbon dioxide absorption level of castor bean plants is 34.6 MT per hectare per annum.
Castor Oil Price: Trend & Advantage
In the international market, castor oil is one of the most expensive vegetable oils. In Aug 2009, the castor oil sold for US$1.05/kg, while soybean oil and crude palm oil sold for US$0.75/kg and US$0.63/kg respectively. Today castor oil price has risen to above US$1.00/kg. Based on Indian NMCE Castor Seed Spot Price Commodity Exchange, we clearly see that there is upward price trend.