Petroleum Engineering Project Topics

Extraction of Wax From Cocoa Pod

Extraction of Wax From Cocoa Pod

Extraction of Wax From Cocoa Pod

Chapter One


The characterization of waxes for industrial or domestic use is physic-chemical rather than structural. Although all waxes, possess the same characteristic physical properties of feel,  consistency, melting point and water disability. It physical characteristic of water insolubility, made it good for use in coatings of paper, wood, textiles, metal fruits and vegetables; to protect against moisture, chemical and mechanical damage to food packaging. For the fact that it serves as an ingredient in diverse materials, its uses has increased over the years with industrialization. It is obvious that wax has so many functions and uses than other material. For this reason many investigations ahs been carried out into the production of wax from vegetable, plants such as grass sugar-cane cotton orange, jojobus feed, palm leaf, cocoa pod etc.




Waxes, chemically consists of high molecular weight hydrocarbon, fatty acids (carboxylic acid) alcohols and esters. The word “wax” originated from the angel saxon word “wax” which means the natural substance in honey comb of the bee.

Waxes are secreted by glands on the abdomen of been and it is known as beeswaxs.

Wax is used to cap the ripened honey and when mixed with some propohs, also protects the brood from intentions and desiccation.  Together with propolis, wax is also employed for reading cracks and covering foreign objects in the live. The wax collected by the beekeeper is that which is seed in comb construction. Frame live beekeeping produces wax almost exclusively from the cap and top part of the honey cells.

For centuries, beewax was appreciated as the best material for making candles. Before the advent of cheap petroleum-based waxes, tallow (rendered animal fat) was used for cheap candles and for the adulteration of bees wax.  Ancient jeweler and artisan knew how to form delicate objects from wax and cast  them later in precious metals. Colours of ancient wall paintings and icons contain bees wax which has remained unchanged for more than 2000 years (British et al, 1976).

The wrapping of Egyptian mummies contained bees wax (Benson et al, 1978) and beeswax has long found use in medical practices and in cream and lotion of all the primary bee product is has been, and remains the most versatile and most widely used material.






GENERAL: The general experimental procedure consisted of five major steps.

  1. collection and preparation of the pods (husks)
  2. curshing and particular size characterization
  3. extraction and distillation (solvent recovery operation)
  4. physical and chemical analysis of the wax


The ripe and unripe cocoa were collected from ore local government of Ondo state

It preparation: the cocoa beans were removed out of the pods, then the fresh pod were cut into small sizes and initial weights of both the ripe and unripe before sun drying were determined using everthing top weighting balance. The initial weight of ripe and unripe were 1806.06g and 2383.6g respectively. At this stage colour distinction of the ripe  (yellow) and unripe (green) helped in separating them.



Two drying method of drying was applied on both the ripe and unripe pods to determine the moisture content of the pods and also to loosen the wax in the husk.

Also to compare the yield of wax in ripe and unripe pods when sun dried.



The collected ripe and unripe cocoa pods from ore local government area of Ondo state were mainly studied and analyse under the following headline.

  1. preparation of pods
  2. since analysis and extraction
  3. physical and chemical analysis of the final produced wax

the percentage moisture contents of the shredded pods of both ripe and unripe from sun drying were determined and compared. From table 1.1 the percentage moisture content of unripe is 83.17 and that of ripe been 28.35 showing that the unripe pods have greater moisture content than the ripe.

Particle size distribution is shown on tables 1.2, 1.3 for both ripe and unripe sample. The sieve analysis was carried out on both husks as to help in determining the effect of particle size on wax yield.



Summary from the results of the work done on ripe and unripe cocoa husks from ore (Ondo state), the following conclusions and recommendations are made.

-both ripe and unripe cocoa pod contains wax

-the unripe contains more moisture than the ripe when sundried

-the wax yield was a function of particle size (the lower the better but should not be less than 0.15mm otherwise percolation will be hindered.

Solvent used (xylen was so far the better).

Age (ripe husk gave higher yield than the unripe. Yield could also be attributed to climate conditions or locality (which include growth conditions).

-the higher wax content in the ripe pods could be due to the fact that wax content in the pod increased with age and got more loosened from the pods as they mature.

-the wax colour was dependent on the age and solvent used, but predominantly on the husk age,

-since the physical and chemical properties of the wax are similar to carnauba, candelilla cocoa were could be used for the following

floor polishers, carbon paper vanishes, sealing wax, electrical insulation, celoid, water proofing, matches etc.

based on the above conclusion reached in the course of this work, cocoa pod is not a good source of wax for commercial consumption.

Therefore, investment into either small or commercial production should not be embarked on.

Other sources of wax should be looked into such as sugarcane, palm leaf, orange peel cotton, rice bran, sorghum grain, which are all abundant in Nigeria.


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