Analysis of green pesticide production by valorization of husks from Croton megalocarpus tree nuts

Shelby Browning, Tom Lawrence, Chandni Joshi, Jeffrey Seay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The focus of this research is to assess the composition and the yield of wood vinegar from Croton megalocarpus husks as a function of moisture content and pyrolysis temperature as well as optimize the recovery of wood vinegar and biochar from the waste husks. C. megalocarpus is a tree found across Sub-Saharan Africa that produces a nut twice a year that is oil dense in composition but inedible to humans. Using the process of slow pyrolysis, the wasted croton nut husks can be used to produce pyroligneous acid, commonly called wood vinegar. Response surface methodology (RSM) has been used to construct an experimental plan for the laboratory analysis. These results showed that yields are a strong function of temperature, with maximum yields occurring at 450°C. It also became apparent that increasing the starting moisture content of the husks increased both the percent yield of vinegar as well as the amount of organic material extracted from the husks. Results from production testing in Kenya were also analyzed to draw parallels between wood vinegar extraction of laboratory settings and production scale extraction in underdeveloped regions. The vinegar products from both sets of experiments were mainly composed of water, accounting for about 95% of the total vinegar composition. The rest of the composition is acetic acid, methanol, and some portion of unidentified volatile components.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13312
JournalEnvironmental Progress and Sustainable Energy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of EcoFuels Kenya for the use of their facility in Nanyuki, Kenya.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Institute of Chemical Engineers


  • biomass
  • biopesticides
  • green chemistry
  • pyrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of green pesticide production by valorization of husks from Croton megalocarpus tree nuts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this