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Cardanol Production from Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL)

Monday, December 24, 2018

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Cardanol Production from Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL). Cardanol Manufacturing Business. Profitable Cashew Nut Processing Industry

Cardanol is a natural phenol obtained from anacardic acid, the amain component of cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL), a byproduct of cashew nut processing being an eco-friendly substitute for phenols.

Cashew phenol popularly known as Cardanol or Card-Phenol manufactured from cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL).  It is a monohydroxyl phenol having a long hydrocarbon chain (C15H27) in a metaposition.

The name cardanol is used for the decarboxylases derivatives obtained by thermal decomposition of any of the naturally occurring anacardic acids. This includes more than one compound because the composition of the side chain varies in its degree of unsaturation. Tri-unsaturated cardanol, the major component (41%) is shown below. The remaining cardanol is 34% mono-unsaturated, 22% bi-unsaturated, and 2% saturated.


Cardanol finds use in the chemical industry in Oil and Alcohol soluble resins, laminating resins, rubber compounding and coatings, serving as an excellent raw material for the preparation of high grade insulating varnishes, paints, enamels. It is used in friction materials, and surfactants as pigment dispersants for water-based inks and to make phenalkamines, which are used as curing agents for the durable epoxy coatings used on concrete floors. Cardanol can substitute Phenol in up to 30% in phenolic resins used as plywood bonding resin and for the lamination industries.

Cardanol derivatives are extensively used in laminating industry for reducing brittleness and improving the flexibility of laminates produced by the co-condensation of phenol, CNSL and formaldehyde, the resins improve resistance to heat, minimize age-hardening and improve bonding of the reinforcement materials like paper, cloth and glass fibre to the matrix. Cardanol is used as a dispersant and plasticizer.

Cardanol is isolated from cashew nut shells by vacuum distillation. Utilization of CNSL in polymer chemistry has been well experimented and commercialized. Cardanol can be substituted for phenol by up to 30% in phenolic resins used as plywood binding resins and for the lamination industries for cost savings purposes.

Cardanol is processed and extracted from CNSL with respective its fractional distillation at 200°C to 240°C with a pressure less than 5mm of mercury. Cardanol is renewable, cost effective and easily produced in many regions in India and Asian countries with the limited usage of diesel. These products extracted from Cardanol have many advantages over other substituted phenols. Therefore it is widely used in the manufacture of surface coatings, Insulating varnishes, oil and alcohol soluble resins, laminating resins, Rubber compounding, Azo dyes, etc. As the viscosity of Cardanol is very high (compared to diesel) in the present investigation.


Market Outlook

The major cashew production distribution in India is in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra along the West Coast, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa along the East Coast and some in the states of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and North Eastern States. The production and productivity of cashew is highest in the state of Maharashtra. Cashew generates employment in the processing and agrarian sector of India employing over 3 lakh persons with more than 95% of them being women.

India’s total export for Cashew nuts kernel (in shell) to the world in 2017 were US$ 16.3 million while import were US$ 1453.1 million. Major countries to which India is exporting were Vietnam (US$ 15 million) and Côte d’Ivoire (US$ 1 million) while importing from Côte d’Ivoire (US$ 301 million), Tanzania (US$ 301 million) and Guinea-Bissau (US$ 254 million).

Cashew Nut Shell Liquid/Cardanol

India’s total export for Cashew nut shell liquid/Cardanol to the world in 2017 were US$ 4.5 million primarily to Korea (US$2.9 million). India’s import for the same are not significant.

The major value added products from CNSL produced in the country are Cardanol, CNSL resins, Recidol and many other high value products. The demand for CNSL and Cardanol is steady to high based on growing demand from the paint and varnish manufacturers.

In recent years, emphasis has been given on effective utilization of naturally available and renewable resources for the development of raw materials for various polymer based products. Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL), and one of its ingredients, cardanol can be successfully exploited for the development of phenolic resins for the manufacture of different industrial products. The multi-functional role of cardanol and cardanol pre-polymers has been well documented in the literature in the last few years and it has left many options open to derive useful products out of this agricultural by-product.

The phenolic nature of cardanol has prompted different researchers to react it with formaldehyde or with other aldehydes to produce numerous resinous materials just like those produced from phenol. An umpteen number of literature has been cited in the previous sections of this chapter highlighting the utilization of o- and p- functionality of cardanol. Besides, cardanol has an acidic-phenolic hydroxyl group and a long metasubstituted unsaturated hydrocarbon side chain which can be exploited fruitfully, for carrying out further chemical reactions, leading to new polymers.

Cardanol-based active hydrogen compound containing various chemical groups is a choice of raw material for the development of such polyurethanes, as the systematic attempts are rather scanty. Further, the fact that CNSL is a renewable natural resource abundantly available at a low cost, adds to the scope of such an endeavor.

Cardanol is one of the few aromatic biobased raw materials. The majority of biobased materials are aliphatic and therefore have a limited range of applications.


Cost Estimation:

Plant capacity:                                  10 MT/Day

Plant & machinery:                           70 Lakhs

T.C.I:                                                 717 Lakhs

Return of Return (ROR):                   49.00%

Break Even Point (BEP):                    30.00%


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