With reference to ‘palm oil’, consider the following statements:
- The palm oil tree is native to Southeast Asia.
- The palm oil is a raw material for some industries producing lipstick and perfumes.
- The palm oil can be used to produce biodiesel.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2021 Prelims]
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
- The oil palm tree, native to West Africa, is the source of palm oil, which is best grown in tropical climates with abundant water. However, it was imported into Southeast Asia during the mid-19th century.
- Palm Sludge Oil (PSO) is a residual oil that floats during the initial stage of POME discharge to the pond. Due to its high Free Fatty Acids (FFA) and very low Deterioration of Bleachability Index (DOBI) values, it is categorized under sludge oil and cannot be used directly as a food source.
- Instead, it is used for low-grade laundry soap formulation to substitute palm fatty acids distillate.
- Volatile short-chain fatty Acid (VSCFA) has traditionally been widely used in the fragrance industry for the production of perfume through the esterification process.
- Refined PSO can be applied directly as boiler fuel or used as a raw material for biodiesel production.
- Therefore, statement 1 is incorrect as oil palm thrives in the humid tropics and produces high yields when grown 10 degrees north and south of the equator.
Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.