I am currently writing a research essay about using a mixed polar (methanol) and non-polar (heptane) solvent system to extract oil from mango seed kernels. One of the difficulties of using polar solvents is the fact that it also extracts polar lipids which can't undergo the transesterification process to produce biodiesel.

I need to find a method which can distinguish between non-polar lipids and polar lipid/impurities in the extracted substance. I've had a look online and read about the Sudan III test, but I'm not clear on whether it works only on non-polar lipids or just all fats in general.

  • $\begingroup$ What are the advantages of using methanol in combination in this situation, as opposed to heptane alone? $\endgroup$
    – Beerhunter
    Apr 9 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Beerhunter Adding a polar solvent is supposedly able to increase the yield of triglycerides because it is able to extract (via hydrogen bonding) any remaining non-polar lipids held in polar lipid complexes. $\endgroup$ Apr 16 at 2:29
  • $\begingroup$ Is this theoretical or empirical research? $\endgroup$
    – Beerhunter
    Apr 16 at 7:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Beerhunter High school research with experimental data. $\endgroup$ Apr 22 at 2:11

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