Cashew co-operatives set up in South Gujarat by BAIF’s associate organisation, DHRUVA, produce a substantial amount of cashew kernel. A by-product is cashew shell, which is removed in the process. By itself cashew shell can be used only as fuel in the furnaces used for processing kernel.
To get more value out of the shell, one of the cooperatives, Mandva VBSM, has established a pilot production unit for making liquid out of the cashew nutshell.
Cashew nutshell liquid (CNSL) is mostly composed of anacardic acids, which have medicinal properties. Anacardic acid is also used in the chemical industry for the production of cardanol, which is used for resins, coatings and frictional materials. CNSL made by Mandva VBSM has received tremendous demand from paint manufacturers in the Vapi industrial estate.
DHRUVA offered support for building and machinery for setting up Mandva’s small scale unit, which has an expeller powered by a diesel engine, capable of processing 250 kg of cashew shells yielding 67kg of CNSL in 8 hours (27% recovery). The CNSL is then filtered through a mesh and heated at 180 degrees C for getting better quality.
Raw material for this unit is sourced from all the BAIF Wadi cashew producing co-operatives of Kaprada and Dharampur blocks in Valsad district.