Doctoral Dissertations


"Jatropha curcas is has often been touted as the most sustainable biofuel source. Jatropha curcas is a drought resistant perennial plant belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family. Interest in this plant as a biofuel source is related to high lipid (triglyceride) content of its seeds. However, economics of jatropha as a biofuel source has been marred by the toxicity of the oil and its protein rich meal. As a result of high toxicity the protein rich meal is used only as a very low or no economic value organic fertilizer. Economic return from jatropha can be dramatically enhanced through development of a process(s) that can eliminate toxicity and deactivate anti-nutritionals present in the jatropha meal. Toxicity of jatropha meal and oil is attributed to phorbol esters (PEs), while the major anti-nutritionals are the trypsin inhibitors (TIs). However, chemical characterization of both the jatropha PEs and TIs is at best very sparse. Research described in this dissertation was directed at chemical characterization of phorbol esters (PEs), development of processes for removal of PEs and deactivation of TIs in the defatted jatropha meal. Characterization jatropha PEs involved semi-preparative scale liquid chromatography separation followed by NMR and LC-ESI-MS analysis. PEs identified during study were; 1,2-deoxyphorbol butanoate methylbutenoate, 1,2-deoxyphorbol benzoate and Dihydro 1,2-deoxyphorbol butanonate methylbutanoate. PEs were effectively removed through a sequential extraction process involving the use of non-polar and polar solvents in serial extraction. The process reduced the concentration of the PEs in the defatted meal by >99%. The concentration of TIs was reduced by more than 95% through a simple thermal treatment method. Efficacy of the detoxification process was confirmed through chicken feeding trials, during which no toxic effects were observed in chickens on Jatropha meal diet. Other experiments described in this dissertation deal with the development of a rapid yet accurate and precise ESI-MS/MS method for determination of 2-Hydroxy-4-(Methylthio) Butanoic Acid (HMTBA) and pantothenic acid (PA) in bovine serum. HMTBA is the α- hydroxy analogue of methionine; it is extensively used as a high by-pass feed supplement in poultry and bovine industries. Effectiveness of HMTBA supplementation in test animals is monitored through HMTBA and PA concentrations in serum. The ESI-MS/MS method permitted determination of both analytes at concentrations down to 25 parts per billion (ppb), with a relative standard deviation of less than 0.5%. The linear dynamic range for both analytes ranged from 25 ppb to 5 parts per million (ppm)"--Abstract, page iv.


Kapila, Shubhender

Committee Member(s)

Nam, Paul Ki-souk
Ma, Yinfa
Reddy, Prakash
Kerley, Monty
Seemamahannop, Rachadaporn, 1959-



Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemistry


Novus (Firm)


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date



xix, 155 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2011 Balaji Viswanathan, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Jatropha -- Metabolic detoxification
Pantothenic acid
Biomass energy

Thesis Number

T 10178

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Included in

Chemistry Commons