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Information @ a Glance

  • Cashewnut shell liquid is a by-product of the cashew industry. The nut has a shell of about 1/8 inch thickness inside which is a soft honeycomb structure containing a dark reddish brown viscous liquid. It is called the cashewnut shell liquid, which is the pericarp fluid of the cashewnut.
  • Cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) consists chiefly of two naturally occurring unsaturated phenolic compounds, anacardic acid (90%) and cardol (10%) with minor amounts of 2-methyl cardol.


  • Cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) was extracted from cashew nut shell by indirect leaching process using soxhlet extraction equipment.
  • There are three different methods generally used in extracting cashew nut shell liquid from cashew nuts, namely mechanical, roasting and solvent extraction. The processes used are mainly hot-oil and roasting in which the CNSL oozes out from the shell.


  • The cashew nut shell is the unused byproduct from cashew nut production in the southern, eastern, and northeastern of Thailand. The cashew nut shell consists of the liquid of anacardic acid and its derivatives called Cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) that can be modified to a fraction of diesel oil by thermal cracking process
  • Cashew nut shell liquid (CNSL) is an important industrial raw material for resin manufacture and the shells can be burned to provide heat for the decorticating operation.


  • CNSL finds a wide array of applications such as friction linings, paints & varnishes, laminating resins, rubber compounding resins, cashew cements, polyurethane based polymers, surfactants, foundry chemicals and intermediates for chemical industry.
  • The cashew nut shell liquid based polymers offer the following advantages : Internal plasticization , Solubility in organic solvents with improved processability , Low fade characteristics on friction & resistance to cold wear , Good heat & electrical resistance with better water repellancy , Compatibility with other polymers , Improved acid & alkali resistance , Termite & insect resistance


  • The production potential for the product is very high. The total production of raw cashew nut in the country could be as much as 2 lakh tonnes and at 10% recovery by weight, the production potential for C.N.S.L is as much as 20,000 tonnes.
  • The use of this oil by indigenous industry is at present limited, however an upward trend has been noticed. U.K. USA and Japan were the large scale buyers of this commodity until recently but due to changes in technology, UK and USA have stopped buying this product from India. At present, Japan and Republic of Korea buy a sizeable quantity of this commodity from India.
  • Cashew nut processing industries are one of the promising sectors producing valuable commodity exported to Gulf, European and Western countries. The industry is categorised as small scale/cottage units and there are about 300 units scattered in Nagercoil district, Tamilnadu, about 270 units in Kollam district, Kerala and about 130 units at Palasa-Kasibugga, Andhra Pradesh.
  • There are also concentration of these industries in Cheerla - Andhra Pradesh, Mangalore - Karnataka and few units in Goa. The capital investment on the units is varying between 6.0 lakhs 15.0 lakhs.

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