An investigation into the physico-chemical properties of transformer oil blends with antioxidants extracted from turmeric powder

Veresha Dukhi, Ajay Bissessur, Catherine Jane Ngila, Nelson Mutatina Ijumba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The blending of transformer oil (used mainly as an insulating oil) with appropriate synthetic antioxidants, such as BHT (2,6-di-tert-butyl-4- methylphenol) and DBP (2,6-di-tert-butylphenol) have been previously reported. This article is focused on the use of antioxidant extracts from turmeric (Curcuma longa), a natural source. Turmeric is well known for its antimicrobial, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic properties owing to the active nature of its components. Extracts from powdered turmeric were subsequently blended into naphthenic-based uninhibited virgin transformer oil, hereinafter referred to as extract-oil blends (E-OB). Thin-layer chromatography (TLC) of the oil blends revealed that five components extracted from turmeric powder were successfully blended into the oil. Subsequent gas chromatography- mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis confirmed the presence of the compounds: curcumene, sesquiphellandrene, ar-turmerone, turmerone and curlone. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) of the extract-oil blends, containing various levels of extracts, revealed an average temperature shift of ̃8.21°C in the initial onset of degradation in comparison to virgin non-blended oil. The 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay showed that an increase in the mass aliquot of turmeric extracts in the transformer oil increased the free radical scavenging activity of the oil. Electrical properties of the oil investigated showed that the dissipation factor in the blended oil was found to be lower than that of virgin transformer oil. Evidently, a lower dissipation value renders the oil blend as a superior insulator over normal virgin non-blended oil. This investigation elucidated improved physico-chemical properties of transformer oil blended with turmeric antioxidant extracts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Electric Power Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Antioxidants
  • Transformer oil
  • Turmeric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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