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What is the continuous palm kernel oil refining process and flow?

September 15, 2021

The refining process of palm kernel oil is the same as that of other conventional oils. According to the palm kernel oil processing capacity and the degree of automation, palm kernel oil refining equipment can be divided into intermittent palm oil refining (less than 20 tons per day), semi-continuous refining (20-50 tons per day), and continuous refining (over 50 tons per day) . According to the refining method, our palm kernel oil refining equipment can be divided into physical refining and chemical refining. No matter what kind of palm kernel oil refining equipment you want, our engineers can design it according to the needs of users.

 refining process

Refining is a process of removing unwanted and undesirable elements from crude palm kernel oil. The elements removed include free fatty acids, phospholipids, gums, smell, color, wax, etc. Refining makes vegetable oil clean, clean and high quality.


The main process flow of palm kernel oil refining equipment:

1. Palm kernel oil degumming process;

2. Palm kernel oil deacidification/neutralization process;

3. Palm kernel oil decolorization/bleaching process.

4. Palm kernel oil deodorization process;


After the metered crude oil is filtered by the pump through the filter, it is sent to the heat exchanger for heating. The oil with higher acid value is chemically deacidified at low temperature and light alkali. The heated oil is passed through a centrifugal mixer to a specific concentration. After the lye is mixed, it enters the alkali reaction retention tank for acid-base neutralization, and then enters the centrifuge after the reaction, where the oil and soap feet (or oil feet) are separated in the high-speed rotating centrifuge. The separated oil also contains a small amount of residual soap, which needs to be mixed with hot water for washing, and then centrifuged to separate soap-containing wastewater. For oils with lower acid value, only hydration and degumming are performed. After decolorization, the oil after hydration and degumming enters the physical deacidification section for physical deacidification, which can reduce the refining loss.


The washed degummed and deacidified oil is pumped into a vacuum dryer for moisture drying, and the dried oil is cooled by a cooler and then enters an intermediate storage tank.


The grease after degumming and deacidification is decolorized in the decolorization section. After the decolorized oil enters the mixing tank and the heater, the oil entering the mixing tank is mixed with the white clay quantified by the clay quantifier, and then enters the decolorization tower together with the heated part of the grease for adsorption and decolorization. The grease and clay mixture after the decolorization reaction The liquid is pumped into the leaf filter for filtering, and the waste white clay in the oil is removed.


The blade filters are connected in parallel to realize the continuity of the technological process, and the filtered grease enters the intermediate storage tank to be deodorized after being cooled by the cooler and safely filtered.


The decolorizing oil removes odor components in the deodorization section. After the deodorized oil is measured, it enters the gas separator, and after the vacuum removes the air in the oil, it is pumped out by the extraction pump and heated by the oil-oil heat exchanger, and then heated to 240℃~265℃ by the mineral oil heater from part D. Enter the deodorization tower to remove the fatty acids and odor components in the oil, and the light phase components enter the fatty acid capture section for direct heat exchange to capture fatty acids. The deodorized oil is pumped out from the bottom of the tower by an extraction pump into the oil-the oil to be deodorized from the oil heat exchanger and the gas separator undergoes heat exchange, and then enters the cooler for cooling. After being filtered by a polished filter, it enters the refined oil storage tank to obtain the refined oil.



Zhonghe section

In the neutralization section, the degummed oil is mixed with a proper concentration of lye at a reasonable temperature and enters the neutralization centrifugal mixer for mixing. In order to obtain a good result, the mixture is then sent to the neutralization tank for a period of time. In this process, the lye saponifies free fatty acids to form soapstocks, which are separated in a neutralization separator. The formed soapstock also plays a role in adsorbing other impurities and pigments in the oil.


Washing section

The neutralized oil from the neutralization separator still contains about 500 ppm soap. In order to reduce the remaining soap content, the oil is added with about 15% hot water and washed in the washing mixer. The hot water will absorb it. Soap and other remaining impurities in the oil are then separated in a water washing separator.


Vacuum drying/desolvation section

The neutralized and washed oil from the washing separator still contains some remaining water that is not conducive to the stability of the oil. In order to remove the remaining water, the oil is sent to a vacuum when the temperature is about 110 – 120 degrees. The drying/desolvation tower is dehydrated and dried, and the dried oil is pumped directly into the decolorization section.


Decolorization section

The main purpose of the decolorization process is to remove the pigments present in the crude oil and to neutralize the residual soap in the oil. The decolorization process includes the following stages:


1. Decolorization

The oil is heated to 105 degrees by a neutralized oil heater using low-pressure steam under stable flow control.

The heated oil is then sent to the vacuum decolorization tower. When the oil enters the decolorization tower, it is mixed with the clay through a proportioning mixer.

The white soil transportation system is used to transport the white soil wind on the ground to the white soil room and flow into the storage tank above the decolorization tower.

The decolorization tower is divided into several layers, and each layer is equipped with a steam ejector for stirring the oil and clay. The remaining soap, glue precipitation, pigments and other metals in the oil are also adsorbed by the decolorizing clay.

2. Filter

The mixed oil of oil and clay from the decolorization tower is pumped into the decolorization filter, and then into the fine filter, where the clay and solid impurities are blocked, and the filter (decolorization oil) is then transferred to the decolorization oil tank for intermediate storage.

There are two decolorizing filters in this system, one is always in the filtering state, and the other is in the emptying and cleaning state. During the period of emptying and cleaning, the filter is squeezed by steam, so that most of the oil in the filter is blown to the decolorizing oil tank, and a small part of the oil mixed with clay is discharged into the steam brake/soil tank The filter cake is blown dry with steam. The remaining oil and condensate collected during the drying period of the filter are also discharged into the slop tank. After that, the dry cake is dumped into the waste through the discharge valve at the bottom of the filter. White clay house.

The remaining oil in the dirty oil tank is pumped back to the decolorization tower for reprocessing.


Deodorization section

The main purpose of the deodorization process is to remove free fatty acids and small molecular substances in the decolorized oil. The deodorization process includes the following stages:



The decolorized oil from the filter is stored in a decolorized oil tank, which is designed to work under vacuum conditions. From this tank, the decolorized oil is pumped into the gas separator under vacuum to release the air in the oil. .


Heat up

The flow of decolorized oil entering the deodorization section is controlled by a flow controller, and the oil is heated to a deodorization temperature of approximately 250-260 degrees through a series of heat exchangers:

The decolorization tower is divided into several layers, and each layer is equipped with a steam ejector for stirring the oil and clay. The remaining soap, glue precipitation, pigments and other metals in the oil are also adsorbed by the decolorizing clay.



The heated oil is distilled in the flash tower, retention tank, and main deodorization tower, and the fatty acids and odor components in the oil are vaporized and removed.


Fatty acid recovery

In the scrubbing zone, the recycled free fatty acid distillate flowing down from part D is used to condense free fatty acids and other condensables in the rising gas. The condensed distillate is collected in the fatty acid temporary storage tank, from which the fatty acid is recycled: cooled in the fatty acid distillate cooler, and then recycled to the D section of the fatty acid trap. The liquid level in the fatty acid temporary storage tank is controlled by manual discharge.

In order to reduce the fatty acid droplets carried by the gas from entering the vacuum system, water seal pool and circulating pool, a demister is installed on the trap.


Heat exchange and cooling

The deodorized oil is discharged from the deodorizing tower through the deodorizing pump, and then cooled by the oil-to-oil heat exchanger and the incoming decolorized oil, then enters the oil cooler and is cooled by the cooling water to the stored oil temperature, and then passes through the fine filter for fine polishing and filtering, and then It is sent into the product tank.


The Main Economic Technical Parameters (The Main Economic Technical Parameters)

1. Steam consumption ≤120kg/T oil (refined) as low as 95kg

    They are: alkali refining≤25kg/T oil

    Decolorization≤25kg/T oil

    Deodorization≤70kg/T oil

    Electricity consumption ≤15KWH/T oil (refining)

    They are: alkali refining≤9KWH/T oil

    Decolorization≤3KWH/T oil

    Deodorization≤3KWH/T oil


2. Water consumption: (soft water): 150Kg/T oil (refined)


3. Compressed air: 30M3/hour


5. Coal consumption: 23 Kg /T oil


6. Phosphoric acid dosage: 0-2 Kg /T oil


7. Alkali dosage: acid value×1 Kg/T oil


8. White clay consumption: 5-20Kg /T oil


9. The oil content of waste clay <28%


10. Circulating cooling water volume: about 100M3/h (refining)


11. Refining losses: Refining losses


(1) Degumming loss = Glue content × 1.2


(2) Deacidification loss=acid value×1.2 (chemical refining) Deacidification loss=acid value×0.6 (physical refining)


(3) Decolorization loss = white soil amount × 0.25%


(4) Deodorization loss≤0.5%