How Palm Oil Is Extracted

The usual plant oil extraction and separation process (e.g. olive or palm oil, tea seed oil, etc.) involves the extraction of oil-bearing plant parts (seeds, fruits, skins) that are squeezed and milled. The vegetable oils contained therein are collected and purified by centrifugal separation technology.

The palm oil production process is divided into three main parts: pressing, refining and fractionation. Pressing is the process of extracting palm oil from palm fruits. By boiling, crushing and pressing, people can obtain gross palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel (PK) from the palm flesh; meanwhile, during the crushing process, the fruit of the palm (i.e. palm kernel) will be separated and then crushed to remove its shell, and the remaining kernel will then be pressed to obtain gross palm kernel oil (CPKO) and palm kernel meal (PKE).

The oil palm fruit contains two different oils, one is the palm oil in the pulp; the other is the palm kernel oil in the palm seed kernel, the former of these two oils being the more important. All of these products are effectively used in food, chemical and agricultural applications. It can be said that palm is a good cash crop.

Refining and fractionation, on the other hand, is a deep processing treatment process for palm oil, and the deep processing results in high-quality palm oil. After the primary stage of extraction mentioned above, gross palm oil and gross palm kernel oil are sent to refineries for refining, and after removing free fatty acids, natural pigments, and odor, they become salad-grade oils - refined palm oil (RBD PO) and palm kernel oil (RBD PKO). Refined palm oil is nearly colorless and transparent in the liquid state and nearly white in the solid state. Distilled palm oil fatty acid (PFAD) is a by-product of the fractionation process of refined palm oil (RBD PO).

In addition, depending on the needs of different users, palm oil can be further fractionated and processed to form palm liquid oil (referred to as RBD Palm Olein) and palm stearin (referred to as RBD Palm Stearin). The oil palm fruit contains more lipolytic enzymes, so the harvested fruit must be processed or killed through fermentation treatment in time. Palm wool oil is easily hydrolyzed by itself to generate more free fatty acids and the acid value grows rapidly, so it should be refined or fractionated in time.

The centrifugal separation method used varies slightly depending on the oil and production volume, as well as the process. But no matter which centrifugal separation method is used to clarify or purify the oil, the separation capacity or the separation accuracy of the centrifuge is crucial.

For larger production and a more constant ratio of oil to water, the use of decanter centrifuges and disc stack separators is more suitable, because they can realize a fully automated man-machine dual frequency operating system, and can effectively remove impurities and water from the oil. The separation purity of disc centrifuges is greater than that of decanter centrifuges, but the capacity of decanter centrifuges is greater than that of disc centrifuges. Therefore, for some oil types that require high production and purity, it may be necessary to use a combination of multiple centrifuges to process.

As a professional manufacturer of liquid and solids separation equipment, ZK SEPARATION has more than 23 years of R&D experience and is committed to providing our customers with products of the highest quality, safety, and best performance.

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