Palm oil physical refining vs palm oil chemical refining

Date:2022-11-18/ Tech/ Chat online/ Technical support

Physical refining and chemical refining are the two main refining methods in palm oil processing. Their purpose is to remove gums, free fatty acids, pigments and odors in the oil, so that palm oil has better quality. However, the two refining methods are different. The following mainly introduces the difference between the two refining methods from the refining process and how to choose between physical refining and chemical refining.

palm oil refining processPalm oil refining process

Physical refining and chemical refining process

Physical refining: Physical refining is suitable for oils with less gum content in crude oil and high free fatty acid. Therefore, degumming and decolorization are carried out together during physical refining, and deacidification and deodorization are the same. Deacidification is to add phosphoric acid to crude oil without adding water to remove a small amount of gum in crude oil. Then add clay to absorb the pigment in the oil to decolorize. After that, the degummed and decolorized crude oil is filtered through a leaf filter to remove impurities such as clay and colloid in the crude oil. Finally, it enters the deacidification and deodorization tower, where the oil is stripped at a high temperature of 220-260°C, and high-temperature steam is input to achieve the purpose of deodorization, and remove free fatty acids and odor components in the oil. Deacidification by distillation is also the most important method to distinguish chemical refining from physical refining.

palm oil physical refining and chemical refining processPalm oil physical refining versus palm oi chemical refining

Chemical refining: The chemical refining process can be divided into four parts: degumming, deacidification, decolorization and deodorization. In the degumming section, add phosphoric acid or hot water into crude palm oil. The purpose is to convert non-hydratable phospholipids into hydrated phospholipids, and gather them into clusters to discharge impurities, and separate colloidal impurities in oil from crude oil. Add lye in the deacidification section to make lye react with free fatty acid to form soapstock, and remove free fatty acid in crude oil. This section is also the biggest difference from physical refining. The next step is decolorization. Adsorbents such as white clay is added to crude oil to remove pigments in crude oil. The last is the deodorization section, where the superheated air is passed into the deodorization tower to remove the peculiar smell in the crude oil under high temperature and high vacuum conditions.

The choice between physical refining and chemical refining

Physical refining: Generally speaking, physical refining is more suitable for edible oils with low gum content and high acid value, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, etc. Therefore, semi-continuous and full-continuous refining equipment is required for palm oil physical refining with a daily processing capacity of more than 50 tons, which has a high degree of mechanization but high investment costs.

refining equipmentBatch,semi-continuous and fully continuous refining equipment
Chemical refining: If the daily processing capacity is about 5-30 tons of palm refining, you can choose to use batch refining equipment for chemical refining. Small and medium-sized palm oil refinery plants have low cost, small investment and simple operation.

The above is an introduction to the process of physical refining and chemical refining of palm oil and how to choose one of the refining methods or refining equipment according to the daily processing capacity. Henan Glory Company has professional engineer team that can provide one-to-one customized services according to your specific needs, and professional sales team to provide you with purchasing suggestions based on your actual needs. If you want to know more about palm refining equipment, you can feel free to contact us.

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