Bleaching is one of the key processes of crude palm oil refinery. Palm oil bleaching is generally designed before deodorization in palm oil refinery. Clay which absorbs pigmentation is added to the oil then heated. Then, the oil-clay mixture is filtered and spent cake is dried to remove the oil. Color, residual phosphatides, soaps and metals will be removed in this process.

The following are some onsite photos of palm oil refinery workshop:

Absorptive bleaching process is mainly affected by temperature and humidity. However, the quality of refinery machines, the structure and type of bleaching earth also matter.

Bleaching process of palm oil refinery plant:

  1. To avoid the influence by air and consume less clay, earth bleaching is processed under vacuum;
  • The dosage of clay is based on the color requirement of final palm oil;
  • Bleached oil is flushed through closed stainless steel filtration discs for less residue in the meal.
  • To ensure stable production and easy operation, the filter is controlled automatically.

The purpose of bleaching is to remove color producing substances in the crude oil. The absorbent materials is known as bleaching earth or clay. There many different adsorbent materials suitable for vegetable oil refinery industry, such as acid activated bleaching earth, natural bleaching earth, synthetic silicates and activated carbon.

Acid activated bleaching earth is the most common use absorbent materials. It is also called bleaching clay, bentonite or fuller’s earth clay in some places. The primary component of acid activated bleaching earth is aluminium silicate. Actually, the color producing materials are not removed completely by the bleaching earth. Much of them are actually removed by thermal destruction in the deodorization process.

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