The most suitable area for the growth of oil palm trees is the tropical area between 5 degrees north and south latitude of the equator. It is native to the west coast of Africa. In the 1970s, Southeast Asian countries began to plant large quantities of it. So far, Malaysia, Indonesia and Nigeria are the top three producing countries in the world. As can be seen from the figure below, the import/export volume of palm oil accounts for a huge proportion of the total vegetable oil volume. Therefore, the policies of importing and exporting countries will have a huge impact on the price of palm oil.
Palm oil is obtained by pressing fresh palm fruits. Palm fruits grow in bunches, each bunch weighs about 20-30 kilograms and contains 1,500 to 2,000 fruits. Farmers regularly pick palm fruit bunches and must transport them to factories for processing on the same day. The quality of crude palm oil depends on the integrity of the palm fruit bunches. Once the palm fruit is damaged, it will quickly deteriorate, thus affecting the quality of crude palm oil.
The main products of the palm fruit crushing plant are crude palm oil and palm kernel, with a processing capacity of approximately 60 to 100 tons of palm fruit bunches per hour. For crude palm oil, it generally needs to go through sterilization, threshing, cooking, pressing, washing, purification, drying and other processes.
For palm kernel, after pressing and separation, it also needs to go through processes such as kernel/fiber separation, kernel conditioning, kernel crushing, kernel separation, and palm kernel drying. The dried palm kernels will be sold to palm kernel presses to extract palm kernel oil.
As the first step in palm fruit crushing, sterilization is crucial to the quality of palm oil. The main purposes of sterilization are as follows:
Inactivate lipase activity to prevent the rise of free fatty acids; make palm fruit easier to fall off from fruit bunches; soften the peel to make oil easier to separate; kernel modulation reduces kernel fragmentation in subsequent processes;
Horizontal sterilizers are used in the sterilization process. Introduce about 3bar of steam and cook for 60~90 minutes. In recent years, with the development of technology, the sterilization process has gradually developed from intermittent to continuous, which has improved operating efficiency and reduced labor and energy consumption.
The main function of threshing is to separate the palm fruits from the fruit bunches. The sterilized palm fruit bunches are transported to the drum threshing machine. As the drum rotates, the palm fruits are separated from the stems. The stem does not contain any oil, so the losses during the threshing process mainly come from the palm fruits that are still attached to the stem after threshing. If the sterilization time is too short or too long, it will affect the threshing loss. If the sterilization time is too short, it will be difficult to remove the palm fruit; if the sterilization time is too long, the stems will absorb the separated palm oil. Typically, the stems are burned and the ash left behind is used to produce potash, biofuel or transported back to plantations for fertilization.
After threshing, the palm fruits are transferred to cooking pots and heated again with direct or indirect steam. The pot is equipped with a central shaft with stirring wings for stirring the palm fruits. At high temperatures, the pulp softens and peels away from the core. The mixture is then fed into pressing equipment. To help the grease flow, add hot water. The mixture of crude oil and hot water is collected in a clarification tank for clarification. Impurities such as palm kernel and fiber are discharged from the filter cake and enter the palm kernel oil preparation process.
The pressing process requires maximum extraction of palm oil from the pulp, but the kernels cannot be broken because the crushed palm kernel oil will contaminate the crude palm oil and affect the quality. Using two or more pressing processes can effectively reduce the cracking rate of nuts.
Purify and clarify
The mixture in the clarifier is crude palm oil, water and a small amount of solid particles. The traditional clarification method is gravity separation. Heat the mixture to 85~90°C and let it sit for 1~3 hours. The oil on the surface will be transferred to a centrifuge to further remove impurities in the oil, and then transferred to vacuum drying. The residue at the bottom of the clarifier will also enter the centrifuge to recover the crude palm oil inside. Finally, vacuum dry and cool to about 45°C for storage.
Wastewater treatment from palm crushing plants
The factory will produce approximately 0.65 tons of wastewater per ton of palm fruit bunches. These wastewaters will have an impact on the environment due to their high acid value, BOD value and COD value. Generally speaking, anaerobic or aerobic reactions in the treatment tank can keep BOD below 100mg/l. In areas with stricter environmental protection requirements, more advanced processes will be used to treat this sewage.

Huatai supply palm oil production line, palm oil expeller, pkeo press, cpo refinery, any need please email to [email protected]