Research and development efforts in many disciplines, including biochemistry, chemical and mechanical engineering, and the establishment of plantations have opened up opportunities for fully mechanized processing on a large scale, leading to the evolution of a series of processing steps aimed at harvesting fresh palm fruit bunches from Extract high-yield, high-quality products from the oil for international edible oil trade. In general, the oil extraction process includes receiving fresh palm fruit bunches from the plantation, sterilizing and threshing the fruit bunches, threshing the palm fruit, crushing the fruit and extracting crude palm oil. The crude oil is further processed, purified and dried for storage and export.
Large-scale factories have all the processes required to produce palm oil according to international standards. Generally, the processing capacity of fresh palm fruit bunches is 3-60T/H. Large units have mechanical handling systems (bucket and screw conveyors, pumps and pipelines) and operate continuously according to the availability of fresh palm fruit bunches. The boiler is fueled by fibers and shells and produces superheated steam which is generated by a turbine generator. The low-pressure steam from the steam engine is used for heating purposes throughout the plant. Most processing operations are automatically controlled, with routine sampling and analysis by a process control laboratory to ensure smooth and efficient operations. While such large-scale facilities are capital-intensive, extracting 23-24% of palm oil per plant is achievable.
The conversion of crude palm oil into refined oil involves the removal of hydrolysis and oxidation products, color and flavor. After refining, the oil can be separated (fractionated) into a liquid part and a solid part by thermomechanical means (controlled cooling, crystallization and filtration), and the liquid part after fractionation is widely used as edible oil, successfully compared with more expensive peanut oil, Corn oil competes with sunflower oil.
Research institutions, development agencies, and private-sector engineering firms have made efforts to mechanize and improve traditionally manual procedures, but these activities have been piecemeal and uncoordinated. They generally focus on the threshing and crushing stages, as well as improving the efficiency of oil extraction. Small mechanical, motorized digesters have been developed in most African countries where oil palm is grown.
Various types of palm oil processing machines go through these unit operation stages. They differ in the level of mechanization of each unit operation and in the interconnected material transfer mechanisms that make the system batch or continuous. The size of the operation varies in the level of process and product quality control, which can be achieved through the use of mechanized methods. The technical terms mentioned in the chart above will be described later.
The overall flow chart is as follows: