Palm Oil Processing Plant

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Introduction To Palm Oil Processing Technology

Crude palm oil is obtained from monocarp part of palm oil. Extracted Crude Palm oil contains some undesirable impurities and these some of the impurities need to be removed partially or completely through the refining process in order to produce good edible oil that have better stability.

Nowadays palm oil is popular cooking oil in some tropical countries like South East Asia, Africa, and some parts of Brazil. It is broadly used in other countries because of lower cost and good oxidative stability. Palm oil is used widely for cooking due to its heat resistant property as compared to any other vegetable oil.

Palm oil is extract from the flesh of the palm fruit and palm kernel oil is extract from the seeds or kernel of the palm fruit.

The palm oil is extracted by the fresh palm fruit flesh by pressing and centrifugation. The palm oil extraction is to be done with the fresh palm fruit to avoid the deterioration of palm oil so the countries doing the cultivation are extracting the oil themselves. The crude palm oil comes out as yellow red or dark yellow in colour and the taste of the crude palm oil is sweat.

The crude palm oil extracted contains the unwanted impurities which effect adversely on the physical appearance, quality, oxidative stability, shelf life of the oil. In order to remove the above impurities, the oil goes to the refinery plant in order to receive the RBD Palm Oil (Refined Bleached & Deodorized). After refining of the palm oil the RBD oil goes to the fractionation section in order to get the palm olean and palm stearin.

Palm Oil Refining Plant

Palm oil refining consists of the following sections

  • Degumming
  • Bleaching
  • Neutralization
  • Deodorisation
  • Fractionation

Generally, refining process is necessary steps for the production of edible oils and fats products. The qualities of the finished product that need to be monitored are flavour, shelf-life, stability and colour of the products.


In the dry degumming, the crude palm oil is mixed with food grade acid to remove the free fatty acids.


Degummed oil is mixed with the soil that is a vacuum level, where it is dried and de-aerated. The bleaching earth absorbs the main particles of colour bodies as well as metal contamination and oxidizing materials in the oil.

Palm Oil RefineryRefined Palm Oil Production


The caustic soda can neutralize the vast majority of the free fatty acids in the crude oil, and the resulting sodium salt is less soluble in the oil and becomes floats and settles.

The resulting sodium salt is a surfactant, and a significant amount of other impurities can be brought into sediment, such as proteins, mucus, pigments, phospholipids and substances with hydroxyl and phenol groups. Even suspended solids can be carried by flocculent soap. Therefore, the alkali refining with de-acidification, degumming, solid impurities and decolourization and other comprehensive role.

Caustic soda and a small amount of triglyceride saponification reaction caused by increased consumption. Therefore, the best process conditions must be chosen to obtain the highest yield of alkali refinery.


The bleached oil is first de-aerated and heated where any remaining air and volatile materials are removed. The oil then enters the deodorizer section where the main body of free fatty acids and other volatile odour and taste substances are removed from the oil.

The oil leaving the deodorizer is cooled to storage temperature and then passed through one of two alternately working polishing filters. The product obtained is refined bleached and deodorized oil (RBDO). To a free flow fractionation process, the separation of the liquid phase from the solid phase is possible.


After the deodorization section the oil is first cooled by cold fractionated oil for maximum regeneration of heat. Then the same oil is cold by cooling tower water up to 40˚C to 45˚C. Then this oil is cooled by outgoing chilled fractionated oil from the filters. This oil is then chilled to fractionation temperature in the crystallizers.

In the crystallizer proper residence time is given with maintaining the temperature of the oil, which results in formation of wax / stearin crystals and residence time, will give proper growth to the crystals. The step cooling is followed in the crystallizer for the complete maturation of the crystal which increases the efficiency of the fractionation plant. The oil is cooled with the tempered water and then it is further cooled to the final fractionation temperature by the chiller water. The water in chilled in the chiller. There are mainly two kinds of chillers available in the market, one is the power chiller and another one is the vapour absorption machine. The VAM is widely used in order to avoid the use of the refrigerant gases.

After obtaining the desired temperature inside the crystallizer the mixture is then feed to the filter press for the separation of stearin from palm olein. The recovery of the palm olein does also depends upon the kind of filters used. The complete operation is controlled by Automatic Electronic Panel (PLC /SCADA).