Palm Oil Refining Process - Physical & Chemical

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Our company, ABC Machinery, devotes to provide solutions for palm oil production and palm oil refining, including palm oil mill plant layout design, palm oil equipment manufacturing, palm oil equipment debugging and installationAt ABC Machinery, you can find the BEST palm oil refining plant.

palm oil refining flow chart

Flow Chart in Palm Oil Chemical and Physical Refining Plant


In order to get the pure and refined oil, there are three main process in chemical palm oil refinery plant and chemical palm kernel oil refinery plant: degumming process, bleaching process and deodourising process.

According to the degree of automation, the refinery process can also be divided into Batch Refinery Plant, Semi-continuous Refinery Plant and Continuous Refinery Plant. Batch type is the ideal choice for mini and small sized production (1-20TPD), while the latter two are normally designed for middle-large size production line (10-50TPD). (Read more: Comparation of Batch Refinery, Semi-continuous Refinery and Continuous Refinery Plant)


Palm Oil Physical Refining Plant

Physical Refining is the steam distillation of free fatty acids from oils and fats under high temperature and vacuum conditions.
small palm oil refinery equipment for sale
Small Palm Oil Refinging Equipment Set (1-30 ton/d)
set up a mini or small palm oil refining line
Small Scale Palm Oil Refinery Project (1-30 ton/d)
medium scale crude palm oil refinery design
Industrial Scale Refinery Project (capacity above 30 ton/d)
vacuum leaf filter used in industrial palm oil refining plant
Vacuum Leaf Filter for Industrial Refinery


Advantages of Physical Refining Technology

As we all know, the palm oil fruit can yield two distinct edible oil - palm oi that is obtained from the outer part of the palm fruit and the palm kernel oil that is derived from the inter kernel of the palm fruit (palm nut). Physical refining process is suitable for both crude palm oil and palm kernel oil. 

  • Improve production capacity and refining rate.
  • Reduce production cost.
  • Shorten processing time.
  • Directly recovering highly purified distilled fatty acids.
  • Reduce waste water and waste gas problems. There is no waste water and waste gas produced by the cracking of soap feet in chemical refining plant.

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In recent years, with the continuous improvement of physical refining process and equipment, the advantages of physical refining are increasingly obvious. At present, most refineries in Malaysia use physical refining to refine crude palm oil. (Learn about the main equipment and process of palm oil fractionation )

Palm Oil Physical Refining Process

Oil physical refining process, also called as oil steam refining. During the degumming section in the palm oil milling plant, the gum will be removed from palm oil by utilizing phosphoric acid or citric acid. Next to bleaching section, the coloring matter and other metal ions will be absorbed or removed. Then, in the deacidification and and deodorization section, the crude palm oil will be processed within low pressure and high temperature. Through live stem, the FFA will be stripped of and the odors and colors will be removed or absorbed.

  •    Degumming process

Through phosphoric acid application, the fatty acid and gum contained in the palm oil and palm kernel oil will be separated from foreign impurities, like trace minerals, iron, cooper and other. This process offers necessary preparation for the next refining process.

  •    Bleaching process

It adopts vacuum system to remove the impurities and color pigments from the crude palm oil and crude palm kernel oil.

  •    Deodourising process

The palm oil and palm kernel oil are steamed at a temperature of 240°C to 260°C to get away the odors and tastes, and then they are cooled into room temperature (about 55°C) for further use. This process have great impact on the quality of the final palm oil and palm kernel oil.


Crude Oil Chemical Refining Plant

Chemical Refining is a kind of process using strong bases to neutralize most of the free fatty acids and remove them in the form of soaps. It is also known as alkali refining process.
typical chemical refining process of palm oil
Chemical Refining Machine
3D chart of palm oil refining plant
Refining Workshop

Although most palm oil processing plant adopts physical refining equipment, for other kinds of vegetable oil such as soybean oil refining, chemical refining is still the best refining choice.

Palm Oil Chemical Refining Process

During the crude oil chemical refining process, the FFA will be removed and the neutralized crude oil and soap stock will be produced. And the soap stock will be separated from oil by using of high-speed separator. And the color pigments and the metal ions will be removed from the neutralized oil. If the crude oil contains high carotene, high FFA (more than 5% ) and relative low phosphatides, it will be great to have the chemical refining process to reduce the refining losses and the operation costs.


Highlights of Our Palm Refining Solutions

For cooking purpose, the crude palm oil generally should be processed as edible oil to meet the food industry standards. How to get the edible palm oil? The typical method is through oil refining, either chemical or physical process.  For any questions about palm oil refining? Please feel free to get in touch with us!
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