Refining

Semi-industrial plant

Reactor for conditioning, degumming and alkaline neutralization

Principle of operation: The operation aims at removing the phospholipids of the oil and its free fatty acids. It starts by addition of an acid (citric or phosphoric) which is necessary to break the complexes made by phosphatidic acid, a degraded phospholipid, and divalent cations in order to restore the ability of these PL to form micelles in presence of water. In a second step, sodium hydroxide is mixed to the oil in the necessary amount to react with the free fatty acids (saponification reaction). The mixture of gums and soap is centrifuged and the oil is washed to remove the residues of these operations

Characteristics: 1500 L agitated stainless steel reactor connected to a vertical centrifuge separator (Alfa Laval).

Bleaching reactor

Principle of operation: Oil is dried by heating under vacuum. Adsorbent (bleaching earths, activated carbon or synthetic adsorbents) are introduced at the desired dose with dynamic stirring. After required contact time, these adsorbents are filtered on cellulose plates.

Characteristics : 1200 L agitated stainless steel reactor functionning under vacuum and connected to a filter using cellulose filters.

Deodorisation

Principle of operation: Oil is submitted to a temperature between 160 and 240°C under strong vacuum and exposed to direct steam which role is to strip the material from volatile molecules like the ones causing off-flavours but also certain contaminants like pesticides and mycotoxins.

Characteristics: capacity of 1000 L.
Heating by thermal fluid designed to bear up to 240°C.
Vacuum level: 3-5 mbar.
Regulation of steam injection by flowmeter.
Reactor divided in 2 compartments allowing the processing of smaller batches (as low as 400 kg).
Possibility to replace steam blowing by nitrogen.
Possibility to add antioxidant at the discharge of the reactor.

Oil conditioning

Principle of operation: Oil transfer in small containers (10, 25 L) with mass control and on line inerting.

Characteristics: 2 stations to treat 1000 L in one hour.

Pilot Plant

Glass reactors for the conditioning, neutralisation, drying and bleaching.

Principle of operation: agitated reactors with double envelopes or heating mantle for temperature control and which can be connected to a vacuum pump.

Characteristics: capacities of 10 L, 20 L et 30 L.
Liquid ring pump for vacuum generation.

Centrifuge

Caracteristics: mini plate centrifuge alfa Laval type “Lab 102” (capacity 100 L/h).

Filtration

Caracteristics: plate filtre  200×200 mm. Büchner funnel Ø 300 mm) with temperature control.

Deodorisation

Deodoriser of  2, 20 and 50 L.

Deodorisers are connected to a rotary valve pump which can provide vacuum of about 1 mbar.  Reactors are heated by electric resistances with performant power control and cooled by circulation of refrigerated thermal fluid in an inner coil.
Vapours are condensed in a trap which temperature is adjusted between -10 and -30°C.

A local steam generator enables the injection of dry steam.

Post-treatment: filtration at 1 or 5 µm, nitrogen inerting and antioxidation on request.