Groundnut Oil Refinery Plant

Groundnut oil has attained the status of cooking medium of choice due to its embedded health benefits. Apart from its alluring strong aroma and universally liked peanut flavor, the all-purpose cooking oil brings multiple health benefits to the table. By being an active agent in lowering cholesterol and especially the bad cholesterol, it is being accepted gleefully across the globe. The benefits include a low content of saturated fat that is naturally free from cholesterol and trans fat. It is further blessed with high unsaturated fat while being a good source of phytosterols and vitamin E. With an assured market and greater possibility of returns, setting up a groundnut oil manufacturing plant for Groundnut oil refining today makes eminent sense.

Refining Process of Groundnut Oil

Groundnut oil is from the kernel of groundnut through a variety of processes in a groundnut oil processing. Post extraction, the crude oil obtained needs to undergo multiple refining processes to attain the requisite quality and to remove the unwanted components. The groundnut oil refining is achieved in multiple steps including:

  • Gums conditioning and neutralization
  • Bleaching
  • Deodorization

The Process

Gums Conditioning and neutralization

To optimize the processes, the crude oil obtained is first treated with phosphoric acid in a retention tank to convert non-hydratable phosphorous into hydratable form. Concomitantly, the acid mixed oil is treated with caustic soda lye in a separate retention vessel. This accomplishes neutralization of fatty acids as well as the phosphoric acid. Post retention time, a centrifugal separator is employed to separate the oil and the soap.

Soap traces that escaped are removed with Hot water. For this, the heated & neutralized oil is treated with hot water and the soap mixed water is separated from oil by centrifugal separation. Finally, water is vacuum extracted from the washed oil and the dried oil stored in the neutral oil storage tank.

Bleaching

“Bleaching” is the process of selective removal of pigments and impurities by the physical and chemical interaction with an adsorbent on an oil or fat to improve its quality. With this, color pigments, dirt, trace metals, polycyclic aromatic compounds, phospholipids are eliminated. The oil is first heated with steam followed by addition of bleaching clay in to the oil.

Further, in a separate heater , which functions under vacuum conditions, the oil is heated again. This heated oil is then sent to the bleaching reactor where sparging steam is utilized for bringing the oil and surface-active absorbent into contact. The undesired components are retained over the surface of the pores while the triglycerides escape.

The processed oil obtained after retention is then filtered via filtering equipment which is specially designed to regulate the flow of oil and bleaching earth mixer.

Highlights

  • Mectech's customized bleacher design avoids mechanical agitation. Bleaching is performed under optimum conditions of moisture content to optimize results. This results in savings in power consumption.
  • Unlike the mechanically agitated bleacher that tends to affect the quality of oil due to leakages from gland system, Mectech bleacher provided as part of groundnut oil processing machine is maintenance free. It thus eliminates maintenance as well as wear & tear costs.
  • Mectech unique design of groundnut oil manufacturing plant prevents dead areas by keeping bleaching earth under suspension. Again, this leads to lower consumption of the bleaching earth and cost reductions.
  • Better and consistent quality of resultant oil is guaranteed in a Mectech groundnut oil refinery plant, by executing the bleaching process under controlled parameters.

Deodorization

The last step of refining groundnut oil is deodorization which basically strips steam.

Deodorization is also a multi-step process:

  • De-aeration
  • Pre-heating
  • Striping
  • Cooling

The Mectech Advantage

Mectech’s groundnut oil refining plant has several benefits. The customized plant is designed after keeping in mind the requirements of industry in order to optimize returns. Some of these are -

  • The super-efficient neutralization process neutralizes the fatty acids with minimum saponification of neutral oil. As it also minimizes the content of phosphorous in the neutral oil, regular savings ensue.
  • The contact between oil and caustic lye is made to occur in a highly efficient caustic lye mixer ensuring minimum consumption of caustic in the entire process of neutralization. It ensures optimum benefits.
  • The retention tank as part of Mectech's groundnut oil refinery plant offers variable retention time leading to minimum saponification and neutral loss of oil. Again, this is a measure for maximizing savings.
  • The custom designed bleachers avoids any mechanical agitation for bleaching. The bleaching process is executed under most suitable moisture conditions to optimize results. This also results in power saving and reduced consumption of bleaching earth.
  • Efficiently designed deodorizer supplied as part of Mectech's groundnut oil processing machines minimizes consumption of heat energy.
  • Fatty acid scrubbing system is customized so that there is virtually no carryover of fatty acids in the barometric condenser. Moreover, the energy efficient design of heating coil prevents the charring of oil in the process of refining.
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