Palm kernel oil, the second most consumed lauric acid group
oil is derived from the dried kernels of the oil palm,
Palm kernel oil (co-product of palm oil) and coconut oil
comprises less than 5 percent of the total natural fats and oils, but
they are important feed stocks of the oleochemical industry.
Coconut oil is commercially a major source of lauric acid, together
with palm kernel oil and to small extent babassu oil. It belongs to
the so called lauric oils, which are characterized by their high lauric
oil content of approximately 50 percent.
The lauric oils are highly desirable materials in the
oleochemical industry world-wide because of the important of the
lauric fraction especially in the manufacture of soap and
1.2 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Two distinctly different types of oils are produced from the
fruit of the south East Asia and African oil palm, ElaeisGuinensis
Central American palm ElaeisOleifera.
Palm oil is obtained from the fleshy part of the fruit which
resembles an over sized olive about the size of a small chicken
egg. Palm kernel oil is derived from that kernel within the nut. Well
over 98 percent of the fatty acids in palm oil belong to the C: 16
and C: 18 group where as approximately 64 percent of the fatty
acids in palm kernel oil consist of C: 12 and C: 14 lauric group.
A palm tree produces 10-15 fresh fruit bunches throughout the
year weighing 5-23kg (10-50lb) each. The bunches are cut from
the tree with knives attached to long poles and are transported to
the oil mill. There they are sterilized by steam at about 40psig for
56-75 minutes to deactivate lipase enzymes and loosen the fruits
from the stalk.
The fruits are knocked loose from the stalk in thresher drums
and passed through a digester to convert the fleshy pulp to mash.
Then the mash is pressed by twin-screw expellers or hydraulically
to yield red crude oil. The shells of the nuts cracked and the
kernels are separated, dried and bagged for later solvent
extraction or mechanically pressed in a fashion similar to the
processing of raw crop oil seeds.
For satisfactory release of the kernels from the fruits, the
requirements are that the oil bearing mesocarp shall be removed
and the shells cracked without damage to the kernels.
Palm kernel oil is not usually extracted on the plantations,
though occasionally mills contain press designed for this purpose.
The conditions for the release of palm kernel oil, which is
liquid at tropical day temperatures, are different from those of
palm oil, but similar to those of copra and hand oil bearing seeds.
Very small quantities are extracted in producing countries by
primitive means but the greater bulk of the palm kernel produced
are subjected to industrial process.
Although the extraction of palm kernel oil from palm kernel
is not a new project, this project is capitalized on using different
types of refining processes to determine the one that will yield a
Further cultural and agricultural practices differ for its fruit
species depending on the type of soil, different samples from
different localities were collected in consideration to its essential
commercial plantings on which each sample produces high quality
fruit/seed and profitable yield. Thus this research study is being
1.3 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Palm kernel oils consist mainly of glycerides, and like other
oils in their crude form, may consist of small and variable portions
of non-glyceride components as well. In order to render the oils to
an edible form, some of these non glycerides need to be either
removed or reduced to an acceptable level so as to meet the
request of the buyers.
Therefore, this project aims at reducing the non-glycerides
present in oil in their crude form using the chemical (alkali)
method of refining.
1.4 AIMS/OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1. Reduction of the free fatty acids from 5.0 to 0.03 percent or
2. Production of a fully deodourized product.
3. Operation without substantially greater utilities consumption
than a standard deodourizer.
4. Recovery of the fatty acids from the sparge stream.
5. Obtaining a mixture of traicylglycerols with the desired solid
content profiles over the range of product used;
6. Preparation and storage of semi-solid products with desire
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The refining of crude palm kernel oil is converting it to
quality edible oil renewing objectionable impurities to the desired
levels in the most efficient manner where possible, losses in the
desirable components are kept minimal.
After refining of crude palm kernel oil, a good quality has low
free fatty acid (FFA) content, does not contaminate with water or
other impurities and has a good bleacheability.