Journal of Oil Palm Research Vol. 25 (2) August 2013, p. 235-244
PALM OIL CLARIFICATION USING EVAPORATION
A palm oil milling process to facilitate the treatment of the effluent discharged using zero-discharge technology cost-effectively has eluded the industry despite intensive efforts over several decades. A novel clarification process that significantly reduces the quantity of effluent discharged may provide the impetus for revolutionising the treatment, disposal and utilisation of effluent in palm oil mills. In the new process, a two-phase decanter is used to remove as much suspended solids as possible from undiluted press liquor to facilitate oil-sludge separation without the addition of water. Further, by making use of the large amount of oil in the feed as a fluidising agent, it is possible to use a multiple-effect evaporator system to remove a significant amount of water in the incoming feed in an energy-efficient manner. Oil-sludge separation after evaporation is to be achieved using equipment similar to that used in a conventional palm oil mill. The article examines the technical viability of the new clarification process based on pilot plant studies and explores its potential for making palm oil mills more environmental-friendly.KEYWORDS:
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board,
6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.