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Palm Oil Process

The Principle & Operational Techniques

PALM OIL PROCESSING


The Principles & Operational Techniques

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques

PREFACE
This "handbook" has been prepared as a reference for the many engineers and other professionals who from time to time need to refresh their memory or update their knowledge on the principles and the operational techniques relating to the extraction and the recovery of Palm Oil and Palm Kernels from the fruit of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis). They may be occupying the position of Mill Manager, Mill Engineer, Mill Superintendent, Laboratory Analyst etc. The book may also serve as a text book or reference for those wanting to pursue, or are already pursuing a career in this fascinating industry that directly combines large scale agricultural enterprises with industrial processing plants in a variety of different ways. There are five major sections to this book. The first is an introduction to the base product, i.e. the fresh fruit bunches from the oil palm, dealing with the fundamentals of its composition and (chemical) behaviour. This section also briefly describes the matters to be considered for harvesting, handling and transportation of the f.f.b. and deals therefore with those matters that effect or can affect the f.f.b. before reaching the processing plant. The second section describes the fundamentals and basic requirements to be considered when planning the locality, the type of process and the machinery required therefore. The third section explores, describes and details the unit operations normally found in a palm oil mill. The fourth section deals with the waste products generated, the disposal of it and the sources of pollution. The last section is an overview of all other activities and requirements that are normally associated with the operation of a palm oil mill, in particular the generation of steam and electricity, the maintenance of the machinery and equipment and the monitoring and evaluation techniques for the operation, administration, maintenance, stores, sales etc. It is impossible for me to acknowledge all the ideas of the many engineers, authors and friends whose experiences, added to my own during the forty years in engineering, may appear in this book. Fortunately I can acknowledge some of my friends and associates from whose world wide knowledge and experience in their specialized fields I gained during the past twenty four years in the palm oil industry and which has contributed to individual chapters in this book. These include: J.J.Olie; R.A.Gillbanks, MBE; ; T.Fleming; D.A.M.Whiting; K.L.Hammond; D.R.Hoare; J.C.Lumsden; Lim Kang Hoe; Dr.P.D.Turner; T.Menendez. Finally, I acknowledge that much of the material in this book is by no means new and/or complete but constitutes an attempt to amalgamate the information from published papers, manufacturers instruction books etc., with my personal knowledge, views and experience in this industry.
J.A.Vugts.

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques

ABBREVIATIONS
Admix. B.O.D. B.V. C.B.C. C.M.C. C.O.D. C.P.O. D E.F.B. F.F.A. F.F.B. H.R.T. Lotox M.P.D. M.V.A. N.O.S. P. P.K. P.K.E. P.K.O. P.O.M. P.O.M.E. P.V. S.S. T. T.D.S. T.O.C. T.O.D. Totox T.S. U.S.B. V.M. : percentage foreign matter in kernel : Biological Oxygen Demand : Benzidine Value : Cake Breaker Conveyor : Cracked Mixture Conveyor : Chemical Oxygen Demand : Crude Palm Oil : Dura palm type : Empty Fruit Bunches : Free Fatty Acid : Fresh Fruit Bunches : Hydraulic Retention Time : Low total oxidation (value) : Mash Passing to Digesters : Melavonic Acid : Non Oily Solids : Pisifera palm type : Palm Kernel : Palm Kernel Expeller : Palm Kernel Oil : Palm Oil Mill : Palm Oil Mill Effluent : Peroxide Value : Suspended Solids : Tenera palm type : Total Dissolved Solids : Total Organic Carbon : Total Oxygen Demand : Total oxidation (value) : Total Solids : Un Stripped Bunches : Volatile Matter (moisture content)

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques

CONTENTS
Preface Abrreviations used SECTION #1 The raw material - F.F.B. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. Fresh Fruit Bunches Ripenes standards Bio chemistry Ripeness parameters Ripeness pattern Summary 1 to 5 Other factors of influence to F.F.B. Planting material Pollination Climate Soil condition Fertilizer Harvesting interval Transportation Summary 7 to 14 1-1 2-1 3-1 4-1 5-1 6-1 7-1 8-1 9-1 10-1 11-1 12-1 13-1 14-1 15-1

SECTION #2 The Factory - Design considerations 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. Design Site selection Locality Effluent disposal Seasonal wind Transport distances Summary 16 to 21 16-1 17-1 18-1 19-1 20-1 21-1 22-1

SECTION #3 The Factory - Extraction of C.P.O. and P.K. 23. General requirements 24. Fresh fruit bunches 25. Sterilization of fruit 25.1 Air release 25.2 Condensate removal iii 23-1 24-1 25-1 25-3 25-6

Palm Oil Process


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25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 25.7 25.8 Sterilizing cycle Steam consumption Operation Sterilized fruit to thresher machine Threshing or stripping the fruit Distribution sterilized fruit 25-7 25-9 25-19 25-20 25-21 25-25 26-1 26-1 26-1 26-2 26-2 26-3 27-1 27-1 27-1 28-1 28-1 28-2 28-5 29-1 29-1 29-3 29-9 29-10 30-1 30-1 30-1 30-3 30-8 30-9 30-10 30-13 30-13 30-14 30-15

26. Mash Passing to Digester 26.1 Introduction 26.2 Method of sampling 26.3 Analysis 26.4 Recording of results 26.5 Interpretation of results 27. Digesting of sterilized fruit 27.1 The digester 27.2 The action 28. Pressing of digested fruit 28.1 The press 28.2 The operation 28.3 The extraction efficiency 29. Crude Palm Oil (C.P.O.) 29.1 The collection of C.P.O. 29.2 The clarification of C.P.O. 29.3 The storage of C.P.O. 29.4 Evaluation of C.P.O. 30. Palm Kernel (P.K.) 30.1 Nut / Fibre mixture 30.2 The cake breaker conveyor 30.3 Nut / Fibre separation 30.4 Nut treatment 30.5 Nut cracking 30.6 Kernel / Shell separation 30.7 Kernel recovery 30.8 Kernel drying 30.9 Kernel cleaning 30.10 Evaluation of P.K.

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SECTION #4 Waste products and pollution. 31. Disposal of "dry" material 31.1 Solid waste products and disposal 31.2 The incinerator 31.3 The direct to field disposal 31.4 The use of E.F.B. as fuel 31.5 The fibrous material 31.6 The fuel value of fibre 31.7 The shell material 31.8 The fuel value of shell 31.9 The sludge (centrifuge) solids 31.10 Solids from Decanter systems 31.11 Solids from effluent treatment 31-1 31-1 31-1 31-2 31-3 31-3 31-4 31-4 31-5 31-5 31-6 31-6 32-1 32-1 32-1 32-2 32-3 32-3 32-3 32-3 32-4 32-5 32-8 32-8 32-9 32-10 32-13 32-13 32-17 32-18 33-1 33-1 33-3

32. Disposal of "wet" material 32.1 Parameters for liquid effluent 32.2 Biological Oxygen Demand (B.O.D.) 32.3 Chemical Oxygen Demand (C.O.D.) 32.4 Total Organic Carbon (T.O.C.) 32.5 Total Oxygen Demand (T.O.C.) 32.6 Theoretical Oxygen Demand (Th.O.C.) 32.7 Correlation of measurements 32.8 Biological treatment definitions 32.9 Aerobic suspended growth treatment 32.10 Control methods and technology 32.11 Treatment types 32.12 Anaerobic facultative pond system 32.13 Anaerobic (bi-phase) facultative ponds 32.14 Anaerobic/extended aeration pond system 32.15 Anaerobic tank digestion/extended aeration system 32.16 Land application of partly treated effluent 32.18 Effects of application of digested effluent 33. Air pollution 33.1 Boiler smoke 33.2 Incinerator smoke

Palm Oil Process


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SECTION #5 a) Steam and electricity generation b) Monitoring and Evaluation 34-1 34-1 34-4 34-9 34-10 34-12 34-15 34-17 34-25 35-1 35-1 35-7 36-1 36-1 36-2 36-4 36-5 36-7 36-8 37-1 37-1 37-3 37-5 37-7 37-8 37-9 37-10 37-12 37-21 38-1

34. Generation of steam and electricity 34.1 General boiler water information 34.2 Water treatment : external 34.3 Water treatment : internal 34.4 Blow down 34.5 The principle of de-aeration 34.6 Procedure for boiler "boil out" 34.7 Steam requirement calculations 34.8 Electricity 35. Repair and Maintenance 35.1 Maintenance and scheduling 35.2 Check list for reporting on Palm Oil Mills 36. Process control 36.1 The aim of process control 36.2 Examination of F.F.B. 36.3 Empty Bunch checking 36.4 Sampling 36.5 Interpretation of the results 36.6 General comments 37. Quality control 37.1 The Laboratory (37I).01 Determination of F.F.A. in C.P.O. (37I).02 Volatile matter in oil (37I).03 Dirt in oil 37.2 Oxidation 37.3 Bleach-ability 37.4 Quality analysis of P.K. 37.5 Determination of oil losses 37.6 Other tests 38. Administration and accounting Glossary follows

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SECTION #1 THE RAW MATERIAL [FRESH FRUIT BUNCHES]

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques

Chapter #1 FRESH FRUIT BUNCHES


1.01 "Oil is made in the field, and lost in the factory." This statement, as old as the industry itself, remains to be true, but provided both the field and the processing operation are well controlled, these losses can be controlled and kept within,(for the industry) acceptable parameters. Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB) harvested from the oil palm trees, and the loose fruits that have already detached from the bunch whilst still on the tree are collected from "the fields" and both together are transported to the factory. The stage of ripeness at which this bunches are harvested and the condition of this fruit when delivered at the factory, determines to a large extend the efficiency of the extraction process and the quality of the products produced by the CPO factory. 1.02 The CPO factory produces Crude Palm Oil and Palm Kernel. Further processing of the CPO and the PK takes place in more specialised refineries, crushing and extraction plants. Theoretically, the exact point of ripeness or maximum oil content or yield from the fruit can be determined from a number of factors. Practically, one cannot expect that harvesters possess the knowledge as described hereunder and a usable compromise to obtain a harvest of a good average of fully ripe, mature FFB is required. 1.03 Various circumstances may determine the practical parameters, although the most used one remains the control of FFB by physical observation to determine the percentage "black and hard" bunches of the total FFB delivered. A full description of the most commonly used parameters can be found under the section 5, chapter 36 : Process Control. 1.04 2 Soil type and climatic conditions have a definite influence on the growth and

Palm Oil Process


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yield pattern of the oil palm (Elaeis guineensis). An average rainfall of 2000 millimetre or more per year and 5 to 7 hours sunshine per day are usually good parameters to secure an economically justified yield. Generally these conditions can be met in the tropical zone between 15 degrees North and 15 degrees South of the Equator, around the world. 1.05 Height increment (trunk elongation) ranges between 40 to 80 centimetre per year (pending on age, genetic type and conditions) and the yield of FFB follows a distinct pattern, changing with the age of the palm. Peak yields are generally obtained at the palm age of between 5 and 7 years old (when leave production is at maximum), and there after the yield declines to a reasonably steady pattern. 1.06 Both the male and the female "flowers" (inflorescences) grow on the same palm. Each inflorescence has a central stalk with spikelets carrying the flowers. The male inflorescence can carry as many as or over a 1000 flowers, which produce between 20 and 50 grams of pollen during about 5 days. Pollen are released 2 to 3 days after the beginning of anthesis. The female inflorescence carries a considerably larger number of flowers, the total varies, but can be several thousand flowers, pending on the arrangement of the central, upper and lower spikelets. After pollination the female inflorescence develops into a fruit bunch, taking up to 22 weeks to become a fully developed and ripe bunch. Each pollinated female flower may develop into an individual fruit in the bunch; its shape and weight varying depending on its geographical position in the bunch. The total bunch weight thus can vary considerably and ranges from about 10 kg to as much as 80 kg per bunch, the average weight usually varies between 15 and 30 kg. 1.11 An individual fruit consists of a seed (the "palm kernel"), surrounded by pericarp.

1.07

1.08

1.09 1.10

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Pericarp includes three layers, i.e.: the hard endocarp (the "shell"), the fleshy mesocarp (the "fibre") which contains the palm oil and the thin outer skin or exocarp. 1.12 1.13 Oil palms can broadly be divided into three distinct types, i.e.: the Dura palm (D), the Tenera palm (T), and the Pisifera palm (P). The nut of the Dura palm has a relatively thick shell (between 2 and 8 mm) and the percentage mesocarp to fruit is generally low (30 to 65 %). Dura fruit can be recognised when the fruit is cut transversely and no ring of fibres in the mesocarp close to the shell can be noticed. 1.14 The nut of the Tenera palm has a thinner shell than that of the Dura palm (between 0.5 and 3 mm) and the percentage mesocarp to fruit is higher (60 to 99%). Tenera fruit has the distinct and prominent ring of fibres close to the shell, clearly allowing identification of the fruit when cut. 1.15 1.16 The Pisifera palm fruit has a kernel but no shell. Palm fruit may also develop even though no pollination appears to have taken place. These fruits are termed parthenocarpic fruit and although these can be oil bearing, they are usually small and with a solid centre, no kernel.

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques

Chapter #2 RIPENESS STANDARDS


2.01 2.02 Harvesting fruit bunches at the correct state of ripeness is of paramount importance in maximizing the oil yield. It is generally accepted that for the maximum exploitation of the oil, the fruit bunch should be at its peak of ripeness. This is where the problem arises, basically on the uncertainty of the best time to harvest the fruit bunch to give the maximum product. 2.03 The conventional system is to determine the ripeness by the number of loose fruits detached from the bunch, i.e. 1,2,3 etc. loose fruits detached, or the amount of loose fruit per kilogram of estimated bunch weight, i.e. 10 to 25% detached fruits, etc. and any of these two criteria may be right. An understanding of the formation of the various biochemical processes and the resulting palm products which normally either increase or decrease at the ripe stage may help to determine this stage of fruit ripeness.

2.04

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Chapter #3 BIO CHEMISTRY OF DEVELOPING OIL PALM FRUIT


3.01 3.02 Several distinct biochemical changes take place in the mesocarp as the fruit develops from flower to maturity. Carbohydrates form the major biochemical constituent in the early stages of development. These are translocated from the main plant (palm), especially from the leaves, via the bunch stalk into the fruits. 3.03 The presence of Chlorophyll also contributes to the formation of carbohydrates. (The function of chlorophyll pigments is to generate carbohydrates by photosynthetic conversion of CO2 , H2O and light energy) For fruit development the need to have chlorophyll reduces and diminishes once the carbohydrates are utilised to form (storage) oil bodies. 3.04 Carbohydrates are continuously translocated and synthesised within the fruit until a certain stage whereby the carbohydrate "pool" is drastically converted to lipids. Accessory pigments (such as carotene, orange plant pigment) and their isomers are also produced in the early stages of development and the amount increases proportionally with the increase in lipid content. Tocopherols (naturally occurring trace elements, able to act as antioxidants) have been shown to increase in amount as the fruit matures. In the early stages of development, lipids form only about one percent of the total weight of mesocarp and a large proportion of the lipids are phospholipids. Phospholipids are important (at this stage) as an entity for cell wall and cell membrane formation.

3.05

3.06

3.07

3.08

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(The proportion of phospholipids to total lipids remain none the less very low in ripe fruit.) 3.09 An important product of the carbohydrate metabolism is "tannin" (acidic substance). The amount of tannin in the fruit is constant throughout the development of the fruit. Proteins, which function as the building blocks of cells and as enzymes for all biochemical reactions, also remain proportionally constant throughout the stages of development. (Proteins form only 0.1 % of the total biochemical products in ripe palm fruit) The biosynthesis of lipids is the main feature exhibited by mesocarp. The precursor for lipid synthesis is carbohydrate. The conversion of carbohydrates to lipids takes place immediately after the kernel has fully developed. 3.12 3.13 The formation of lipids accelerate as the fruit approaches maturity and maximises at the ripe stage,(i.e. about the 20th week after pollination). Senescence triggers the degradation (or hydrolysis) of lipids to glycerol and free fatty acids (FFA)

3.10

3.11

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Chapter #4 PARAMETERS FOR DETERMINING THE DEGREE OF RIPENESS


Possible parameters are: a) b) c) d) e) Lipid content Free Fatty Acid formation Moisture content Carotene :(Chlorophyll absorbency ratio) Carotene :(Carotene absorbency ratio)

a) Lipid content The amount maximises when fruit is ripe and the amount drops slightly after senescence. Total oil content increases with the age of the plant. The amount of oil in wet mesocarp increases from 1% in the young fruits to about 40 % in the mature fruits. The FFA composition of the mesocarp lipid at different stages of maturity is significantly different. In 11 week old fruits, linoleic acid (C18:2) is prominent, forming about 28% of the FFA composition. As the fruit matures, oleic acid (C18:1) forms the bulk of the lipid. In the ripe fruit the FFA composition of the lipid extract is similar to that of the CPO (see table 1) It is only natural that the product which is generated by the plant maximises at the mature stage and the composition is such to provide the fruit with lipids containing the basic fatty acid precursors for the subsequent process of dispersion and survival.

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
b) Free Fatty Acid formation Degradation of lipids occurs after senescence and also in bruised, mature fruits. (Senescence is the immediate phenomenon following the fully mature fruit stage) The metabolism of biochemical substrate stops. Instead, degradation of some of these products, especially lipids take place. The action of lipases on the lipids is responsible for catalysing the formation of FFA's and glycerols. Lipases may be derived from within the mesocarp or contributed by bacteria, yeasts and other microbial infections. Substantial amounts of free fatty acids are formed in the senescenced fruit. (see table 2) In the fruit, FFA's constitute about 0.8% of the total lipid and may increase to 9 or 10% after the fruits are detached from the bunch. c) Moisture content Water forms the major constituent in plants, for it is very important as a medium for transport, for biochemical reactions and as a solvent. It is very important when fruit is at the young stage, whereby development requires the precursors to be water soluble. Water is also the source of hydroxyl groups for biochemical reactions. The need to have excess water is reduced as the function of the cells in the mesocarp becomes more specialised. It is expected that in palm fruit the amount of water per gram mesocarp is least at the ripe fruit stage. 80% of the total weight of 11 week old mesocarp is water and the percentage reduces to about 30 to 40% in the ripe fruit. It has also been shown that the amount of water in the detached fruit is considerably lower ( 25 to 30 %, see table 3) 9

Palm Oil Process


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(A certain drop in the proportion of water in the fruit could trigger the fruits to senescence.) d) Carotene: Chlorophyll absorbency ratio The formation of various biochemical palm products for example: lipids, carotenes, tocopherols; all of which normally maximise at the mature stage are not the only processes that are occurring in the plant. The degradation of these products may also occur and these happen in fully ripe and damaged or infected fruits. (Degradation of biochemical products which are formed at the early stages of development and have no further contribution to the fruit may also occur.) The products include chlorophyll and the all important Carbo hydrates. Carbohydrates are converted to potential intermediates for lipid synthesis, as are chlorophylls. Ripe fruits DO NOT contain any chlorophyll pigments, the drop in the chlorophyll content has been shown to be proportional to the increase in lipid and the carotene content. This distinct change provides additional information with respect to the degree of ripeness of the fruit. Chlorophyll pigments are not detectable in the ripe fruit, but their presence is always detectable and have been measured in the younger fruits. Chlorophyll content increases and then decreases at the later stage and is absent in the ripe fruit. Spectral scanning of the extracts of mesocarp of various ages has provided some accurate judgement of ripe and unripe fruits. Carotenes are always present, even in the very young fruits. The "yellowing" of the mesocarp as the fruit ripens is due to the degradation of chlorophylls and the build up of carotenes. 10

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In younger fruits, chlorophylls form the main photosynthetic pigment for the synthesis of carbohydrates. The carotenes at this stage function as accessory pigment during the photosynthetic process. The ratio of carotene to chlorophyll content at different stages of development is therefore useful in determining the age of the fruit and can be used as an indicator for ripeness standard. (under laboratory conditions) e) Carotene : Carotene absorbency ratio The biosynthesis of carotene in oil palm is similar to that of other plants. The basic precursor is carbohydrate which undergoes biochemical changes, firstly to acetyl CoA. This acetyl CoA will subsequently be converted to melavonic acid (m.v.a.), isopentenyl pyrophosphate (i.p.p.) and finally polymerisation of these i.p.p's to carotenes. These carotenes are accessory pigments found in the protoplasts or chloroplasts. A typical spectrum of carotene distribution of crude palm oil is identical to that of the distribution of ripe mesocarp extract. Carotene extracts of ripe mesocarp exhibits three absorbency peaks: at 432 nm, 456 nm and 480 nm. Maximum absorbency is at 456 nm for mature and ripe fruits. Younger fruits, where the chlorophyll pigments are present have a maximum absorbency of 432 nm. As the fruit develop to maturity, the absorbency at 432 nm decreases to a stage where the absorbency at this wavelength is lower than that of 456nm. At the same time the absorbency at 664 nm for chlorophylls also decreases, and finally disappears. The ratio of absorbency at 456 nm and 432 nm formulated may be useful as an indicator to determine the degree of ripeness of the fruit.

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A 456 : 432 nm absorbency ratio with a value < 1 may indicate young fruit. 14th to 16th week old fruits have ratios from 0.8 to 1.0. Mature fruits (18th/19th week) normally have values of 1.0 to 1.2, (and at the same time exhibit an absorbency peak at 664 nm, which indicates the presence of chlorophylls) In ripe and senescenced fruit, the 456 :432 nm absorbency ratio is 1.2, and do not exhibit any chlorophyll absorbency peak at 664 nm. This ratio has also been applied to study the various different degrees of development of fruit that occur in the bunch itself. Controversy of whether there is a need to allow all the fruits to be completely developed before harvesting can be solved by this carotene: chlorophyll absorbency ratio system.

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Chapter #5 RIPENESS PATTERN [relation of a ripe fruitlet to the rest of the bunch]
5.01 Ripe fruit may be defined as fruit which has the maximum amount of oil, and more directly as fruit which contains no more chlorophylls and attaining a carotene to carotene absorbency ratio of > 1.2 (which occurs normally in the 20th week after anthesis.) The fruits of any given bunch do not ripen simultaneously, due to slight variations in the time of pollination of the flowers. (The period of receptivity of the florets in an anthesizing female inflorescence is about 2 to 5 days.) Visual observation indicate that both the size and the colour of the fruit from the different locations on the bunch are different. The fruits on the periphery (outer side) of the bunch are usually large and deep orange in colour, whilst the fruits embedded in the interior of the bunch are sometimes smaller and do not have the deep orange coloration. Correlation of all these fruits with one another in terms of the degree of ripeness can be made. 5.04 Analysis done on the same bunch of a particular age, from different bunch sections, i.e. top, middle and bottom and from each section from different spikelets, i.e. outer, middle and inner parts shows that the contents of chlorophylls and carotenes are more in the top sections and decreases towards the bottom, but the 456 : 432 nm absorbency ratio is at a constant value, i.e. < 1. This constant value indicates that the fruits from different sections are all in a similar stage of maturity. Unless: the absorbency ratio of the top section is equal or more than 1, which would indicate that the fruits in that section are older than the fruits in the middle or bottom section of the bunch. Analysis from the 20th week (optimum ripeness) show a similar absorbency profile; in all the fruits from whatever position on the bunch.

5.02

5.03

5.05 5.06

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5.08 Another criterium to constitute the finding that the fruit on the different bunch and spikelet section are of similar physiological age is the fatty acid composition of the fruits from these different sections. It can be seen that the distribution of fatty acid in the fruits, from various sections have a similar pattern. The contents of the major fatty acids such as Palmitic Acid (C16:0) and the C18 fatty acids, i.e. Oleic Acids (C18:1) and Linoleic Acids (C18:2) are quite similar. 5.10 The fatty acid distribution profile is similar within a bunch, although the oil content in the outer fruits is higher and decreases towards the inner portion of the bunch. This is due to the intrinsic property of the fruit by virtue of its position on the bunch.

5.09

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Chapter 6 SUMMARY [chapters 1 to 5]


6.01 The conversion of carbohydrates to lipids at about the 13th week of development appears to be the main function of the fruit at this stage of its development. The accumulations of tocopherols and carotenes are proportional to the build up of oil. Carbohydrates are synthesized by the fruit during this stage, but at a decreasing rate. Since the indications are that most of the fruits in the bunch are of similar physiological age, it is therefore not necessary to wait to harvest the bunch, ONCE THERE ARE SIGNS THAT SOME OF THE FRUITS ARE RIPE. Table#1 Fatty acid composition in %
C type 11 12 14 16 16:1 18 18:1 18:2 18:3 20 17 0.22 0.62 27.8 1.06 4.12 14.4 28.8 22.3 0.77 AGE OF FRUIT IN WEEKS 12 0.6 38.9 5.1 18.4 25.6 10.9 0.3 0.2 0.8 37.2 5.2 22.0 24.4 9.8 0.6 13 0.5 39.6 4.9 32.6 19.3 2.7 0.3 0.2 14 1.7 44.9 4.0 37.3 14.4 0.3 0.3 0.2 44 4.5 39.2 10.1 0.4 0.4 RIPE C.P.O.

6.02 6.03 6.04

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Table #2 Fatty acid content
Sample: 7th week (young fruit) Ripe fruit Ripe fruit (easily detached) Senescened fruit Volume NaOH in (McOH) 0.2 ml 0.5 - 1 ml 2.5 ml 10.8 ml % FFA 0.1 0.25 - 0.5 1.3 5.5

Table #3 Oil and Moisture Content


Sample: Ripe fruit (mill) Ripe fruit (laboratory) 8th week (laboratory 10th week (laboratory) oil / bunch 20 % 30 % oil / fruit 45 % <1% 1% Moisture 22 % 40 % 80 % 80 %

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Chapter #7 FACTORS OF INFLUENCE TO THE PROCESSING OF FFB


7.01 The quality and quantity of the FFB delivered to the mill can vary considerably due to a number of factors which are outside the control of the mill staff. Some of these factors are fairly constant, whilst others can change from day to day, or in some circumstances even from hour to hour, depending on: - Type of Planting material - Age of the planting - Efficiency of pollination - Climate and /or seasonal conditions (present and past) - Soil conditions - Fertiliser programmes - Harvesting methods/interval - Type of collection and transportation to the mill 7.02 The handling of FFB in general does affect its quality and the less the fruit is touched after it is harvested from the tree, the higher the chances are that the F.F.A content remains at the low level it generally is at the point of harvest. It is of course necessary to move and transport the fruit to the mill, but all unnecessary handling must be avoided where ever possible. 7.03 This philosophy has led to a variety of handling and transport systems, all more or less effective (see FFB, chapter 24, page 24-1), but is very often to a large extent dependent on the local circumstances and the distances the fruit has to be carried. Type of planting material: The different types of oil palm breeds and hybrids all produce FFB with a different composition of mesocarp and nuts. The resulting different ratios of fibrous material (mesocarp), shell and kernel (nuts) and the varying quantities of these components will require 17

7.04

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different process machinery or machine adjustments to achieve the aim of optimum extraction of the palm oil and kernel. 7.05 Age of planting material: As for the type of material, the age of the palm from which the fruit is harvested, can determine the physical size of the bunch and the total oil content of the fruit. Again, to obtain the maximum extraction of the products, machinery may have to be adjusted to cope with the material. 7.06 Efficiency of pollination: Popularly stated, non pollinated (non fertilised) fruit has no kernel.(and a low oil content). The processing, especially pressing of this type of fruit is difficult and the resulting press liquid is difficult to separate into oil, water, dirt etc. (The immediate side effect of the non availability of kernel is the difference in fuel composition to the boiler furnace, since less or no shell will be available to be mixed with the fibre.) 7.07 The by insect (Elaedobius kamerunicus) pollinated fruit has generally a much more "dense" composition than fruit pollinated by wind and or larger insects and in general has a larger number of fully and partly developed fruitlets in the bunch.

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Chapter #8 PLANTING MATERIAL


8.01 Type of planting material: The different types of oil palm breeds and hybrids all produce f.f.b. with a different composition of mesocarp and nuts. The resulting different ratios of fibrous material (mesocarp), shell and kernel (nuts) and the varying quantities of these components will require different process machinery or machine adjustments to achieve the aim of optimum extraction of the palm oil and kernel. 8.01 Age of planting material: As for the type of material, the age of the palm from which the fruit is harvested, can determine the physical size of the bunch and the total oil content of the fruit. Again, to obtain the maximum extraction of the products, machinery may have to be adjusted to cope with the material.

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Chapter #9 POLLINATION
9.01 Efficiency of pollination: Popularly stated, non pollinated fruit has no kernel.(and a low oil content). The processing, especially pressing of this type of fruit is difficult and the resulting press liquid is difficult to separate into oil, water, dirt etc. (The immediate side effect of the non availability of kernel is the difference in fuel composition to the boiler furnace, since less or no shell will be available to be mixed with the fibre.) 9.02 The by insect (Elaedobius Kamerunicus) pollinated fruit has generally a much more "dense" composition than fruit pollinated by wind and or larger insects and in general has a larger number of fully and partly developed fruitlets in the bunch.

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Chapter #10 CLIMATE AND/OR SEASONAL CONDITIONS


10.01 The climatic conditions at the time of harvest and transport have a marked difference on the process in the factory. Heavy rainfall usually result in waterlogged bunches on arrival at the factory, where this fruit is weighed over the weigh bridge. The "extra" weight recorded can have a marked effect on the calculation of the extraction rates of both oil and kernel since these are generally calculated against the total F.F.B. weights recorded for the day or the production run. It is not uncommon that during wet days a larger percentage earth and dirt sticks to the bunches, which is also transported to the factory and can cause problems during the screening and clarification (de sanding) process. 10.02 Seasonal weather patterns have a marked influence on the yield of f.f.b. per hectare planted and thus are the main cause for the peak production and the low production periods of the factory. During heavy rainfall pollination of the oil palm flowers, whether by insects or by other natural causes, is generally not as effective as during the dryer periods of the year. 10.03 It can be estimated that approximately 20 to 22 weeks after pollination the bunches are ready to be harvested. With experience, the amount of fruit to be harvested in a given period from a known hectarage of planting can be estimated about six months in advance of the actual harvesting dates. Thus high and low periods of production can be forecasted with reasonable accuracy and the production runs, the maintenance periods etc. of the factory can be planned in advance. 10.04 Shorter term influences such as frequently alternating periods of sunshine and rain generally accelerate the fruit ripening process, whilst extended periods of dry or very dull weather tends to slow down the rate of fruit ripening and can affect the production. 21

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Chapter #11 SOIL CONDITION


11.01 Soil conditions: Oil palm will grow on a wide range of soil types, each of these will influence the yield to a degree. F.F.B. harvested from different soil areas will not show up in the factory and therefore has no direct influence on the type of treatment or process of the fruit. 11.02 On acid sulphate soils however, bunch ash (the ash produced from empty bunches after incineration) has proved to be useful in ameliorating the adverse soil conditions prevalent and provide an inexpensive source of nutrients. Depending on the logistics and environmental circumstances, the use of (whole) empty bunches as a mulch in oil palm is also practiced. The empty bunches contain significant quantities of nutrients, but are "bulky" (approximately 20 to 25% of F.F.B. weight) and the logistics of removal from the factory, transport and application in the field becomes a matter for economic consideration. 11.03 The decision as to what the preferred method of empty bunch disposal will be has a considerable influence on the design and lay out of an oil palm factory, where provision must be made for either incinerators and bunch ash disposal or for storage and handling facilities for the (whole) empty bunches. 11.04 The application of the liquid effluent from the mill (from sludge ponds etc.) to the fields is also an option that can be considered under certain circumstances. This can be in the form of: - raw effluent - anaerobic (digester) bottom fraction - aerobic pond bottom fraction - aerobic pond "supernatant" 22

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All contain substantial amounts of nutrients beneficial to the palms albeit in different forms and concentrations. The logistics of removal, transport and application to and in the field becomes an economic consideration which has a direct influence on the design and lay out of the factory.

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Chapter #12 FERTILIZER


12.01. Fertilizer programmes: Fertilizer programmes have no direct influence on the operation of an oil palm mill. As noted in Chapter 11, under certain conditions the mill may however be involved in supplying some of the organic fertilizers for these programmes. In general the aim of applying fertilizers is to increase the yield per hectare and as such the total quantity of F.F.B to be processed may increase and result in an altered (higher) throughput demand on the mill.

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Chapter #13 HARVEST INTERVAL


13.01 Harvesting methods / Interval: Noted under section 1, "The raw material", are the various theoretical considerations of determining the bunch ripeness. In practice the estate (field) management has to compromise and reach a decision on an appropriate practical harvesting standard. 13.02 All ripeness standards used specify the minimum acceptable degree of ripeness and the degree to which the overall average ripeness of the bunches harvested differs from this standard, depends to a large extend on the frequency of harvesting, i.e. the length of the interval between harvests and to a lesser degree on the prevailing climatic conditions. 13.03 The actual method of harvesting makes little or no difference to the process in the mill, provided estate management controls the length of the bunch stalks, the collection of the loose fruit etc. (Long stalks increase F.F.B. weight and tend to "soak up" oil, thus giving an apparent lower oil extraction rate. Loose fruit carry the highest oil content and if not collected and included in the overall F.F.B. delivered to the mill will decrease the apparent extraction rates of both oil and kernel) 13.04 The harvesting interval affects the oil quality to a considerable extend. When intervals are too long (generally if more then 10 days), a high proportion of "over ripe" fruit will be harvested, leading to high f.f.a. contents and increased oil losses in the factory. When intervals are too short (generally if less then 7 days), the trend develops towards the harvesting of "under ripe" fruit, i.e. before the bunches reach their maximum oil content. 13.05 The oil produced from these "under ripe" bunches will have a lower F.F.A. but the extraction rate is also likely to be lower. 25

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This may be acceptable in certain circumstances, where the financial gain (from sales of low F.F.A. oil) is higher than the "loss" in extraction. Data obtained at the mill from F.F.B. quality checks and the laboratory analysis should be viewed by the field management and used to decide on the most suitable interval of harvesting the fruit.

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Chapter #14 TRANSPORTATION


14.01 Type of collection and transportation to the mill: The method of collection and transportation of the F.F.B. to the factory varies considerably from area to area and is to a large extend depending on the preference of the estate owner. 14.02 Since it is known that bruised and damaged fruit in general produces oil with a higher f.f.a. than undamaged fruit, the less handling of the fruit before sterilization, the better the quality of the oil produced will be. 14.03 Apart from the quality factor it has also been shown that undamaged and carefully handled fruit results in lower oil losses during the sterilization process, ultimately resulting in an improved extraction rate of oil.

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Chapter #15 SUMMARY (chapter 7 to 14)


15.01 Virtually all of the points noted under Section 1, the chapters 1 to 6 and the chapters 7 to 14 above are generally outside of the control of the mill management and engineers. 15.02 It is however important that the mill management has some understanding of the factors which affect the material that is to be processed, both from the point of view of designing/modification of the mill machinery and or lay out and to foster a greater degree of understanding and cooperation between "the field" and "the factory".

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SECTION #2 THE FACTORY DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

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Chapter #16 DESIGN


16.01 Technological innovations and improvements, coupled to a better understanding of the various processes involved in the extraction of Crude Palm Oil (C.P.O.) and Palm Kernel (P.K.), have resulted in equipment and design changes over the years to accommodate new equipment and the improved process technology. Examples of such changes are for instance: * * * * * * * * * the use of water tube boilers versus fire tube boilers the use of steam turbines versus reciprocating steam engines the use of double door sterilizers versus single door sterilizers the use of screw type presses versus reciprocating hydraulic presses the use of "bunch crushers" the use of dynamic clarification systems versus static clarification systems the use of "vibro energy" rotating screening devices versus the "shaking" type screens "ripple mill" nut crackers versus conventional centrifugal nut crackers etc. etc.

16.02 Some of the innovations/modifications are not new, but merely a renewed application of an existing older principle, which coupled to other changes in the selected equipment and design has shown to be either economically advantageous, more efficient and/or more practically orientated by reducing the levels of skill required for maintenance of the equipment etc. Most, but not all, changes required the design and lay out of the factories to be re examined and have generally resulted in a more efficiently designed work place and allowed for a certain amount of "standardization" to be introduced. Despite this, the design and the lay out of palm oil factories are still very much subject to the individual preference of the owners and/or the individual preference of the Engineer(s) in charge .

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16.03 There have been a number of efforts made to "standardize" palm oil processing factories, all of which were and are more or less effective. The considerable quantity of proprietary machinery on the open market which can be utilized in an oil mill, whether or not specially adapted, precludes the total standardization. 16.04 Generally the lay-out should allow for a generous work space around the individual equipment and machinery, to allow unobstructed access for repairs and maintenance without interference to the nearby machinery. 16.05 Modifications and/or the installation of additional equipment (since technology changes and knowledge improves over time) are a fact of life and thus should, to a limited extend, be taken into account when designing the lay-out. 16.06 A "cramped" work space will invariably lead to a lack of supervision and operator attention and thus could cause the deterioration of the process and reduce the optimum usage and out put of the equipment installed. The (possible) extra cost associated with creating ample work space at the design stage will be more then repaid during the economic life span of the mill.

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Chapter #17 SITE SELECTION


17.01 There are a number of factors which play an important part in the selection of the physical site for a palm oil mill. The following gives an indication of the major points to be taken into account, but is by no means a complete list since much depends on the individual circumstances. 17.02 Once an area has been selected for the establishment of oil palm plantings, the area should be thoroughly examined for the most suitable place to locate the processing facilities. This should preferably be done at the time of the feasibility study, or as soon as possible there after, allowing sufficient time for planning, design, tendering, building and commissioning of the mill and other required infrastructure. 17.03 Where possible, advantage should be taken of the natural "lay of the land" of the area in which a new mill is to be built. The design and lay out of the mill and its other buildings can be such as to maximize the utilization of natural "high" and "low" spots in the selected area. 17.04 The proximity of a steady, good and plentiful water supply, for both the factory and the required residential labour force must be taken into account. 17.05 Soil and soil bearing tests should be performed to establish the requirements and parameters for the calculation of the foundation type, size etc. for the buildings, the individual items of equipment, roads etc. 17.06 The depth at which the natural and/or seasonal water table exists must be established and taken into account and a complete contour map of the area for the mill construction should be made by qualified civil engineers or surveyors. 17.07 Such civil engineering details should be completed in advance of the mechanical design so that the maximum advantage can be taken of existing natural situations on the proposed mill site. 32

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Chapter #18 LOCALITY


18.01 The "local" requirements for the disposal of effluent and air pollution should be checked and taken into account when the location of the mill is decided. In general the mill site should be chosen as "central" as possible to the supplying plantation areas, to keep time and distance of F.F.B. transport (and thus the cost of this operation) to a minimum and the bulk storage area or port to which the products of C.P.O. and P.K. are to be transported. 18.02 Since both C.P.O. and P.K. are but a percentage of the f.f.b. volume, the site selection should favour the shorter distances to the f.f.b. supply. 18.03 Other local conditions, such as the access to common facilities (planned or existing) for the work force should be taken into account. 18.04 Generally when a new mill is planned, the siting of the staff and labour housing is also to be planned and nuisance factors such as smell, noise, pollution etc. should be taken into account.

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Chapter #19 EFFLUENT DISPOSAL


19.01 Consideration of either all or part of the liquid effluent, its solid fractions and the empty bunches for direct land application (if this is known at the time of the feasibility study) should also be taken into account and the logistics of such an approach must be thoroughly examined. 19.02 Where the effluent disposal decided on consists of ponds a generously sized area must be allocated within a reasonable distance from the mill. 19.03 The total area required (see section 4, chapter 32) for these ponds can be rather large and the option for additional ponds later must be taken into account. 19.04 Access to the ponds is important, in view of the control, the maintenance, the eventual solids removal etc., but the whole area must be securely fenced in to prevent unauthorized access and possible accidents.

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Chapter #20 SEASONAL WIND


20.01 Prevailing seasonal wind directions should be checked in view of the location of the accommodation and facilities for both the staff and the labour force, to minimize air pollution and noise nuisance to these residential areas. 20.02 Especially the smoke and vapours omitted from the incinerator stacks does not rise to a great height, but usually settles down within one to two kilometres from the source point. This may not be serious (can in fact be beneficial) to the planting, but it is less then desirable if this residue settles on the areas in which the staff and labour housing and facilities are located.

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Chapter #21 TRANSPORT DISTANCES


21.01 Distance to the nearest public access road and existing infrastructure such as health services, schools, public transport etc. should also be taken into consideration. 21.02 Due to the size of oil palm plantations, the location is usually at some considerable distance from the nearest village or town and the provision of reasonable all weather roads for the transportation of the raw and the final products is usually included in the planning of the overall plantation lay-out.

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Chapter #22 SUMMARY [chapters 16 to 21]


22.01 As noted above, the list is by no means complete and each new location should be checked thoroughly by plantation staff, civil engineers, the mill design engineers and environmental experts to reach the most suitable solution.

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SECTION #3 THE FACTORY EXTRACTION OF C.P.O AND P.K

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Chapter #23 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS


23.01 The processing requirements can be separated into several distinct areas, each with their own input of "raw material" and their output of "processed material". 23.02 Broadly, a C.P.O. factory requires the following stages in the process of producing Crude Palm Oil (C.P.O.) and Palm Kernel (P.K.): 1: Fresh fruit bunch (f.f.b.) reception, f.f.b. storage, f.f.b. handling and f.f.b. sterilization. 2: Threshing and distribution of the sterilized fruit. 3: Oil and kernel extraction, C.P.O and P.K. storage and C.P.O. and P.K. handling. 4: Disposal of the empty bunches, the fibrous material and the shell. 5: Disposal of the liquid effluent. 23.03 In order to allow for this processing there has to be : 6: Generation of steam and electricity 23.04 In order to efficiently and economically manage the operation of the mill there are further the requirements of: 7: Process control, the analysis and recording of process data. 8: Quality control of the produced C.P.O. and P.K. 9: Repair and maintenance of the equipment 10: Administration and accounting for the total operation. 23.05 Each area can be sub divided into various stations, each again with their own "input" and "output", each with their own particular equipment. 39

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Chapter #24 FRESH FRUIT BUNCHES


24.01 The fresh fruit bunches are harvested and collected from the fields and transported to the mill by a variety of types and sizes of vehicles. These may include tractor-trailer operations, trucks fitted with side or rear tipping bins, hand loading or net loading of F.F.B. etc. 24.02 Some estates developed transport systems where the actual sterilizer cages are taken into the fields, on purpose built special truck or trailer frames, thus eliminating the need for loading ramps, others use railways in the fields etc., or a hybrid of any of the above noted systems. 24.03 The choice of system is often dictated by the particular circumstances and/or economics. The main aim should remain the same, i.e. to transport F.F.B. to the mill with the minimum of handling and bruising of the fruit at the lowest possible cost. 24.04 The first stop at the mill site is the weigh bridge, where the transport unit inclusive the f.f.b. is measured for gross weight, usually in metric tonnes to the second or third decimal point. (i.e. kilogram) After discharging the f.f.b. the now empty unit is weighed again and the resulting netto weight of f.f.b. delivered is calculated and recorded for each load. The accumulated total of these netto weights gives the total weight of f.f.b. delivered to the mill for the hour, the day, the week, the month etc. 24.05 The weigh bridge records can thus be used to find out the "flow" of f.f.b. into the mill on which the required through put per hour can be based.

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NOTE : Since all extraction rates and some losses are usually calculated against the f.f.b. weight, the accuracy of the operation and the recording is important and must therefore be regularly checked by mill management or engineers. A regular (minimum weekly) check for accuracy and correct operational procedures should be made and faults etc. can be rectified immediately. 24.06 A scheduled maintenance procedure must be followed, ensuring that the required accuracy is maintained. (see also under section 5, chapter 35, Maintenance) 24.07 Vehicles carrying F.F.B. should be checked to ensure that other than f.f.b. weight factors are not included. (Example: "passengers" coming in with the vehicle, water in the truck bin during the rainy season etc.) 24.08 Various methods of unloading or discharging the f.f.b. from the transport units are in use, partly depending on the type of transport and the type of system used. Each require their own specific operational procedures and attention. 24.09 Loading ramps. This is generally a steel platform, positioned on an angle that will allow the f.f.b. discharged from the transport units to "slide down" to the discharge hoppers, chutes or doors at the lower end of the platform. The F.F.B. can thus be distributed into the sterilizer cages that are positioned underneath the chutes or doors. NOTE: At this point, i.e. before bunches are transferred into the sterilizer cages, a bunch ripeness check should be conducted. (see also under section 5, chapter 36,"Process control") Bunches arriving at the mill should be at least 85% of the "ripe" category. The "black and hard" fruit must be reported to the mill management and estate management, so that the suppliers of this fruit can be informed. A too wide a variation in "ripeness" will result in an ineffective sterilization process with either too high oil losses or "un-strip-able" bunches, all 41

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resulting in further processing problems in the factory causing increased oil losses and lower extractions. Harvesting and ripeness standards are essentially the responsibility of plantation management, but it remains the mill management's responsibility to report the condition of the delivered f.f.b. 24.10 Loading ramps are commonly used through out the industry, despite the disadvantage of bruising and damaging the fruit as a result of the action of dumping from the transport unit on to the ramps, the sliding of the fruit down on the ramp and the subsequent dumping from ramp into the sterilizer cages. The result of this bruising and damage to the fruit is inevitably an increase in the f.f.a. content of the oil produced. 24.11 The system of "in field cage loading" can (at least partially) prevent most of this damage and has proved to result in oil produced with generally a lower f.f.a. % then oil extracted from fruit handled via loading ramps. Care must be taken to not "overload" the cages, either in the field or under the ramps, as this results in the bunches bruising and rubbing against the sterilizer walls and ceiling apertures. The spillage of loose fruit etc. will increase the losses and lower the apparent extraction rate of oil. 24.12 Bunch transportation to the sterilizers: The most commonly used method is by means of rail tracks from the ramp area to the sterilizer area. The shunting from one track to another can be achieved by using either railway switches or by using a transfer system specially designed for the purpose. The latter have distinct advantages and should be the preferred option, from both the points of view of ease of operation and maintenance of the equipment. Movement of the cage trains along the tracks is most commonly achieved with the aid of either horizontal or vertical capstans.

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24.13 Depending on the design and lay out of the factory, sterilizers can be equipped with either a single door or with a door on either end of the sterilizer vessel. The single door operation requires extensive handling and shunting of cages, while the double door operation is a "one way in - one way out" fashion, usually requiring straight rail tracks only, without the need for rail switches, cross over etc. Both systems have a number of built in problem areas and continually require extensive and costly maintenance and operational care to prevent derailments, a hold up in processing. 24.14 Rail tracks, switches, sterilizer bogie axles, bearings and wheels all need very regular and almost continual servicing and should thus be on a regular (scheduled) maintenance programme. 24.15 Storage of f.f.b. in cages, before and after actual process hours, usually requires a fairly large shunting yard and method for pushing/pulling cage trains, shunting from track to track etc. 24.16 Hybrid systems are also commonly in use, usually requiring the use of a tractor or forklift to shift cages, both full and empty ones. The logistics of having to move a fairly large number of cages backwards and forward to achieve a certain throughput per hour and the usually limited space available to do this in can be problematic and requires effective control to prevent a process hold up etc.

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Chapter #25 STERILIZED FRUIT


25.01 F.F.B. sterilization Sterilization is the first step in the process of extracting oil and kernel from the f.f.b. Inadequate or incorrect sterilization will undoubtedly adversely effect the efficiency of the extraction process. 25.02 The usual method of sterilization is a batch process, and this "batch" process has to supply the feed needed to maintain the subsequent extraction processes, most of which are of a more "continuous" nature. A hold up in the supply of sterilized fruit results in the disruption of down stream processing, which not only leads to the loss of through put, but also to the loss of product resulting from a lower efficiency of the total operation. It is for this reason that sterilization operation must be scheduled according to a precise timetable, geared to the through put of the mill. 25.03 The most important functions of the sterilization process are: a) to inactivate the enzymes that promote the formation of free fatty acid. (To ensure that these enzymes are destroyed the whole of the oil carrying fruit must reach a temperature of at least 55 degrees Celsius.) b) to loosen the fruit in the bunch so that the maximum amount of fruit is recovered in subsequent threshing (stripping) process. (This aim will be achieved provided the fruit reaches a temperature of 110oCelsius for a minimum period of 20 minutes and the heating medium provides moisture. The sterilization with live steam of low pressure is therefore suitable.)

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Other functions of the sterilization can be stated to be: c) To soften the fruit in the bunch so that the mesocarp and the nut can be detached from each other (in the digester). (A "clean" separation of the nut and the fibre will facilitate the proper operation of the depericarper later on in the process.) d) To condition the mesocarp so that the oil bearing cells can be more easily and effectively broken and the oil recovered. (Unbroken oil cells have a density close to that of water and will not be recovered in the clarification process.) e) To dehydrate the fruit, which appears to have two functions, i.e. the pre-treatment of nuts for kernel recovery and an apparent positive effect on the efficiency of the operation and through put of the screw presses used for the extraction of the oil. f) Bio chemical changes also appear to take place during the process of sterilization, having a beneficial effect on the process of clarification. 25.04 Sterilization is commonly achieved by means of live steam admission into the sterilizing vessel loaded with f.f.b. in partly perforated steel cages. The steam pressure is usually 3 kg/cm2 (42 lbs/inch2) and a properly controlled cycle with 30 minutes or more at this pressure will generally give satisfactory sterilization results. 25.05 As noted previously, the standard of ripeness of the f.f.b. delivered may necessitate the cycle times to be varied to suit the type of fruit to be sterilized. Very ripe fruit can be sterilized in a shorter period, whilst when fruit is well set, under ripe and hard the sterilization times may have to be extended . Double or triple peaks can be used to ensure proper sterilization and good stripping of the bunches, the latter is the most common. Air release 25.1.01 When a sterilizer is loaded with fresh fruit and the door is first closed, the vessel is full of air. 45

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Air is a poor conductor of heat and must be removed from the vessel so that the heat transfer to the bunches will not be impaired. 25.1.02 There are two practical methods of air removal from sterilizers, i.e.: a) steam sweeping and b) diffusion, followed by blow off of steam. a) Steam sweeping: Steam is lighter than air and as the vessel fills with steam it will sweep the air downwards and force it through the de-aeration valves. This action should be controlled so that there is as little turbulence as possible. Strong turbulence will mix the steam and air and pockets of air will remain in the vessel; within these pockets there will be low temperatures. An idea of the time needed to clear the vessel of air can be obtained by considering the volume of the vessel and the area of the air release valves. Example: A 10 x 2.5 tonne cage sterilizer is 2.1 meter in diameter and 30 meter long, i.e. has a volume of about 104 cubic meter. If 4 x 75 mm outlets provided, these will have a combined open area of 177 square centimetre, (0.0177 m2 ). The vessel should be cleared of air in say 10 minutes, thus the average speed out of the valves during de-aeration must be about 9.8 m/sec (35 km/hr). 25.1.03 The fruit and the cages have a volume so there is actually less then the volume of air calculated above, but inevitably air and steam will mix, the air will not necessarily be swept evenly to the outlet valves etc. so the estimate of time can be accepted as reasonably valid. To achieve an average speed of 9.8 m/sec through the outlet valves, the vessel must be under pressure during the steam sweeping, deaeration process.

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At the start of the cycle the vessel and its contents will be cold and the steam first admitted will be condensed and there can be neither an increase in pressure nor an air displacement until the rate of the steam admission to the vessel exceeds the rate of condensation. To achieve the required de-aeration the steam admission must be relatively high and this will conflict with the need to reduce turbulence. To keep turbulence within acceptable levels sterilizers are fitted with a steam distributor along the top of the vessel to ensure an even dispersion of steam. This distributor is essential and must have a properly selected cross sectional area and openings correctly sized to ensure good steam distribution, evenly along the whole length of the sterilizer. As the fruit is held in cages, the air must be removed from these cages as well as from the open volume of the vessel and to ensure that this is achieved it is essential that both the size and the number of holes in the cage sides and bottom plate are adequate not only for the purpose of admitting steam into the cage and fruit, but also allow air to escape. 25.1.04 With a well designed system and if care is taken it should be possible to sweep the majority of the air from the open volume of the sterilizer and the cages, but the air trapped in the bunches is not swept out. b) Diffusion: Steam pressure will tend to compress this air into the bunch so that the fruit in the centre of the bunch will remain surrounded by air and thus not be subjected to heat. After a period of time has elapsed, the steam will diffuse into the air and air will be displaced to allow heat penetration, but with very tightly knit fruit bunches there will not be sufficient time for the diffusion to be effective within the designed time of the sterilizing cycle. This slow diffusion of steam into and the displacement of air from the bunches can partly be explained by the fact that steam entering the bunch will condense until the surfaces of the bunch exposed to the 47

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steam reach saturation temperature. If fruit is well set then the diffusion process must be assisted by intermediate blow offs from the sterilizer. 25.1.05 Theoretically, if pressure is released from the sterilizer at 3 kg/cm2, one quarter of the air left in the vessel should also be removed. More importantly, the air trapped in the bunches will be released, so that on the next application of pressure steam will penetrate further into the bunch. After steam sweeping and one blow off very little air will remain in the open volume of the sterilizer, but there will still be air trapped in the bunches. 25.1.06 The timing for subsequent blow offs (i.e. in multiple peak sterilization) could or should be delayed until there is some "heat" in the bunches. Since diffusion is assisted by turbulence in the gases steam admission after blow offs should be at the maximum rate attainable to give the best possible conditions for diffusion. "Triple peak" sterilization has proved to be effective in assisting the best air release from the bunches during this sterilization. Despite this and however careful the air sweeping is carried out, air will find its way to the bottom of the sterilizer vessel throughout the cycle and provision for the continual removal of this air (quite separate from the removal of condensate) must be made. 25.1.07 Temperature gauges or recorders fitted to the sterilizer provide a check on the temperature obtained in the vessel. There will be no air in the top of the vessel, thus the temperature measured there will always be that of the corresponding steam pressure and does not necessarily reflect the temperature of the fruit that is to be sterilized. A more accurate indication of that temperature can be gauged by placing the sensing device below the level of the fruit cages. Any condensation droplets removed with the air release when the vessel is under pressure will flash off into steam under normal 48

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atmospheric pressure, thus the sign of steam emerging from the air release outlets does not indicate that all air is released and the valves can be closed. 25.1.08 Air release valves must be provided with a bypass without a valve to ensure a continuous and adequate release of air throughout the complete sterilizing cycle. 25.2 Condensate removal:

25.2.01 As steam is used in the sterilizer it condenses and this condensate has to be removed from the vessel for several reasons: a) If it is not removed it will flood the bearings of the cage bogies, wash out the lubricating agent and ruin the bearings. b) If the level is allowed to rise any further up to the level of fruit any "free" oil and oil out of the bunches will be washed out in excessive quantities. c) The "free" oil on the surface of the fruit is a result of damage and bruising of the fruit and this oil has a high fatty acid content and is therefore quite corrosive. The mixture with the condensate will thus be of a corrosive nature and attacks the steel work of the sterilizer. This corrosion cannot be totally eliminated since condensate must flow out of the vessel, but should be minimized as much as possible by keeping the vessel as free of condensate as practicably possible. d) At the end of the sterilizing cycle any free condensate still left in the vessel will flash off and thus increases the total blow off time of the sterilizer. 25.2.02 Condensate must be cleared when pressure in the vessel is still low to prevent a build up of condensate through the main condensate valves, whilst a "constant bleed" system with sample capacity to ensure continuous adequate removal of the condensate formed throughout the cycle must also be provided. Despite the ample capacity cited above, the main condensate 49

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valves should be used at least once during the cycle to make sure no condensate can build up in the vessel. Hot condensate "blown" out of the sterilizer will flash off into steam and adequate provisions should be made for a condensate drainage system away from the operating area of the sterilizers. Adequate in this sense must take into account that at the start of the cycle both air and condensate released are at their maximum and that these should (must) be provided with separate systems. (Pipes full of condensate cannot allow air to pass out.) 25.3 The sterilizing cycle

25.3.01 A full sterilizing cycle consists basically of three phases : i) Steam pressure build up ii) Constant pressure phase iii) Blow off i) Steam pressure build up The pressure build up in the sterilizer must be at a rate that will allow the requirements of proper de-aeration as described before and the constant pressure phase of minimal 30 minutes at 3 kg/cm2 to be attained within the designed or preferred cycle time. The supply of steam and the piping transporting this steam has therefore to be calculated large enough to achieve this aim. The very large quantity of steam required at the start of the cycle is usually limited by the capacity of the back pressure system and if supplemented by live steam of reduced pressure direct from the boilers, by the capacity of the steam boilers supplying this steam. A pressure build up to 3 kg/cm2 in a time of maximum 10 minutes would be ideal, but very few systems in C.P.O. mills are able to achieve this. (see under 25.4, Steam consumption) 50

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
ii) Constant pressure phase While careful attention must be given to the other parts of the cycle, it is in the constant pressure phase that the action aimed for in the sterilization process are accomplished. Thus, if full pressure for the required length of time is not maintained, the careful control of the other phases will be wasted and of no value. This is particularly so in multiple sterilizer installations where one sterilizer has reached full pressure and another vessel starts is pressure build up. The tendency for the pressure in the first vessel to drop is to be watched and must be avoided. If adequate steam supply cannot be obtained, the systems should be regulated so that this drop can be avoided and full pressure maintained. iii) The blow off phase Blow off must be completed as fast as possible, by fully opening the blow off exhaust valves, in order to achieve as much dehydration as possible and keep the non productive periods of the total sterilizing cycle to a minimum. A complete blow off from full pressure to atmospheric pressure in about four minutes would be ideal. Towards the end of the blow off, condensate main valves should be opened to ensure the removal of any condensate liquid still left inside the vessel. Pipe lines and, if utilized, exhaust silencers should be adequately sized so as to not restrict the volume of the blow off and thus lengthen the time for this. 25.4 Steam consumption

25.4.01 The low pressure steam in the C.P.O. mill is usually provided by means of a back pressure system from the electrical power generating steam engines or turbine sets. Such equipment can be, and for C.P.O. mills usually is, designed with an exhaust or back pressure steam at 3 kg/cm2. 51

Palm Oil Process


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This provides sufficient temperature for sterilization, higher pressures and hence higher temperatures could result in decreased oil quality. Steam pressure and steam temperature are not proportionate, therefore an increase in pressure would not significantly improve the rate of heat transfer to the f.f.b. to be sterilized. 25.4.02 The steam consumption of the sterilizing relates almost entirely to the mass of metal and fruit that has to be brought up to temperature and to the losses through radiation and blow off. 25.4.02 The insulation of the sterilizer, provided it is in good condition, assists in reducing radiation losses as much as possible whilst keeping the time lag between (last) blow off and the steam admission for the next cycle as short as possible also assists considerably in keeping the sterilizer metal "hot" and thus reducing the consumption. 25.4.03 Theoretical calculation of STEAM DEMAND : The sterilizer can be considered as a condenser with at the start of the cycle a very high condensing capacity and thereafter a quickly reducing capacity down to more moderate levels with a practically zero condensing capacity at the end of the cycle. The quantity of condensed steam per unit of time (Q) equals: Q=F x t x F t = total surface in contact with the steam = temperature difference between the fruit surface and the surrounding steam. = heat transmission co efficient

The total surface in contact with the steam at the start of the cycle has then the highest value, since the fruits are still hard and the bunches in the sterilizer cage are touching each other on only a few points and the total of these surfaces are rather small. 25.4.04 At the start of the cycle these surfaces are still dry and has been shown that droplet condensation will occur. The heat transmission co efficient (1) then has a very high value of : 70.000 kcal/m2.hr.oCelsius. 52

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
At the start of the cycle t has the highest value too, since: temperature of steam at atmospheric pressure = 100 o C the temperature of the fruit surface say = 30 o C The temperature difference therefore = 70 o C 25.4.05 Towards the end of the cycle the situation is quite different, since in the first place there is no droplet condensation any more, but a film condensation instead, with a heat transmission co efficient (2) of about : 6000 kcal/m2.hr.oC. 25.4.06 Secondly the surface in touch with the steam has been reduced as well since the fruits have become softer and the initial firmness has disappeared and the mass of bunches show a distinct shrinkage. The surfaces of contact between the bunches is increased and consequently the fruit surface in contact with the steam has decreased. It is rather difficult to establish the exact reduction in the free condensing surface, but an acceptable estimate would be that the reduced surface is 90% of the original surface. (F2=0.9F1) 25.4.07 Thirdly, the temperature difference (t) has been reduced to a great extend. The aid of thermo couples the temperature difference between the surrounding steam and the layer of pericarp nearest to the nut has been measured and the tests have shown that the assumption of a temperature difference at the end of the cycle of 4o C is acceptable. (t2 ) (The longer the cycle, the smaller this difference will be ) With the aid of the above, the condensing capacity at the start of the cycle can be calculated to be: 70.000 kcal/m2 . hr . o C x F1 m2 x 70 o C = 4.900.000 kcal x F1 / hr. 25.4.08 Towards the end of the cycle this can be calculated to be:

6000 kcal/m2 . hr . o C x 0.9 F1 x 4 o C = 21.600 kcal x F1 / hr.

53

Palm Oil Process


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In other words, the condensing capacity is about 200 times bigger at the start of the cycle then towards the end of the cycle. 25.4.09 The average steam consumption for a single peak sterilization operation is between 180 and 200 kg/ton f.f.b. Figure1 shows the calculated steam consumption of a sterilizer, with no restriction in steam supply. This figure shows that the peak consumption is about 7 times the average consumption. Thus for example, for a sterilizer with a capacity of 15 tons f.f.b. and an actual steaming time of 60 minutes the average steam consumption is 2700 kg/hr/hr, or 2.7 tons / hr. Without any restriction the peak demand could then be 7 x 2.7 = 18.9 tons / hour. If the actual steaming time is reduced to 45 minutes, then the average steam consumption increases to 3.6 ton / hr and the peak demand to 25.2 ton / hour. 25.4.10 "Throttling" devices such as orifice plates have been used to curb this peak steam demand. (figure 2, and 3) It is obvious that the pressure build up will then be slower and consequently a longer steaming time will be required, i.e. a moderate steam flow will not allow a short steaming time. However, an appropriately sized orifice only throttles down the peak steam demand and does not hamper the steam flow at all after the condensing capacity has dropped down under the preset level of maximum steam flow. (figure 4, and 5) (As a matter of fact the orifice plate will allow a bigger steam consumption than the fruit is able to condense) (figure 5, page 25-17) 25.4.11 The steam flow ( in kg/hr) through an orifice plate fitted in a 200 mm internal diameter steam pipe line for saturated steam with a pressure before the orifice of 3 kg/cm2 on the gauge is as shown in table 1. Steam flow (in kg/hour) through an orifice plate in: Pipeline of 200 millimetre internal diameter for saturated steam pressure before orifice of 4 kg absolute, = 3 kg/cm2 gauge. 54

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Sterilizer pressure in kg/cm2 100 mm 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 10190 10190 10190 10150 9400 7390 0 Diameter of orifice in millimetres 90 mm 8190 8190 8190 8160 7550 5930 0 80 mm 6430 6430 6430 6400 5920 4640 0 65 mm 4220 4220 4220 4200 3880 3040 0

The calculation for the correct size of the orifice is quite complex using Bernoulli's theorem and the general equation for the mass flow of a fluid through and orifice. Calculation using simplified equations are not very accurate and the results obtained using such equations show quite large differences. Having plenty of steam available towards the end of the cycle is also of no help in shortening the required cycle time because the capacity of the fruit to condense the steam is by then greatly reduced. 25.4.12 In calculations of total steam demand for sterilizing an allowance must be made for the period of overlap between sterilizers. There can also be a substantial steam demand when mill production is reduced. For instance a 30 ton f.f.b./hr mill with 3 presses could have two x 9 cage sterilizers. When this mill runs on two presses at 20 ton f.f.b./hr the overlap in the sterilizer operation will still be needed and the steam demand will be almost the same as it is for the three press operation. The fuel available from the two press operation will only be 2/3 or 66 % of that available at full through put and the operation will come to a halt when steam pressure and production cannot be sustained due to this shortage of fuel. 25.4.13 For multiple peak sterilization average consumption can be as much as 250 kg/ton f.f.b. and at the peak rate the steam consumption will be the maximum that the steam system can support when the pressure is being build up at the start of the cycle. 55

Figure #1

STEAM CONSUMPTION OF A STERILIZER No restriction in steam supply @ 3kg/cm2


30

25

20 Steam Consumtion of Sterilizer 15

TON/HOUR

10

0
0 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75
2

2.25

2.5

2.75

STERILIZER PRESSURE in Kg/cm

Figure #2

STEAM CONSUMPTION OF A STERILIZER With throttled steam flow


30

25

20 TON/HOUR Steam Consumtion 15

10 Peak @5.8 T/H = 2.15 x AVERAGE 5 AVERAGE = 2.7 T/H 0 0 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75 2 2.25 2.5 2.75 3 STERILIZER PRESSURE in Kg/cm2

Figure #3

STEAM CONSUMPTION OF A STERILIZER With steam flow throttled too much


30

25

20 Steam Consumtion of Sterilizer 15

TON/HOUR

10

5 AVERAGE = 2.7 TON/HR 0 0 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25

Peak 3.8 T/H = 1.4 x AVERAGE

1.50

1.75
2

2.25

2.5

2.75

STERILIZER PRESSURE in Kg/cm

Figure #4

12000

STEAMFLOW IN KG/HR THROUGH AN ORIFICE in PIPELINE 200 mm I.D

@100 mmdia. 10000

@90 mm dia. STEAMFLOW in Kg/Hour 8000 @80 mm dia. 6000

@65mm dia. 4000

2000

0 0 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75


2

2.25

2.5

2.75

STERILIZER PRESSURE in Kg/cm

Figure #5

Comparison steam requirement (A) and possible throughput of orifice (B)


7000
B = possible througput of oriface

6000

5000

Kg/Hour

4000

3000

A = comparison steam requirement

2000

1000

0 0.05 0.30 0.55 0.80 1.05 1.30 1.55 1.8 2.05 2.3 2.55 2.8 STEAM PRESSURE in kg/cm2

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
25.5 Sterilizer operation

25.5.01 An oil mill cannot reach its rated throughput unless the required number of tons of well sterilized fruit are delivered to the threshing station at regular intervals. Failure to deliver fruit to the sterilizers as required, for what ever reason will reduce the throughput of the presses, which in turn will reduce the fuel supply to the boilers and in extreme cases results in steam shortage and inadequate, or delayed, sterilizing which in turn leads to a further lowering of the throughput. A strict control is therefore necessary. 25.5.02 During peak harvesting periods large quantities of loose fruits can be delivered to mills. If sterilizer cages are loaded with loose fruit entirely the heat penetration will be very poor and under sterilized fruit will enter the process. The enzymes responsible for the production of f.f.a. will probably be inactivated later in the process, but the other undesirable effects from poor sterilization will not be eliminated. Loose fruit must be distributed over a sufficient number of sterilizer cages to prevent this occurrence. Note: One exception to the above is when loose fruit is sterilized on its own, as sometimes practised when separating f.f.b. for the production and subsequent segregating high and low f.f.a. oil. When separately sterilized a shorter (about 45 minute) cycle of single peak at full pressure is sufficient to adequately sterilize and prepare the fruit for processing.

25.5.02 The correct sequence and timing of valve operations for correct sterilization has proved to be far better maintained by a programmable automated valve control system than by manual control. However, an automated valve control system does not compensate for an inadequate steam supply and does in fact produce worse results under poor steam availability than a well operated manually controlled system. 61

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The sequencing must be controlled to keep the total process synchronized to the extend that the operation of the extraction equipment can be regarded as a continuous operation with no flow interruptions as a result of the batch type sterilization process. Proper sequencing will also benefit the operation of the steam boilers, by having a sufficient time lag between peak steam demands. This in turn will have a beneficial effect on the steam driven power generating equipment since the main steam pressure maintained is more even, with less "low" pressure periods. 25.6 Transportation of sterilized fruit.

25.6.01 After the sterilizing process the fruit is transported to the next step in processing, i.e. to the stripping or threshing equipment. Transportation of the cages is usually effected by means of a capstan and pull ropes, pulling a whole train of cages out of the sterilizer, thus making space for the next load of f.f.b. to be placed in the still hot sterilizer vessel. This change over should be effected as quickly as possible in order to reduce the heat loss from the open sterilizer and reduce the steam requirement for the next cycle. 25.6.02 Emptying of the cage can be achieved in different ways. the most common one being the overhead hoisting crane which lifts the cage to the thresher platform and tips the fruit out of the cage on to a feed regulating device which is usually situated on top of the thresher machine. 25.6.03 The use of a ground level "tippler" device (as for instance commonly used in the sugar industry) has also found an application in the C.P.O. factory. With this method the need for extra heavy building columns to take the load and stress from an overhead crane or gantry is eliminated, the building height can be reduced (thus reducing capital expenditure) and if correctly designed the speed of the tipping device can be controlled to achieve the required even feeding of the thresher machine, thus eliminating separate regulating feed devices. The (ground level) tipping device does need a conveyor system to transport the sterilized fruit to the inlet of the thresher machine. 62

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Both methods result in approximately the same oil loss before extraction. Despite the obvious advantages of a ground level cage tipping device, the almost universal adherence to the overhead crane system could be seen as a lack of original thought on the subject and a lack of willingness from the palm oil industry to examine other industries for possible improvements in design and utilization of machinery. 25.7 Stripping or threshing of the sterilized fruit.

25.7.01 The second process step in the factory is the stripping or threshing of the sterilized fruit bunches. The functions of the thresher can be separated into two major ones: a) to cause the fruit to detach from the bunches, and b) to separate the then loose fruit from the now empty bunch stalks. Both these actions cause oil losses and although these are unavoidable, correct operation can keep these losses within the for the industry accepted limits. 25.7.02 The operation and the effectiveness of the thresher must be continuously monitored during the operation to prevent the 'unstripped bunch' (u.s.b.) count from reaching too high levels. One method to reduce the level of unstripped bunches or poorly stripped bunches is to feed the bunches after the first threshing to a "bunch crusher". This machine squeezes the poorly or partly stripped bunch through a set of (usually star shaped) rollers, thereby dislodging any or most of the fruit still attached to the bunch stalk after the first threshing. The bunch and squeezed out fruit is then subjected to a second threshing, where virtually all fruit is removed. (see also section 5.36, Process Control) Regular representative sampling and analysis must be done to monitor the effectiveness of both the threshing and the sterilizing, for it has been shown that as much as 30 % of all oil losses can originate in these two first steps of processing f.f.b..

63

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It has been calculated that an 0.5 % increase in all oil lost on bunches represents a financial loss of a five to six digit figure per annum for a 30 ton/hr C.P.O. mill! 25.7.03 The most commonly used thresher machine is the rotary drum type, which depending on its physical size can have a capacity to about 45 ton F.F.B./hour. The sterilized bunches are fed into the thresher drum, which rotates at a fixed speed. The drum is usually made up of small section channel bars or T shaped bars, arranged at equal distances around the outer circumference of the drum. The clearance between the bars is sufficient to allow the released fruit to drop through these gaps, whilst the empty bunch stalks remain inside the drum and are transported to the end of the drum opposite the inlet side by means of bars fitted inside the drum at such an angle as to effect this movement of the bunches. 25.7.04 Drum diameters vary from about 1.8 meter to 2 meter and the drum length from 3 to 5 meter, the longer drums usually giving a better threshing effect. The bunch is lifted to a height just before the vertical center line of the drum where the weight of the bunch overcomes the centrifugal force exerted on this bunch by the circular motion within the drum and the bunch drops to the bottom of the drum. 25.7.05 In order to prevent the complete rotation of the bunch the centrifugal force (C) has to be smaller then the weight (G). i.e. C < G. m x v2 C = r where : m = v r n d mass = centrifugal speed = radius of drum = rotational speed of drum = diameter of drum

64

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then: G m = g and G x Pi2 x r2 x n2 g x r x 900 d x n2 and 1800 <G

r x n2 < 1 900 1800 n < d

it follows that

The empirical formulae for the thresher speed can be stated to be 1800 n = 0.75 to 0.80 x d
i.e. a drum with a diameter of 1.8 meter should have a rotational speed of

1800 n = 0.75 @ 0.80 x = 25 r.p.m. 1.8 The size of the bunches obviously are an important factor and the empirical formula 40 D - d 2 n = , where D - d n = r.p.m ; D = inside diameter drum and d = smallest diameter of bunch at widest part, takes this into account. It follows that one single speed cannot cater for the wide variety of bunch sizes that are usually delivered to the mill, since the diameter "d" will vary with every bunch delivered. 25.7.06 Variable speed of the drum would not solve this problem, since the sizes of bunches to be stripped will vary from minute to minute. 65

Palm Oil Process


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A compromise has to be reached to obtain the most efficient threshing process and the stripping effect will thus seldom or never be 100 %. Once the size and the speed of the drum have been determined, the effectiveness of the thresher can be judged by its stripping effect. 25.7.07 Poor stripping can be the result of several causes: a) b) c) d) irregular feeding and/or overloading of the thresher a build up of too many bunches in the drum too short a retention time of the bunch in the drum insufficient "pick up and drop down" action in the drum

a) Insufficient feeding, which often leads to shock loading and/or overloading of the thresher will generally also result in shortening the actual retention time of the bunch in the drum, causes poor stripping and higher oil losses from fruitlets carried off with the empty bunch. b) The build up of too many bunches in the drum will allow the impact of the bunch dropping down to be cushioned and in general increases the retention time of the bunch in the drum. c) The residence time in the drum can be controlled by having suitably spaced lifting bars, angled to the longitudinal axis, to "throw" the bunches in the direction of the outlet from the drum. d) Too fast a travel in that direction is also undesirable since the bunch would then not be subjected to a sufficient number of drops and impacts to ensure complete stripping. 25.7.08 Oil losses in the threshing station as a result of the stripping process are: a) losses due to absorption of oil by the empty bunch stalks b) losses due to fruits not released from the bunch and carried off with the "empty"bunch.

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a) Oil losses in empty bunches: Irregular feeding of the thresher machine causes temporary overloading and overloading causes a build up of bunches inside the thresher drum. The (prolonged) contact between "full" and "empty" bunches will be such as to allow the oil released from the bruised and damaged fruit to be transferred and absorbed by the empty bunches. This oil loss can be quite significant, especially if the build up layer in the drum is also caused by ,or causing itself too long a retention time of the bunches in the drum. Losses of up to 0.7% (to f.f.b.) can be accepted, but these can quickly double or even triple if both loading and retention time are incorrect. b) Losses through non released fruit or fruitlets otherwise carried off with the empty bunches are the second cause for high losses. A build up layer of bunches in the drum has the effect of cushioning the impact of the bunches when dropped during the threshing action and the threshing action will be incomplete. As a result of this, fruitlets not yet fully detached and/or released from the bunch stalk will be carried off with the 'empty' bunch. The losses sustained from this can be quite high and in this case not only oil is lost, but kernel as well. The cushioning effect will also increase the apparent "un-strip-able bunch" (u.s.b.) The employment of the bunch crusher and the subsequent 'second threshing' can substantially reduce these losses, a figure of 1% (to f.f.b.) or lower is common. 34.5.03 The feeding of the drum type thresher machine is often achieved by means of a feed conveyor with a variable controllable speed or a feed chute to regulate and control the quantity of fruit released to the thresher. The quantity should match the throughput of the extraction equipment.

67

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34.5.04 It is beneficial (and common) to provide slots, a grill or grate at the bottom end of the chute leading into the thresher drum. This will allow all or part of the already loose fruits to be removed before these enter in to the thresher drum and this reduces the load of the drum. An average of as much of 15 % of the loose fruitlets can be removed and collected in this way. 25.8 Distribution of sterilized fruit.

25.8.01 The material stripped from the bunches, i.e. fruitlets, calyx leaves, occasional spikelets and other bunch "trash" needs to be transported to the machinery required for the next step in the process. It is not uncommon that with the bunches some unwanted material, such as sand, earth, stones, bits of timber or steel etc. are also delivered. If these unwanted materials are not noted and removed during the ramp transfer, they will enter the process in the thresher machine where the larger bits that can not pass through the slots of the thresher drum will remain in the drum until manually removed. 25.8.02 The smaller bits however will find their way through and can cause jamming and damage to the transportation equipment of screw conveyors and bucket elevators. Large, flat plate type, permanent magnets can be placed at selected points in an effort to attract and trap/hold any metal bits that may be included in the mash passing to the digesters. Stones etc. will usually pass through the whole system, including the presses and separate out from the processed material in the depericarper, polishing drums etc. 25.8.03 The various conveyors used are usually the screw type conveyor, suitably sized and geared for the required respective duty and the quantity of material to be handled. The action of conveying sterilized fruit in this way compresses the fruit and thus oil is expelled and losses are to be expected. However, since the conveyor "scrapes" the fruit along, the expelled oil is mostly 68

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
picked up by the mass transported and actual oil loss can be negligible, provided conveyors are well maintained. 25.8.04 To lift the fruit to a height suitable for feeding into the digesters the most commonly used method is the bucket type elevator. Care must be taken to not overload this elevator in order to minimize the spillage of loose fruits from the open buckets. 25.8.05 Even in a well balanced and well controlled operation there will be some spilled fruit and fruit not collected from the "boot" of the elevator, where the buckets collect their load. Oil losses can be considerable here and all the not collected material must be regularly, manually cleared, especially from the elevator boot and returned to the process. 25.8.06 It has been found that the simplest and most convenient way to guarantee almost continuously full digesters during the process, can be achieved with the aid of a suitably sized "maximum level" chute into the digester and a return conveyor system, i.e. once the digester is full the excess fruit still in the conveyor is returned to the start of the process, after the thresher, before the elevator. 25.8.07 The system can be balanced by regulating the feed to the thresher in such a way that a continuous "trickle" of fruit is returned, thus ensuring that the digester(s) are kept full at all times during the process.

69

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General Data
Screw Conveyor
Capacity of a screw conveyor C = A x B x V , where: A = sectional area of the material passing through the trough (usually about 30 % of the area of the trough) B = bulk density of the fruit V = velocity of the material moving (= rpm x pitch of screw) Average bulk density:
Material Density kg/m3 Loose fruit 590 Wet nuts 585 Dry nuts 560 Cracked mixture 500 Dry kernel 595 Wet kernel 640 Wet shell 790

Thresher considerations
Bunches are stripped after 6 to 7 drops from about 1.2 meter, drum diameter 1.8 meter, rpm = 23. At each drop the bunch moves "forward" by about 0.5 meter Thresher capacity C = area x k x bulk density x velocity pi x D2 Area = m2 4 K = factor 0.05 bulk density = 0.32 metric ton per cubic meter. Velocity = if the bunch drops once every 0.75 revolution and rpm = 23, then velocity = (23: 0.75) x 0.5 = 15.33 meter per minute

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thus
C = (0.785x1.82m2) x 0.05 x 0.32 mt/m3 x (15.33 m/minute x 60 minutes) = 37.4 metric tons per hour.

Fruits Elevator Consideration


The "normal" (chain) speed for a fruit elevator is between 15 and 20 meters per minute (or about 0.33 meter per second). (for minimum wear and longest life time, the slower the better). For best performance bucket capacity should not be more than 80 % full during normal operation. Cb x B x V Conveying capacity = P Cb = bucket capacity, (in cubic meters) B = bulk density of fruit (normally 0.30 - 0.35 metric ton / cubic meter) V = chain speed, ( in meter/second) P = spacing of buckets, (in meters) (buckets should be space at 2 or 3 times the projection of the bucket) Centrifugal discharge: The pick up of fruits is obtained by "dredging" the fruit from the bottom boot of the conveyor, the discharge is obtained by "throwing" the fruit out of the bucket by centrifugal force. The elevator can be a single chain type, with buckets bolted to the chain links and fitted with support rollers or slides at the left and right hand side, although for heavier loads this is not recommended as buckets tend to skew left and right when scraping (dredging) fruit out of the bottom boot. The skewing puts additional stress on the chain links and the bucket fixing bolts.

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The additional load induced by the dredging (=pick up) action 360 x W can be calculated as S where W = weight of material in each bucket S = spacing of the buckets. A full and clean discharge depends mainly on the angle of the elevator, the size of the sprockets used and the speed. The "ideal" speed for efficient discharge = R V = 60 x g x r x cos Q x (meter/minute) r V g r R Q = = = = = ideal speed acceleration due to gravity radius of the fruits center of gravity radius of the sprocket pitch circle angle of discharge (from vertical)

In most cases this speed will be too high for a CPO mill fruit elevator, and the design usually features the "positive discharge" rather than the "centrifugal discharge" elevator. Positive discharge: The positive discharge design has a lower chain speed, pick up of fruits is more efficient and the elevator is almost always a double chain type where the buckets are supported between two strands of chain. Buckets are spaced at intervals about double of the bucket projection. The chains should be deflected backwards under the top sprockets (or head wheels) by a pair of deflector sprockets or wheels in such a way that the contents of each bucket will fall clear of the bucket ahead. The angle of the elevator assists in the material falling clear of the returning chains and buckets. As chains will "stretch" unevenly, bottom sprockets should be allowed to idle alternately in order to even out this difference in stretched chain length. 72

Palm Oil Process


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Chapter #26 MASH PASSING TO DIGESTER (M.P.D)


26.1 Introduction Crude Palm Oil (C.P.O.) is extracted from the material that passes through the extraction equipment. This material is commonly known as Mash Passing to Digester, or M.P.D. 26.1.01 M.P.D. is the total fruit, calyx leaves, under developed fruit and spikelets, that have been threshed out of the sterilized bunches, i.e. the total sterilized fruit without the empty bunches. 26.1.02 M.P.D. analysis if correctly applied has two important functions in the process control of a C.P.O. factory. a) Provide a quantitative (partial) assessment of the quality and composition of the fruit that is being processed. b) The results may be used as a feed back for setting optimum process operating conditions. 26.2 Method of Sampling and analysis.

26.2.01 Equipment required: A top loading balance of a two to three kilogramme range, measuring to 10 grammes accuracy. 26.2.02 Sampling: Samples must be taken before the fruit is elevated to the digesters, i.e. at the thresher conveyor (or weighing belt equipment etc.) to the elevator. The weight of the sample should be as close to one kilogramme as possible and must be taken every half hour during regular processing. The sample must be analysed immediately after sampling, this is preferably done "on the factory floor", i.e. close to the sampling point. 73

Palm Oil Process


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26.3 Analysis.

26.3.01 Each sample should be analysed for percentage by weight of: a) Whole fruit with nut, split into two components: i) MESOCARP (squeezed out from each fruit) Mesocarp Nut ii) NUTS b) NORMAL PARTHENOCARPS (= underdeveloped fruits) c) ABNORMAL PARTHENOCARPS (= normal whole fruit without nut) d) CALYX leaves and Spikelets (= all "non fruit" material) 26.4 Recording of results. Whole fruit

26.4.01 The results must be recorded accurately and tabulated as under: Date: .../.../.....
Total Sample

F.F.B. Source:......
Whole Fruit with nut Mesocarp Nuts wght 324 320 298 etc % 30.0 32.0 28.4 wght 119 72 166 % 11.0 7.2 15.8 wght 120 175 168 % 11.1 17.5 16.0 wght 157 113 78 % 14.6 11.3 7.4 Abnormal parthenocarp Normal parthenocarp Calyx leave & Spikelets

Time

wght 0800 0900 0930 1000 1080 1000 1050 etc

wght 360 320 340 etc

% 33.0 32.0 32.4 Etc

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26.4.02 This requires a full time sampler i.e. the sampling and testing must continue for as long as the factory is processing fruit. 26.5 Interpretation of the results

26.5.01 The variation in extraction rates of both C.P.O. and P.K. (Palm Kernel) over a given amount of time is directly related to the tabulated results, i.e.: C.P.O. mainly from mesocarp - if the mesocarp % drops, then C.P.O. extraction can be expected to drop accordingly. P.K. mainly from nuts - if the nut % drops, then P.K. extraction can be expected to decrease accordingly. If Abnormal Parthenocarps % is too high, then pollination of the fruit is most likely incomplete, reducing the oil bearing mesocarp. If Normal Parthenocarps % is too high, then the fruit is probably harvested before the correct (optimum) ripeness standard. If Spikelets and other material % is too high, then fruit may have had a too long retention time in the sterilizer (over cooked) or in the thresher (over threshed), when the normally whole empty bunch/stalk is broken up and pieces pass to the oil extraction equipment. (This results in a lower extraction rate, since the material "soaks up" oil and retains it)

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Chapter #27 DIGESTING OF Sterilised fruit


27.1 The digester

27.1.01 The next step in the process of extracting C.P.O. and P.K. from the M.P.D. is the digesting of the sterilized fruit. The digester was developed during the period that C.P.O. mills predominantly used either "hand presses" or "hydraulic ram" type pressing equipment for the extraction of the oil. 27.1.02 The M.P.D. to be processed by these machines had to be prepared for this pressing by liberating and rupturing the oil cells in the fruit mass. Oil bearing cells not ruptured during the digesting process will, even under the rather high pressure in the press cage of an hydraulic press, remain "unopened" and the oil in these cells will be lost. 27.1.03 The introduction of the, now almost universally used, screw type press changed this somewhat. Due to the turbulence in-and the kneading action exerted upon the press cake in the press cage of a screw press, the M.P.D. has a better chance of being ruptured and releasing the oil. The action of a feed screw, as used with certain presses further enhances this aspect. 27.2 The action:

27.2.01 The digesters most commonly used in C.P.O. MILLS are steam jacketed, cylindrical vessels with a vertical central rotating shaft to which pairs of stirring/cutting/shearing arms are attached. The action of these rotating arms causes the fruit mass to be "digested" (= mashed) 27.2.02 The size (volume) of the digester must relate to the through put capacity of the press which follows it. 76

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If the screw press through put is say 10 ton bunches per hour and the digester volume is rated at 2.5 ton, the average digestion time would be: 2.5/10 x 60 = 15 minutes , and for a digester of 3.5 ton would be 21 minutes. In practice, because the digester is not always operated absolutely full and because press through put can for short periods be considerably higher than the average through put, the digesting time will be shorter than the theoretical calculated time. It is therefore important that the digester is kept as full as practicably possible during the process and that the press through put is kept as steady as possible and within the normal rating of the press. A steam jacket allows for the digested fruits to be brought up and kept at the preferred operating temperature of about 90 to 95 degrees Celsius. 27.2.03 The preparation of the fruit mash for efficient pressing can be stated to be at least: a) b) c) d) maintaining the correct temperature the cutting / shearing of fruitlets the rupturing of oil bearing cells the "even" feed into the press

a) The heating system should allow for the supply of sufficient steam in order that the digested mash leaves the digester at about 90 to 95 o C. These high temperatures have been shown to be vital for good press results, lower oil losses on fibre and easier clarification (higher temperatures reduce the viscosity and generally it can be said that the higher the temperature, the lower the losses) Further more it will aid the fibre / nut separation in the depericarper as free moisture at higher temperature will flash off better from the fibre / nut mixture in the cake breaker conveyor. Care must be taken not to over heat the mash to boiling temperature since this has a marked detrimental effect on the ability to separate the components oil, water and non oily solids 77

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of the C.P.O. later on during the clarification stage. Continuous live steam injection into the digester has also been observed to aid the formulation of an emulsion of the C.P.O. components and gives rise to separation difficulties during clarification. b) The cutting and shearing action is achieved by the friction between the fruit mash and the stirring arms. In order to obtain the maximum effect of this, the digester must be kept properly filled since the height of the fruit mash in the digester is directly related to the pressure within the mash as a result of its own weight. The friction encountered by the stirring arms during the cutting or shearing action will tend to rotate the whole of the fruit mash in the digester and this must be avoided. It is for this purpose that the vertical wall of the cylindrical digester body has a number of vertically mounted (usually angle iron) strips fitted, which hinder and prevent this unwanted rotation. The retention time of the fruit in the digester obviously also has a pronounced influence. If the digester is not properly filled, the digesting time will be shortened and the pressure in the fruit-mash reduced, both resulting in inadequate digesting. c) The rupturing of oil bearing cells. Correct cutting and shearing action in the digester will cause the walls of the oil bearing cells to be ruptured so that the oil these cells contain is released spontaneously and can be extracted easily during the pressing process following the digesting. If the crude oil freed from the cells by the cutting / shearing action in the digester is not removed (i.e. drained off), the oil will act as a lubricant and as a result of this the stirring arms will loose more and more of their grip on the fruit mash and the effectiveness will be greatly reduced. A direct result of not draining off the "free oil" out of the digester will be that the stirring arms will agitate and mix the liquid for a considerable time. 78

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This will aid the formation of emulsions consisting of: i) ii) iii) iv) v) free oil oil emulsified with water water emulsified with oil water fibrous material

The emulsions of ii) and iii) above are usually of a very high viscosity and considerably reduce the effectiveness of the extraction of oil in the press The addition of a (large) quantity of (hot) water to reduce this viscosity will help to restore this effectiveness to an extend, but the oil losses in sludge may increase disproportional and the volume of liquid effluent increases considerably. Proper digester drainage of the "free oil" appears to give the best results during the pressing stage. (The addition of dilution water after this stage, to aid the settling out proportions of the crude oil is another matter, see under chapter 29, clarification of C.P.O.) d) The even feed of the digested fruit mash into the press is important in view of the pressing action and the maintaining of a low oil loss on fibrous material ( and nuts ) expelled by the press. The more even the feed is maintained, the more even the conditions inside the press cage will be maintained and the best average setting for the cone pressure can be maintained. (see under chapter 28, Pressing of digested fruit)

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Chapter #28 THE PRESSING OF Digested fruit.


28.1 The press

28.1.01 Directly following the digesting is the actual extraction of the oil, achieved usually by a pressing action. Presses have evolved from hand operated ones to hand operated hydraulic ram types, to automatic hydraulic ram types and to the presently almost universally used twin screw type presses. 28.1.02 The change over from hydraulic ram type presses to screw type presses was partly as a result of changes in the fruit composition as a result of "improved" planting material with a higher yield of oil. In general it can be stated that the "Dura" type f.f.b. suited the hydraulic ram type extraction equipment, but created problems if processed by screw presses, whilst the later developed "Tenera" type f.f.b. proved to be problematic with the hydraulic ram type presses, but suited the screw type presses. 28.1.03 This is partially due to the composition of the press cake from the different types of fruit. To illustrate the difference between the average "Dura" and the average "Tenera" type fruit, it is useful to compare the main parameters:
"DURA" M.P.D. : F.F.B. Bunch trash : F.F.B. (Calyx leaves,spikelets, abortive fruitlets etc.) Fibre : Nuts Clean sterilized fruit : F.F.B. Nuts : F.F.B. Oil in M.P.D. : F.F.B. Oil extraction rate : F.F.B. Kernel extraction rate : F.F.B. (clean, no dirt) 65 % "TENERA" 70 %

7% 65 : 35 60 % 25 % 18 % 17.5 % 4.5 %

10 % 80 : 20 60 % 13 % 24 % 24 % 6%

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It must be noted however, that even within the specific type of fruit, the composition can vary greatly and the figures shown above are by no means absolute, but are only to show the differences. Between the two types and are not decisive for the types. 28.1.04 With the exception of the type of press which utilizes a feed screw, the shape and confirmation of these screw presses varies as a result of manufacturer's ideology, but their operating principles and action is virtually the same. The objective of the machinery used in the pressing process is to extract the maximum quantity of good quality palm products. 28.1.05 Palm produce is the sum of the products C.P.O. and P.K and in order to achieve the objective as stated in 28.1.04 above, it will be necessary to strike a balance between the two, since occasionally the required actions conflict with each other. In general the aim of a palm oil mill is to maximize the profitability of its operation, thus an optimum balance between the efficiency of the extraction of good quality products and the cost of operation of the mill is required. 28.2 The pressing operation is only part of this overall process and its efficiency depends to a large extend on the correctness of the processes prior to this pressing stage.

28.2.01 The pressing has the following objectives:


General aim: High extraction efficiency Specific aim: High oil recovery Efficiency measured by: % O.L.D.B. % O.L. on nuts % kernel in fibre Clarification station results (see note 1 , below) % fibre in nuts for kernel extraction % nuts lost in (fuel) fibre Laboratory tests (see note) % broken kernel in analysis

High kernel recovery C.P.O. suitable for efficient clarification

Press cake suitable for efficient depericarping

High quality products

Minimum deterioration of oil extracted

Minimum breakage of kernels in pressing

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Note : It will be obvious that the pressing cannot correct errors made in the previous processes of sterilization threshing and digesting; whilst pressing only partly controls these measures. 28.2.02 There are a number of known reasons / situations in and out side of the mill which affect press performance and all of these can vary considerably, for example:
VARIABLE a) F.F.B.: harvesting efficiency harvesting interval handling contamination sterilization b) Digesting: condition filling temperature AFFECTS Throughput, oil & kernel recovery % ditto ditto Throughput, quality of oil produced Throughput, oil & kernel recovery and quality Throughput, oil recovery Throughput, oil & kernel recovery % Throughput, oil & kernel recovery % and quality Throughput, oil & kernel recovery % Oil & kernel recovery and quality Oil & kernel recovery %

c) Pressing: screw speeds cone pressure condition

28.2.03 Virtually all variables have a direct effect on the through put and the extraction efficiency, because: a) F.F.B.: Prolonged harvest interval usually result in the harvesting of "over ripe" bunches from which too much fruits have already detached, or will detach on cutting this fruit which will also have a higher f.f.a. %. Harvesting efficiency includes the collection of the loose fruits, non or partial collection results in different ratios of M.P.D. to F.F.B. and lower extraction and/or recovery rates of both oil and kernel by the milling process. F.F.B. handling, if incorrect, increases the bruising and damage to the fruit, decreasing the recovery of oil from M.P.D. and increases the oil losses on sterilizer condensate. 82

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F.F.B. sterilization affects the press results the most, since: Under sterilized M.P.D. reduces the through put considerably and increases oil loss on fibre. Over sterilized M.P.D. leads to higher oil losses due to the emulsifying effects in the digester and the breaking up of the fibrous material. Pressing will generally take place with increased cone pressures, which will also lead to a higher kernel breakage. F.F.B. contamination Apart from the likely jamming or breakdown of the equipment, certain compounds will also effect the quality of the oil produced. b) The mechanical condition of the digester, i.e. badly worn stirring and/or expelling arms leads to incomplete digesting and higher oil losses. The level of filling of the digester has a direct influence on the efficiency of the digesting process (see 27.2.03 b) usually resulting in higher oil losses, kernel breakage and lower recovery rates. The temperature affects the through put and the recovery rates (see 27.2.03 a) c) The screw speed (for both the feed screw and the main screw) has a considerable effect on the overall performance of a screw press. Usually the correct speed, producing on average the lowest oil and kernel losses, is found by trial and error and seldom changes during the process. An exception to this is the feed screw, generally higher feed screw speeds appear to increase through put, but also increase the oil losses and the kernel breakage. It is generally accepted that an increase in cone pressure does not greatly affect the through put, but reduces oil losses, whilst at the same time it increases kernel breakage and losses. Again, the most suitable setting is usually determined by trial and error and the cone control (often automated) adjusted in such a 83

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way that an acceptable average is achieved. The overall mechanical condition of the press, i.e. the wear on screws and press cages does not appear to have a marked effect on the press performance until a critical point is reached. There after the recovery % of both oil and kernel reduces drastically and losses increase beyond acceptable limits. 28.3 Pressing (extraction) efficiency

28.3.01 It is common practice in the palm oil industry to consider the oil loss on fibre ex presses as the most important one. It is however more appropriate and more accurate to take the overall oil losses into account and judge the overall performance by calculating the extraction efficiency of the overall palm produce , i.e. C.P.O. and P.K. There exists a direct relation between the press cake composition, the oil loss in fibre, the percentage nut breakage, (the shell thickness) and the torque of the press, due to the setting of the cones at the exit side of the press. Generally it can be observed that: i) ii) iii) iv) With constant torque, nut breakage increases in accordance with the percentage nuts in the press cake With constant torque, nut breakage increases in accordance with the ratio kernel to nut ( as a result of thinner shells) With improper feed, reducing the capacity of the press in relation to the main screw speed, the press cake tends to "slip" and nut breakage increases With a constant fruit composition the oil loss on fibre will decrease with an increase in torque, but at the same time nut breakage will increase.

28.3.02 Kernels from broken nut will not necessarily be lost, recovery can still be effected in the depericarper section, provided the kernel is not totally crushed and pulverized. There are many factors involved in efficient extraction, starting with the actual type and composition of the fruit and continuing with the handling. the sterilization, threshing , digesting and pressing. It is essential that all the operations involved are correctly executed and controlled. 84

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On average a particular mill has usually a particular type of f.f.b. to process and the most effective press settings are usually achieved by trial and error techniques. Economic considerations are also of influence, i.e. if a high through put is not of a major importance it is usually preferred to operate on higher cone pressures, resulting in lower oil losses on fibre, which will usually outweigh the increased losses in kernel that may occur.

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Chapter #29 CRUDE PALM OIL


29.1 The collection of C.P.O.

29.1.01 The liquid extracted by the presses has a fairly high viscosity, which increases with the oil and solid content of the liquid and with the decrease of the temperature of the liquid. Thus, collection of C.P.O. and distribution to the screening plant is best kept as short as possible and can usually be achieved by chutes and funnels leading to a "crude oil gutter", suitably sized to match the out put of the number of digesters and presses that feed into this gutter and fixed on an angle to facilitate fast(er) flow to the screening plant. 29.1.02 The screening plant may or may not have a sand trap tank or filter installation, fitted before or after the actual screening, to remove the sand. Sand has a very high influence on the wear and tear of the machinery. Much depend on the local conditions and circumstances, i.e. whether sand is or is not a common component of the crude oil often depend on field conditions and f.f.b. handling. 29.1.03 The sand trap acts by "settling". thus the major consideration is to allow the speed of the crude oil flow to reduce to near static conditions in order that sand has sufficient time to settle out and sink through the viscous liquid to the bottom of the trap or tank. Thus, the trap or tank dimensions are important, as in too small a unit the sand with its very low "sinking" speed in the liquid will not have time to settle out. The sand "cyclone" uses a specially designed hydro cyclone through which the C.P.O. is pumped. The liquid enters tangentially, so causing the sand particles to be deposited against the cylindrical outer wall of the cyclone by centrifugal force and to follow a down ward spiral to escape through 86

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the cone outlet, together with a small flow of liquid. Most of the desanded liquid passes out through the top of the cyclone. 29.1.04 The vibrating screens will generally not screen out sand, unless screen material with extremely fine mesh is used. The major purpose of the vibrating screens are: i) to remove fibrous material and other coarse materials ii) to reduce the viscosity of the liquid The vibrating screens are usually fitted with at least two screens in series, normally fitted above each other, i.e. the coarser one in the top position and the finer one in the lower position. 29.1.05 Screen mesh sizes vary, often with individual preference, but on average 20 and 40 mesh screens are most commonly used. Screens can be fitted to near horizontally fitted vibrating frames of rectangular shape, creating and "up and down" motion coupled with a forward motion of controlled amplitude. Such screens were (and still are) commonly used although the introduction of the "vibro energy separator" has replaced many of them. 29.1.06 The vibro energy separator has circular screens which vibrate around its center of mass and creates vibration in the horizontal plane, in the vertical plane and in tangential planes, causing the material to be screened to move across the screen to the periphery. The much improved accuracy of controlling these simultaneous vibrations in the various planes improves the screening out of solids from the crude oil considerably, with the minimum of carry over of oil with the solids screened out. The vibro energy separator's action of reducing the viscosity of the liquid is quite effective and oil recovery from the liquid has improved with the introduction of these screens. 29.1.07 Although as yet not indisputably proven, it is generally accepted that the overall losses from the vibro energy separators are lower than those from comparable conventional screens and oxidation levels of 87

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the oil produced are lower. The separated solids are usually returned to the M.P.D. entering the process, on its way to the digester. 29.1.08 The screened liquid is collected in a holding tank (the "crude oil tank") and pumped to the clarification station of the mill. Tanks may be heated by closed steam coils to maintain the temperature of the liquid. To reduce the chances of homogenization of this crude oil it must be pumped evenly and at steady, slow rates to the clarification station. 29.2 The Clarification of C.P.O.

29.2.01 C.P.O. is extracted from sterilized mesocarp and the major variations in the C.P.O. are mainly due to the type of extraction process used. Fresh mesocarp may be analysed as follows: 49 % Oil 35 % Water 16 % Non Oily Solids whilst sterilised mesocarp may be: 54 % Oil 28 % Water 18 % Non Oily Solids The aim of the clarification process is to separate as much as possible all foreign particles from the oil in order to produce palm oil as pure as possible before storage and sales, whilst keeping losses of oil on the removed foreign particles as low as possible. The (screened) liquid pumped to the clarification consists of three major components: a) a mixture of oil and water ii) a

This mixture can be seen as two parts, i.e.: i) "free" oil and homogenized emulsion i) 88

"Free" oil is mainly oil that has separated out in the digester and

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the press before the press cake was submitted to the high extraction pressures. This oil has little or no affinity to water and will readily and quite fast "settle out". ii) The homogenized emulsion is mainly the liquid extracted under the high extraction pressures in the press cake and this emulsion has different stages, i.e.: iii) a mainly oil and some water emulsion, and iv) a mainly water and some oil emulsion. V) The oil - water emulsion is a more or less stable emulsion from which oil will reasonably easy separate under the correct conditions of viscosity and temperature. This separating process can be assisted by a "shearing" action created in the (static) clarification tank. vi) The water - oil emulsion can also be separated, provided that the therefore necessary correct viscosity and temperature conditions are met. 292.02 The most common clarification processes used in C.P.O. mills are either direct "static" tank primary oil recovery, or "dynamic" primary oil recovery with the aid of mechanical decanting. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages and the final outcome both in quantity and quality of the oil produced (and lost) is about equal. The two flow diagrams below shows the principle difference in the two systems. 29.2.03 The composition of the C.P.O. to the clarification process varies widely, depending F.F.B. quantity and quality, the type and effectiveness of the sterilization, the threshing, digesting, pressing and screening. It is practically impossible to design a system that would be near perfect whilst accepting these widely fluctuating composition of the C.P.O. input.

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The physical properties of C.P.O. (density, particle size, viscosity) are important and influence the behavior of the C.P.O. Typical specific gravity of palm oil itself at various temperatures would be: 0.857 at 100 C 0.876 at 70 C 0.890 at 50 C whilst the specific gravity of fibres, cell debris etc. is usually greater and can be as high as 1.4. The viscosity of C.P.O. itself is approximately : 8 centipoises at 100 C 14 centipoises at 70 C 27 centipoises at 50 C and depends mainly on the extend of the dilution. 29.2.04 The basic principle of static clarification is that a mixture of oil and water (sludge) tends to separate into two layers with the liquid of the lowest specific gravity at the top. The force separating the two elements is the difference in specific gravity between the two. The emulsions behave according to Stokes Law and principally also to Newton's Law for particle fluid mechanics. Stokes Law states that the velocity of the rise of oil particles is a quantitative function of: a) the difference in density b) gravity c) square of particle diameter d) viscosity In general Stokes Law can be applied to attempts to calculate the oil recovery efficiency in a static tank type system, i.e. from the Stokes Law formula it can be calculated that particles of 20 micron diameter would settle a distance of one meter in 5 hours if the oil temperature was 80 C. In practice, convection currents and "emulsion layers" tend to reduce the rate of settling and a longer time than calculated is needed. The speed of settling of the solid particles in C.P.O. depends considerably on the type of extraction process, since this largely determines the amount of solids and the quantity and proportion of cell debris. 90

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Newton's Law is a general equation which can be applied under all ranges of velocities, hence it is better suited to the centrifugal or decanter type process. 29.2.05 From the relationship between the size of the oil droplet, the rate of rise in the emulsion and the viscosity it is clear that it will be impossible to reduce oil losses to zero. This oil loss depends amongst other things upon the amount and the size of the "free oil" droplets. Too much digesting and "boiling" of the C.P.O. by overheating will emulsify the liquid and decrease the option of efficient oil recovery. 29.2.06 The effect of viscosity on the emulsion is quite large and greatly influences the rate of rise of the oil droplets. Viscosity can be reduced by various means, such as: raising the temperature of the liquid, diluting the liquid, or chemically treating the liquid. The first two methods are common for C.P.O. mills, the latter (solvent extraction) is less common. 29.2.07 The effect of temperature is quite self explanatory. For optimum results, the temperature should be raised as high as possible, but not above boiling point and should be maintained at this high level through out the period of (gravitational) separation Hence clarification tanks must be adequately insulated and must be covered at the top. 29.2.08 Diluting to reduce the viscosity is also generally practiced, by adding hot water (to 95 C) to the process. The quantity of this dilution is subject to discussion, but for sole static clarification as much as 30 % of water to crude oil is advocated in order to enhance the oil recovery. 29.2.09 The "pure" oil extracted from the clarification, (which ever system used) still has too high a moisture and dirt content to maintain the quality.

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The oil is treated by a centrifugal separator assembled as a purifier, which removes both dirt and moisture from the oil. The dirt can be removed sufficiently to an acceptable low percentage by this action, but the moisture content of purified oil will still be above the required percentage. This excess of remaining moisture is generally removed in the process of "drying" the oil under vacuum, and the resulting oil now has the accepted moisture and dirt specifications for storage before usage. 29.2.10 The vacuum dryer is usually operated at an absolute pressure of about 50 Torr, with the aid of a vacuum steam ejector or vacuum pump. Drying can then be carried out at lower temperatures with little or no risk of oxidation of the oil . 29.2.11 The sludge fraction of the clarification process is further treated to remove as much oil and solids from the sludge as possible, before it is considered effluent. This process is usually done by specially designed "sludge centrifuges", with or without a variety of aids such as screens, filters etc. to reduce the solid content before entering the sludge separator. The "oil" fraction recovered from the sludge centrifuges is returned to the C.P.O., whilst the solids and the liquid fractions are considered effluent. Solids can be directly disposed of (field application), whilst the liquid fraction still has to be further treated before it can be disposed off. (see section 4, Waste products) 29.3 The storage of C.P.O.

29.3.01 The storage of C.P.O. from a correct process, which produces oil of a sufficiently low moisture and dirt content usually takes place in ordinary steel tanks, without special treatment. Storage of oil may last for several months without unacceptable deterioration in the quality of oil, although the F.F.A. content will continue to increase. 92

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29.3.02 Moisture and dirt can create micro biological reactions which will produce enzymes and a relatively rapid rate of F.F.A. development. A similar effect can occur if C.P.O. is properly clarified, but subsequently stored in dirty or infected tanks, containers etc. "Wet" C.P.O., i.e. with too high a moisture content also undergoes a hydrolysis process. The resulting increase in F.F.A. is then not caused by enzymes, but due to a spontaneous auto catalytic hydrolysis. The normal moisture content of C.P.O. for storage is between 0.08 and 0.10 %. Too dry oil in this respect is not useful, since palm oil is hygroscopic and thus will absorb moisture from the atmosphere contact with the oil surface. Reducing the surface area or the use of a "blanket" of inert gas may reduce oxidation, but for practical reasons is seldom seen at C.P.O.mill storage tanks. Care should be taken to avoid the "splashing" of palm oil entering the storage tanks, since this will increase the oxidation levels. 29.4 Evaluation of C.P.O.

29.4.01 FOSFA recognizes several contracts, i.e.


Product C.P.O. C.P.O. Basis of Sale C.I.F. F.O.B. Contract Fosfa 80 Fosfa 53 Quality & Quantity determination at destination at shipment

[Similar contracts exist for Palm Kernel Oil (P.K.O.)] Market patterns change, but majority of produce is sold on a C.I.F. basis. Careful handling and storage prior to shipment and correct carriage procedures to the port of destination should result in only modest deterioration in quality of the product.

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29.4.02 Comparison of "outturn Quality" (example)
Good quality CPO % F.F.A. V.M. Dirt etc. Sale Shipped 500 MT 3.00 0.20 0.02 Poor Quality CPO% 4.75 0.45 0,05 = 500 MT @ US$ 400.-/tonne C.I.F = US$ 200,000.-

a) Loss in weight (+/-0.75%)= 3.75 tonne Delivered value oil

= US$ = US$

1,500.198,500.Poor Quality 198,500 992.50 496.25 198,003.75

Good Quality Delivered value b) Less:V.M. and Dirt (0.22%) c) Add FFA premium basis 5% (2%) Value received for oil 198,500 436.70 (0.50%) 3,970 202,033.30 (0.25%)

Good Quality oil advantage = US$ 4029.55 or equivalent to US$ 8.06 per tonne.

Comments: a) The CPO is weighed (or gauged) at destination and buyers do not pay for the loss in weight (skin loss etc.), which is deducted. b) Buyers do not pay for water and dirt in the oil, weights are deducted. c) Each percent of FFA below the agreed basis of 5% shall be paid for by buyers at the rate of 1 % of the contract price, with fractions in proportions. Equally, if % is above agreed basis a deduction is made on the same basis. The contract also states that " oil shall be of merchantable quality" If oil is contaminated in transit, (from residual cargo left over in 94

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pipelines of ships etc.) then buyers may well claim the oil is not of good merchantable quality. A claim would be laid against the ship. If CPO is heavily oxidized or with a very high FFA, rejection by customers could take place, since the oil is outside the FOSFA conditions agreed between the buyers and sellers. Although not part of an economic evaluation, it should be stressed that consumers attach great importance to the stability of the oil which can be influenced by factors other than the FFA content itself . These are mainly oxidation and bleachability characteristics. A direct relationship between the degree of oxidation and the bleachability of palm oil has been shown, thus all factors which induce or promote oxidation are harmful to bleachability and thus the resultant quality. FFA content does not directly influence the "heat bleach" ability, as it does not interfere with the destruction of the carotenes. FFA content alone is therefore insufficient as a single guide to the quality of palm oil. Heavy metals are most damaging, since they catalyze oxidation. Copper and Iron both have a particularly bad influence, with copper being the worst. Great care is to be taken that no contamination can arise through contact of oil with copper or copper alloy fixtures. (Ships must carry a certificate containing information on the last three cargoes carried and a statement that tanks, heating coils, pipelines and fittings contain no copper or copper alloy.)

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C.P.O. RECOVERY/CLARIFICATION PRINCIPLES


During the visits over the last two years a number of actions and record keeping exercises were initiated in order to have sufficient (and sufficiently trustworthy) data to analyze the general process of C.P.O. recovery in the mill. The data have shown up a number of areas where control has to be intensified in order to achieve a more consistent process state, reduce losses and increase recovery rates. Most of these matters have been discussed on site and the keeping and analyzing of the records involved should now have become a "routine" matter. There is however still a great need to "use" the results of the analysis and actively transfer the gained knowledge etc. to the factory in order to improve the process. I.e., we know what is wrong, we know why it is wrong, but we do not seem to have effective corrective action taken. During my most recent visit I tried to find out how much the assistants actually know and understand of a number of basic principles involved in the process. The impression was not too good. To assist with improving the knowledge and understanding please study the following pages, add or translate where you think necessary and discuss this with the assistants until they "can dream about this", i.e. until there are no questions left unanswered with regards to why and for what reason the process must be done in a certain way. Most of what follows was discussed with the assistants, but with a time constraint and I am not at all sure that the subject matter penetrated sufficiently and that they fully understand all that they need to know. They MUST KNOW AND UNDERSTAND IT. If not, we can not expect them to supervise and control labourers. Apart from maintaining the machinery and equipment in a good operational state it is equally important to train, re-train and supervise the operators. 96

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It pays to watch operators and study ways and means to apply their work to the best advantage. If labourers are left to their own devices, there may often be a considerable amount of wasted time and unless they are trained and well supervised, undesirable methods may be (will be!) practised merely because they have got into the habit of doing it the wrong way, and do not realise that it is just as easy, and often time saving, to do it the right way. Observations in the various stations in the mill have shown up a umber of areas where operators and labour have done exactly that, i.e. found "short cuts" to what they think is a "better way", thereby destroying the principles on which the process is based. I order to ensure that those who are in a supervisory position understand the principles involved, the attached pages were written. If you have any trouble understanding the subject matter, ask! CLARIFICATION PRINCIPLES is designed to work The Continuous Clarification Tank (C.C.T.) effectively under certain conditions and with a certain input of raw material. these conditions are not met - and maintained during process - the C.S.T. can not perform as it should and the final results will be very poor indeed in terms of oil recovery (and often also of oil quality) Remember that the tank itself has no input, thus if poor material is put in under poor conditions, ... poor material will come out! I.e. the famous statement made for computers applies here also: GARBAGE I = GARBAGE OUT!! The basic input into the C.S.T is: 1) Crude oil and 2) heat. 1) Crude oil: The crude oil composition, i.e. the % oil, water and solids is almost the same or very similar, when taken direct from the presses. (press liquid) After the presses we add to this composition by means of diluting it with HOT WATER, up to 30 % of the volume of the press liquid and then we call it "crude oil". 97

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2) Heat: During the transfer of the fruit from the sterilizers to the presses the fruit mass cools down, which can be quite considerably, depending on how long it takes to be transferred. The only heat added to the process after the sterilizers is in the digester, either by means of a heated jacket around the digester body or , as in the case of TP, by means of live steam injection into the mass in the digester. The additional heat is necessary to bring the fruit mass to the correct temperature to release the oil in the mass. The temperature of the mass passing from the digester to the press must be kept at a minimum of 90 degrees Celsius, maximum 95 degrees Celsius. In other words it must be almost at boiling temperature but NEVER actually as hot as 100 degrees because this will discolour the oil to be extracted and will cause problems later on in the bleaching and refining stage. THIS TEMPERATURE OF 95 DEGREES MUST BE KEPT THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS Therefore the DILUTION WATER TEMPERATURE , i.e. the hot water added to the press liquid must also be at 95 degrees or just about boiling temperature! That means that the HOT WATER TANK should always be about boiling temperature as during the transfer from this tank to the crude oil gutter the temperature will only decrease. If the distance from the hot water tank to the crude oil gutters is too far, insulating the pipes may be necessary. The main problem is usually not keeping the tank temperature at a steady 100 degrees. The hot water at 95 degrees will heat up the press liquid again and the crude oil formed should thus be about 95 degrees as well before it enters the sand trap tank. At that temperature the viscosity of the crude oil is such that it will allow the maximum settling out of heavy solids (i.e. sand) and the maximum separation of "free" oil from the crude oil. The retention time in the sand trap tank is only short, but if any action is expected from this tank at all the viscosity must be correct, in other words the temperature of the liquid must be at least 95 degrees.

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The sand trap tank has a circular steam heating pipe fitted with nozzles. This direct steam heating should ONLY be used to heat the contents of the tank BEFORE actual process. If it is used during process it will only cause a swirling action and thereby mixing the solids etc. that are trying to sink down and settle out, back into the liquid. (have a look at the drawing of the tank!) In other words: During process this steam supply must be shut! (it never is because of trying to heat the oil in this tank, operator error!!) The sand trap tank should act as a TRAP, i.e. solids should sink to the bottom - to be drained out at regular intervals, the timing of which needs to be established by trial and error - and the crude oil skimmed of the top to go to the vibrating screens. The screens remove the lighter particles (fibre etc.) and also some of the coarser solids etc. On the screens the crude oil cools down very rapidly (large surface area exposed to the ambient temperature). For that reason the crude oil tank is fitted with an open heating coil so that the crude oil can be reheated to the required 95 degrees before pumping it to the C.S.T. in the clarification. The C.O. tank is about 5000 litre, the production at say 3 presses running is about 15000 litre, retention time about 20 minutes, thus an OPEN coil, because the retention time in this tank is too short to transfer sufficient heat via a closed coil and at this stage the addition of steam (=condensate) does not alter the settling out properties of the pure oil and in any case it has still to be pumped to the clarification. (Although this is the reason why positive displacement pumps like "mohno" pumps are better suited to this duty, they don't mix the liquid as much) The heating steam to the crude oil tank MUST therefore always be open during process and a regular control of the temperature meters (that is why these are fitted.) must be part of the supervisor's routine (and for that matter anybody else's that have anything to do with the process) The contents of the crude oil tank must always be at maximum temperature , 95 degrees, before pumping it to the clarification. During its travel from the crude oil tank to the C.S.T. the temperature of the crude oil will decrease again and once again it must be reheated to its operating temperature before the optimum effect of the settling out action in the C.S.T. can be realized. 99

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CONTINUOUS SETTLING TANK The input into the C.S.T. is thus very important the steadier this input is in other words : the more consistent the composition, the temperature and the 'flow' is, the better the final result. The composition must be kept as steady as possible by a) controlling the amount of dilution of the press liquid so that a 30 % dilution to the volume of the press liquid is maintained - whether 2, 3 or however many presses are in operation, and b) by maintaining the temperature of the dilution water as close as possible to the 95 degrees mark, and c) by ensuring that the temperature of the crude oil at all stages before the C.S.T. is kept as close to the 90 degrees as possible. The C.S.T. itself has two methods of heating the contents: 1) by means of live steam addition 2) by means of a closed steam heating coil 1) Live steam: A circular ring made of a steam pipe with 10 mm diameter holes facing inwards is fitted just above the conical section of the tank. This ring is fitted for one reason only: To heat up the contents of the C.S.Tank BEFORE processing starts. Live steam should NEVER be added during processing , it will destroy the separating action of the oil - water - solids in the tank. To maintain the temperature during the retention period of the crude oil in the C.S.T (which for a 90 ton tank is about 6 hours) a CLOSED STEAM HEATING COIL is fitted, again just above the conical bottom section of the tank. The temperature MUST BE MAINTAINED at MINIMAL 85 degrees Celsius. Laboratory tests and experimental tests have unquestioningly shown this to be the most "active" temperature, i.e. at which the best viscosity range for the separation of the free and trapped oil and the settling out of the solids in the shortest period of time. The tank is called Continuous Settling tank for a good reason ! i.e. the continuous settling of the contents with as little disturbance and 'shock loading' as possible.

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After an initial period of operation "layers" will be formed in the tank, from top to bottom: pure wet oil oil - sludge mix sludge - oil mix water - oil solids water - solids mix solids - water mix solids (% oil > % moisture) first (% oil = % V.M.) layer (% V.M. > % oil) second or (crude oil composition) middle ( mostly sludge + solids ) layer (mostly solids + sludge) bottom (mostly solids) layer

Thus basically three layers are formed, of which the middle one is the most active one. That is where the "stirrers" are fitted to help the separation by shearing the mixture of crude oil entering the tank and helping oil globules to rise up and solids to sink down . The conical bottom of the tank has a purpose - it will collect the settled out solids sinking down and guide them to the lowest point, where a 'drain' valve is fitted. The bottom layer should not be disturbed any more, therefore both the steam coils and the stirrers are fitted above this level. (The steam coils would very quickly "cake up" with the solids baking on to them and the stirrers would stir and swirl the solids back in to the layer above!!) Thus the lowest stirrer blade is fitted about 35 cm above the start of the conical section. Pending the size of the C.S.T. the highest blade / paddle is about half way the straight section of the tank. Usually there are 4 rotating paddles (@ 3 - 5 rpm) and 3 stationary plates. The slow rotating paddles shear the liquid and if the temperature, or more correctly the viscosity is correct, oil and solids will have a much greater chance of escaping the middle layer. The bottom layer should therefore be never more than the conical section 101

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The middle layer should be from the bottom of the straight section to above the top paddle The top layer should be from the top paddle to the oil skimmer. The principle for continuity is that WHAT COMES IN (the crude oil) -MUST GET OUT (pure wet oil skimmed off, sludge underflow, solids) and provided that this "in = out" is maintained, the layers will have their maximum effectiveness. Maximum effectiveness is when: a) the pure wet oil has the lowest V.M. %, and b) the sludge underflow has the lowest oil content The control for this maximum effectiveness is : 1) the maintaining of the correct temperature (= viscosity) 2) the maintaining of the levels in the C.S.T, especially the thickness of the uppermost layer, the pure wet oil, i.e. the height/position of the skimmer In principle : the thicker the top layer, the better the composition of the pure wet oil, but too thick a top layer may cause the middle layer to extend too far down so that the crude oil mixture which has not yet had time to separate and settle out reaches the sludge underflow outlet and thus resulting in a too high oil content on underflow. Thus, a balance needs to be established. This is not the same for each tank and MUST be determined by trial and error. Once the best positions have been established they should seldom or never require changing by more then a couple of centimetres up or down, if any!! Samples have been taken,and records kept of the composition of pure wet oil and sludge underflow. The results show that a large variation can represent any degree of effectiveness. The variation is largely due to a) temperatures are not kept up, and b) because operational errors in "playing around" with the skimming devices, and c) because of uneven and (largely) uncontrolled inputs into the tank (from crude oil pumps, returns etc.

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Obviously, the longer the total retention time, the better the results. The temperature = viscosity requires constant attention. Steam coil valves should always be fully open, condensate traps must be regularly inspected and "blown through" (at least daily) and sight glasses inspected for any signs of 'oil'. LIVE STEAM IS NEVER TO BE OPENED DURING PROCESS!!!, it function is entirely to heat tank contents which have cooled down during non production periods. The level control skimmers: At the time when samples are taken of the pure wet oil and of the sludge underflow, the actual thickness of the oil layer should be measured and recorded, together with the position of the skimming device. (this can simply be done by using a glass tube, stick it in the oil layer, close the top with your thumb and slowly lift the tube out of the oil, the column of oil in the tube represents the thickness) When analyzing the recorded sample test results and comparing this to the oil thickness measured it will soon become apparent at which thickness the lowest V.M. % on pure wet oil was achieved and the lowest oil on underflow was achieved. Once the skimmer setting correlating with the best results has been established it must be kept in that position, LOCK IT, FIT AN ALARM, THREATEN PEOPLE WITH INSTANT DISMISSAL or what ever, but KEEP THE LEVEL CONSTANT. THE ONLY TIME the skimmers should be adjusted is at the end of a production run, when as much as possible the free oil is to be 'pushed out' of the C.S.T. That is done by the addition of hot water only, thus the composition of the tank contents change drastically and thus the layers need to be adjusted equally drastically. NEVER AT ANY OTHER TIME SHOULD THIS BE NECESSARY.

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The Principle & Operational Techniques AVERAGE COMPOSITION OF VARIOUS STAGES IN CLARIFICATION
PRESS LIQUID (UNDILUTED) (+/- 45 % OF FFB INPUT) OIL WATER NOS : 50 % : 45 % : 5%

CRUDE OIL TANK ( WITH 30 % DILUTION ADDED) = INPUT INTO CONTINUOUS SETTLING TANK OIL WATER NOS : 38 % : 58 % : 4%

OUTPUT COUNTINOUS SETTLING TANK WET PURE OIL : (35 % OF CST INPUT) UNDERFLOW : (65 % OF CST INPUT)
INPUT TO PURIFIERS OIL WATER NOS 98.9 % 1.0 % 0.1 % INPUT TO DECANTERS OIL WATER NOS 10 % 85 % 5%

TO VACUUM DRYER; END PRODUCT = "CPO" = OIL 99.8 % + V.M. O.2 %) OUTPUT FROM 3 PHASE DECANTERS OIL : 28 % (RETURN TO CST OR PURE WET OIL) OIL : 32% WATER : 64 % NOS : 4% : 9 % (DISPOSE DIRECT ; END PRODUCT) OIL : 3% WATER : 78 % NOS : 19 %

SOLIDS

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HEAVY PHASE : 63 % (DISPOSE DIRECT, TO EFFLUENT OR RE-USE FOR DILUTION OF PRESS LIQUID (SEE ABOVE) OIL : 1% WATER : 92 % NOS : 7% OUTPUT FROM 2 PHASE DECANTER: (OPERATING ON PRESS LIQUID + =/< 10 % DILUTION) OIL OUTPUT 57 % OIL WATER NOS 96 % 2.4 % 0.6 % OIL WATER NOS SOLIDS OUTPUT 43 % 1.5% 79 % 19.5 %

(TO PURIFIERS OR 3 PHASE DECANTER) TO EFFLUENT POND; END PRODUCT

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Chapter #30 PALM KERNEL


30.1 Nut/fibre mixture After the extraction of C.P.O. from the digested and pressed M.P.D., the residue is a mixture of fibre and nuts. The composition of this mixture can vary considerably, being dependant on the type of fruit and the type of process applied. The different (genetic) types of fruit will have different ratios of fibre to nut, (for example for Dura fruit the weight of fibre is about 20% of the weight of nuts, while for D x P fruit the weights can be about equal) and the weight and size of the individual nuts can vary considerably. The type of process, mainly hydraulic presses or screw type presses, influences the compactness of the fibre / nut mixture after pressing and to a degree, the oiliness of the extracted fibre. Thus, the machinery used for the separation of this mixture need to be designed for the average composition of the F.F.B. to be processed. 30.2 The cake breaker conveyor

30.2.01 The first process after the pressing is the action of "breaking up" the cake expelled from either the hydraulic or the screw presses. The cake from the hydraulic presses is dense and well compacted, while the cake from the screw presses is less compacted. In both cases this mixture needs to be "broken up" and opened before separation by the nut/fibre separator, commonly known as the "depericarper". (This in fact is a wrong name for this machine, but is commonly used through out the industry to describe the nut / fibre separator) 30.2.02 The commonly used method is to transport the cake from where it is expelled from the presses to the separator by a trough type rotating conveyor fitted with paddles, the angle of which can be adjusted so 106

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that there is a slow forward movement and a limited "tossing" movement of the cake. The forward movement can be adjusted to obtain the maximum retention time in the conveyor without causing overflows or other obstructions. 30.2.03 The speed of the rotating shaft and paddles must be adjusted to ensure that the cake is in fact "tossed" and not just "kneaded" and varies somewhat depending on the diameter of the conveyor and may have to be found by experimenting with different speeds. (This however is a design function as the speed cannot normally be altered during the process. Generally a 60-cm diameter conveyor will require a shaft rotating speed of about 80 RPM) A general indication of the sizes / speeds required to achieve the preferred paddle "tip speed" of 2.4 m/sec would be:

Max.diameter paddles 760 mm 610 mm 560 mm 500 mm

Conveyor diam. size 800 mm 660 mm 610 mm 560 mm

RPM of the shaft 60 75 80 90

Diameter RPM Peripheral speed = 3.14 x x metres/second, 100 60 where the diameter is in metres.

The movement of the fibre / nut mixture can thus be quite violent and considerable and loosen the fibre from the nuts. The free fibre will loose a certain amount of moisture, due mainly to the exposure and the "flashing off" during this tossing action. Cake breaker conveyors are traditionally fitted with steam jackets to increase the temperature of the fibre and so help in this drying action, 107

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but if the conveyor is sufficiently long enough and the retention time is adequate, a moisture reduction from about 45% to 30% can be achieved without this steam jacket. A prerequisite for this is that both the digester and the press temperatures are kept at a minimum of 85 o C. 30.3 Nut / Fibre separation

30.3.01 Once the nut/fibre mixture has been adequately prepared by the cake breaker conveyor, the separation of the nuts and the fibrous material can be achieved by either mechanical or pneumatic air stream separation. 30.3.02 The mechanical nut/fibre separator has severe limitations with regard to capacity and with the expansion of the industry coupled to the increase in process capacity, this equipment has largely been replaced by the now commonly used air separation type of equipment. 30.3.03 The pneumatic nut/fibre separators can be divided into two basic types with occasionally a hybrid combination of these two can also be found. 30.3.04 For smaller capacity factories (5-15 ton/hr), the rotating drum type separator has been used. This, in principle, is a slow rotating (10-15 RPM) long, narrow drum, fitted with lifting arms and baffle or retaining rings. The air is evacuated through a fan and blown to a cyclone. The fibrous material is carried with this air and recovered from the cyclone, usually situated conveniently near the boiler fuel supply storage area. The rotating drum type separator for larger capacity processing plants tends to be very large in size and thus has a very large power consumption. This fibre passes through the fan, thus causing wear and tear, so a suitable hard wearing material should be chosen for this fan. Since most of the separation does actually take place after the drum, 108

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the vertical column type separator has proved to be a cheaper and less power and maintenance requiring method. 30.3.05 The vertical column type nut/fibre separator with induced draught (commonly known as the ("depericarper") is now almost universally used in palm oil mills. The principle of this operation is that in a vertical column, with an induced upward airflow of a certain velocity, the loose fibre will move upwards (being "light" in weight and "large" in volume), whilst the nuts will drop down to the bottom (being "heavy" in weight and "small" in volume). Experiments at various air speeds have shown that, pending condition and column size, an air velocity of between 8 and 15 metres/second allows for a good separation of nuts and fibre. The vertical column usually has one of its sides manufactured so that adjustments can be made and this will allow adjustment to obtain the most suitable air velocity through the vertical air column under given circumstances so that fibre is evacuated to the cyclone, while nuts (and free kernel from the presses) will drop to the bottom. The entry of the nut/fibre mixture into the column should be at minimum one metre from the top of this column (column is about four metres long or high) to allow good separation. 30.3.06 The fibre is sucked out by an air-stream current induced by a fan and ducting to a cyclone where it is recovered, usually via a rotating air lock. Several parameters must be considered when designing/ calculating this induced draught system, i.e.: a) Air volume/weight per unit weight of the fibre to be transported b) Velocity of transportation and separation of the fibre to be transported and separated. c) Volumetric air flow rate d) Characteristics of the fan to be utilised for the air movement. a= Fibre from oil palm fruit has an approximate bulk density of 270-275 kg/m3. Experiments under a number of varying conditions have shown 109

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that an air to fibre ratio of 3.5 - 4 kg air per kg fibre transported gives adequate and satisfactory results. b= Separation speed depends mainly on the lifting velocity of the various components in the material to be separated (i.e. fibre, nuts, kernel. shell etc.) Experiments have shown that on average conditions the following tabulated data can safely be used for calculating the requirements of a nut/fibre separation and transport system. Material
Fibre dust and / or fines Normal fibre (V.M. < 40%, oil content < 8%) Wet fibre (V.M. > 40, < 50%, oil > 8, < 10%)

Velocity
2 m/sec 4 m/sec 6 m/sec 10 m/sec 12 - 14 m/sec 14 m/sec 16 m/sec 16 m/sec 18 m/sec 20 - 24 m/sec 20 m/sec 20 - 28 m/sec

Small shell (D x P type) Normal shell ( mixed type F.F.B.) Small kernel ( < 4 mm diameter) Small nut ( < 8 mm diameter)

Large shell ( D type) Normal kernel ( > 10 mm diameter) Normal nut ( > 14 mm diameter)

Large kernel ( > 15 mm diameter) Large nut ( > 20 mm diameter)

To keep the losses within an acceptable range, the separating speed should thus be taken to be < 14 m/sec, so that kernel and nut will separate from the material for further treatment, while the fibre and smaller shell particles etc. will be transported away. Transportation speed has been experimentally established (for oil palm fruit fibre with a "normal" moisture content < 40% and oil content < 8 % ), to be most efficient between 22 and 30 m/.sec. 110

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Lower speeds will allow fibre to "drop out" from the main air stream, especially so in long ducts and bends and this could cause blockages etc. by building up and thus effectively reducing the cross sectional area of the ducting etc. c= Air flow rate volume can be calculated from the equation: Volumetric air flow F = A1 x V1 = A2 x V2 in m3/second, where V1 = velocity at cross section A1, V2 = velocity at cross section A2 etc. Once the transport velocity, the air to fibre ratio and the ducting size etc. (for calculation of the cross sectional areas) have been chosen / determined, the volume in cubic metres per second or cubic metres per hour can be calculated. A similar calculation can be made for the vertical separating column. d= Fan characteristics are usually known from the manufacturer's data, given in curves and diagrams. If the ducting, bends, columns etc are considered as a single "resistance", the pressure necessary to force air with a given (calculated)volume through this resistance can be calculated from the formula V = 4005 x H0.5. Once the calculated pressure and volume at the fan are known, a curve can be drawn to show the requirement of the system under all prevailing conditions. This curve can be crossed with the pressure/volume data from the manufacturer and the point or points of intersection of the two curves will be the required combination for the calculated operation. The curves seldom or never match exactly, thus a most suitable compromise has to be selected, taking into account that pressure losses through each part of the system (i.e. the separating column, the ducting, the bends etc.) vary as the square of the flow rate.

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Note: Since fibre quantities as produced by the pressing station vary throughout the process period, calculations are best made "on the safe side", (i.e. slightly too large). If air volumes prove to be too large, the outlet air stream from the fan can easily be restricted to create the most suitable operating conditions. 30.3.06 Together with the nuts there may still be some free fibre and some fibre which is still adhering to the nuts as well as pieces of shell, kernel and other debris. This is usually removed in a "polishing drum", to which the nuts are guided directly after the vertical column. 30.3.08 The term "polishing" drum adequately describes the action of this equipment, i.e. the still adhering fibre is "polished" of the nuts. This action is as much due to the nuts rubbing against each other in the rotating drum, as to the rubbing of nuts against the drum. The rotating drum is provided with slots or holes to allow the smaller particles, fibre etc. to pass out of the drum, whilst the whole nuts (and larger free kernel if present) are given a forward motion through the drum by means of lifting bars, arms or baffles so that this material passes through the whole length of the drum and exits at the opposite end to the entry side. 30.3.09 Occasionally a "secondary depericarper" is used to subject the nuts plus the polished off fibre, debris etc. to a further pneumatic separation. 30.3.10 The polishing drum also effectively removes other unwanted debris from the nuts, such as metal, bolts, nuts, stones, etc. 30.4 Nut treatment

30.4.01 During normal, continuous processing, the nuts after being separated will still be hot or warm and the shells will be somewhat "elastic", whilst the kernel may still be adhering to the shell as well. The nuts may still have a moisture content of up to 20%. 30.4.02 To extract the kernel from these nuts, the nuts need to be cracked 112

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and to do so in a hot or warm condition would be more difficult due to this elasticity of the shell and could lead to greatly than necessary kernel breakage. 30.4.03 There fore nuts are generally conditioned before the cracking process. Nut conditioning in the traditional way is achieved by storing the nuts in rather large square shaped silos, which may be equipped with heaters (for further reducing the moisture content to about 10%) and fans for air circulation. The square type silos tend to enhance a "tracking" effect of the nuts stored and will leave areas in the nut silo where the nuts tend to "hang" and remain, thus producing a "candling" effect through the silo. This irregular flow of the material can result in the production of mouldy nuts, which will affect the quality of the product later to be extracted from the kernels (palm kernel oil). A more suitable storage bin would be of a cylindrical shape, with the air ducts for heating and drying centrally placed. More recently the (re)introduction of the double or triple peak sterilization, and the introduction of the "ripple mill" type nut cracker, has shown that nuts from this process are almost adequately conditioned in the sterilizer and that all that is required is to cool the nuts before the cracking process. This cooling can be achieved by storing the nuts in a cylindrical bin as described above, provided with (unheated) air circulation. The bin also acts as a buffer bin, thereby taking out troughs and peaks in the production of nuts and allowing for a more regulated flow of nuts for further processing. 30.5 NUT CRACKING

30.5.01 With properly preconditioned nuts, the nut cracking is a simple operation, where the shell is struck hard enough to crack and split this so that the kernel can be released. 30.5.02 Despite this apparent simplicity, over the years a surprisingly large 113

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variety of nut crackers have entered the market, almost invariably of the centrifugal type in which the nuts are flung from a high speed rotor to a stationary "cracking ring". Both horizontal and vertical shaft types have been used. 30.5.03 Due to the variability of the nut size a number of ways have been invented to deal with this, ranging from tray type sorters, to rotating drum type sorters and/or graders and self grading nut crackers. All have been or are more or less successful and each of these have their own peculiar short comings. 30.5.04 In most cases the outcome is a compromise between the efficiency of the cracking, the amount of not cracked nuts expelled and the amount of kernels cracked or broken during the nut cracking process. Obviously, the larger the compromise, the more difficult it will be later in the process to separate the whole, clean kernel from the rest of the material. 30.5.05 The recent introduction of the "ripple mill" type nut cracker has somewhat reduced this necessary compromise and, given reasonable conditions, the cracking results from this type of equipment far out classes the other traditional machinery. (Provided that the base material is derived from palms of the DxP type cross, and thus have a relatively thin shell and a fairly uniform size nut) Another noted advantage of the ripple mill type equipment is the relatively small size and floor space it occupies and its low power consumption as compared with the traditional crackers and its high through put. 30.5.06 Despite all good intentions a number of nuts will pass through the systems not cracked and these should be recovered and submitted again for cracking etc. Recovery of these nuts can be achieved by a variety of grading screens, sorting devices etc. All nut crackers are, by virtue of their action, high wear and tear equipment and the regular and proper maintenance of these machines to maintain their optimum operating condition has proved to be a major factor in maintaining a good cracking efficiency.

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30.5.07 Another major factor in obtaining good cracking efficiency is the regular feeding of the cracker, to prevent "shock loads". This can be achieved by placing a simple vibrating feeding device before the cracker. The feeding device can be fitted with a slotted tray, to screen out and remove loose fibres, small particles of shell etc. 30.6 KERNEL / SHELL SEPARATION

30.6.01 The cracked mixture expelled from the nut crackers contains kernel, the broken shell parts and fragments of kernel and shell. From this mixture primarily the whole, clean kernel needs to be separated and recovered. 30.6.02 In principle there are two methods in use to achieve this, i.e. the "dry" separation method and the "wet" separation method. 30.6.03 Before either of the above two methods a variety of screening activities can take place, all with the aim to separate the various components of the mixture as effectively as possible. 30.6.04 The "dry separation" is by far the simplest and the most economical, but is not always the most effective method. The principle of this pneumatic separation is similar to that of the nut / fibre separation, i.e. the difference in volume - weight ratio of the various components in the mixture. process is known as "winnowing" and can be done either as a single stage operation, or in multiple stages. 30.6.05 Provided the losses can be kept within the required parameters, this method has the great advantage that the kernel recovered from this process has already a low moisture content and kernel drying thus becomes a much less difficult matter. Also the average quality of the palm kernel oil extracted from this kernel has proved to be generally lower in F.F.A. It is thus well worth while to pursue with dry separation, even if the direct end result is only partially acceptable and the unacceptable portion of the resulting product has (separately) to be submitted to a further (possibly "wet") separation method. 115

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The volume of the material for this secondary "wet" separation will be greatly reduced, thus reducing the capacity and the equipment requirements, whilst improving the overall final quality of the recovered palm kernel. 30.6.06 The "wet" separation methods can in principle be divided into two methods, i.e.: the clay (or brine) bath separation and the separation with the help of a hydro cyclone unit. 30.7.07 The clay bath separator takes advantage of the difference in specific gravity of the not dried kernel (about 1.07) and the specific gravity of shell (about 1.2). Thus, in a bath with suspended clay to maintain a specific gravity between these two (i.e. about 1.12) the kernel will float and the shell will sink. 30.6.08 The clay suspension is circulated continuously and the floating kernels are skimmed of the top continuously. The shell is usually removed by a screw conveyor at the bottom. 30.6.09 The clay bath separator can be quite effective, provided the correct density level is maintained, i.e. a regular replacement of the clay removed with the kernel and the shell is required. The process is however difficult to control and can be quite expensive, due to the cost of clay etc. and the now a days favoured option would be the separation with the use of the hydro cyclone separator. 30.6.10 The hydro-cyclone separator action is comparable to that of an air cyclone, but as the name implies, the medium is liquid, here water. Water enters the unit tangentially and the resulting circular motion causes the heavier particles to be deposited on the outer wall of the cylinder by centrifugal force, with a spiral path down and out through the bottom part of the cyclone. This movement of water requires fairly large pumps and the power consumption of a hydro-cyclone unit is therefore quite high. In a correctly adjusted hydro cyclone, most of the shell particles (high density) pass downward, with a small flow of water, while most of the 116

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water together with most of the kernels (lower density) move to the centre of the cylinder and upwards to leave the cyclone via the overflow at the top of the cylinder. 30.6.11 The pumps, cyclones, adjustable conical sections etc. are all subject to considerable wear and tear and regular adjustments and replacements are required to ensure a consistent effective operation and if losses are to be kept within the required parameters. 30.6.12 The shell fraction, separated from the mixture by whatever means or system is usually transported directly by the most suitable method to the boiler fuel storage area, to supplement the fibre fuel component. 30.7 KERNEL RECOVERY

30.2.01 The kernel recovered after the separation requires further treatment, the extend of this treatment depending mainly on the method of separation used. Kernel recovered from dry separation methods have already a relatively low moisture content ( about 12%) and the retention time in the traditional kernel drying silos can be shortened considerably to achieve the required final moisture content for storage (about 7%) This type of kernel is also less susceptible to mould formation, which ensures a better quality of the final product of palm kernel oil. 30.7.02 Kernel recovered from the wet separation method can have an internal moisture content of over 20%. This moisture is much more difficult to remove, since it must first diffuse to the kernel surface before if can evaporate. Wet kernel (i.e. all kernel with a moisture content > 7%) can support the growth of a mould that leads to an increased rate of hydrolysis of the palm kernel oil extracted from this kernel, i.e. an increase in F.F.A. The enzyme causing this is produced by the mould growth and can withstand quite high temperatures, thus the drying after the mould has developed will only enhance the appearance of the kernel, but will not prevent the later quick deterioration of the kernel oil since the enzyme will remain active in the palm kernel oil.

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30.8 KERNEL DRYING

30.8.01 Kernel drying is most commonly achieved by the "continuous" type silo dryers. Drying is achieved by blowing hot or warm air through the kernels at the bottom, the middle and the top level sections of the silo at different temperatures. The coldest being at the bottom, the hottest being at the top section of the silo. Too high an air temperature (>85o C) could cause discolouration of the kernel (and thus the kernel oil extracted there from) and must be avoided. Thus retention times can be quite long and rather large capacity drying silos will be needed. Here again the advantages of the dry separation method show up quite clearly, since the lower initial moisture content will allow lower drying air temperatures and shorter retention times to dry the kernel to the required moisture content. The resulting end product will be of higher quality. Despite the term "continuous" dryer, this type of drying in practice really works out to be more of the "batch" type operation. Continuous drying , where kernel is moved continuously on slowmoving conveyor belt or tables has been tried as an alternate method and proved to be quite successful, producing well dried good quality kernel. The preferred method thus depends very much on a design philosophy and economical considerations. 30.9 KERNEL CLEANING

30.9.01 Kernel cleaning, after the drying process consists mainly of the removal of dirt and shell debris, loose fibre and fragments of broken kernel. This can be done mechanically, by air separation or by hand. Much depends on the quality of the process before the drying stage, but invariably shells and shell particles which adhered to the kernel before the drying process will have come loose during this process, partly due to the reduction in moisture (size) of the kernel and partly 118

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due to the rubbing action and the overall friction encountered in the silos. In some cases a simple "seed cleaning" device as used commonly in the grain and other seed industries can be adapted and successfully applied here. The degree of "cleanliness" is expressed as the "percentage admixture" and is generally largely defined by the end use or user of the palm kernel. 30.10. EVALUATION OF P.K. 30.10.1 Fosfa recognizes several contracts, i.e.
Product Palm kernel Palm kernel Basis of Sale C.I.F. F.O.B. Contact Fosfa 29 Fosfa 79 Quality % Quantity determination at destination at destination or shipment as agreed between buyer/seller

[Similar contracts exist for Palm Kernel Expeller (P.K.E.)] Market patterns change from time to time, but the majority is sold on a C.I.F. basis.

30.10.2 Comparison of "Outturn Quality"


Good Quality P.K [%] Oil content F.F.A Shell and Dirt 49.5 4.25 6.00 Poor Quality P.K [%] 47.00 9.75 10.00

Sale of 500 MT @ US$ 200,- /tonne Shipped 500 tonne @ US$ 200,= 100,000.= 100,000.-

Outturn = 487 tonne Shortage 13 tonne = 2,600.= 2,600. Outturn value = 97,400.= 97,400.-

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Good Quality a) Oil content Contract basis Out turn Premium / Penalty 49.0% 49.5% +0.5% +0.5 x 1.3% = +0.65% b) F.F.A content Out turn Premium / Penalty 4.75% 4.25% +0.5% +0.5 x 0.75= +0.38% Shell and Dirt: Contract basis Out turn Penalty 2.75% 6.00% -2.25 x 1%= -2.25 -1.00 x 2%= -2.00 -2.00 x 3%= -6.00 Total penalty Out turn value Penalty Net Value -3.22% 97,400.-3.22% = 3,136.28 94,263.72 2.75% 10.00% -2.25 x 1%= -2.25 -2.00 x 2%= -4.00 -1.00 x 4%= -4.00 -22.60% 97,400.-22.6% = 22,012.40 75,387.60 49% 47% -2% -2 x 1.3%= -2.6% 4.75% 9.75% -5.0% -5 x 0.75= -3.75% Poor Quality

Difference between good and poor quality = US$ 18876.12 or US$ 37.75 per tonne.

Poor quality kernel gives rise to large crushing losses, which is why the specifications have been set to the following indicative levels: Oil content F.F.A Dirt & Shell Moisture over 49% under 4% under 6% under 7%

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The Principle & Operational Techniques CALCULATIONS FOR NUT TRANSPORT/DESTONER SYSTEM:
1) Known Data Nut throughput Lifting velocity nuts Conveying velocity Separation velocity Air ratio per kg conveyed nut Density of air at 27 oC : 5.25 ton/hr : 40 m/sec : 30 m/sec : up to 8 m/sec : 2.5 : 1 : 1.177 kg/m3

2) Unknown data (to be calculated) Air flow rate Static pressure requirement Size of lifting column Size of separating section Size of transport pipe or duct 3) Calculation a) Air required to convey 5250 kg nuts per hour = 5250 x 2.5 kg/hr = 13125 kg/hr Airflow rate = 13125 kg/hr : 1.177 kg/m3 = 11151 m3/hr Losses due to speed reduction @ 2 %, losses due to leakage etc. @ 10 %, calculate to actual flow rate of = 11151 x 1.12 = 12489 m3/hr. b) Suction pressure required: for pick up nuts from rest pressure loss in ducting and column pressure loss in cyclone Total = 125 mm WG = 125 mm WG = 75 mm WG = 325 mm WG

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c) Cross section area for lifting column: With lifting velocity of 35 m/sec and flow rate of 12489 m3/hr = 12489 = 0.086729 m2 60 x 60 x 4 Column diameter = 0.3323 meter d) Cross section area for the conveying pipe or duct: With velocity of 30 m/sec and flow rate 12489 m3/hr, cross section area = 0.11564 m2, and diameter of transport pipe = 0.3837 meter e) Cross section area for the separating column: With velocity of 8 m/sec and flow rate 12489 m3/hr, the minimum cross section area required would be: 0.43365m2 For a circular separating column the diameter calculates to 0.5521 meter. To be "on the safe side" and to suit commercially available equipment, a 12" diameter pipe (= 0.31 meter) for the lifting column can be used. Conveying ducting can be rounded of to 0.38 meter diameter. Fan capacity selected should be rounded up to the nearest commercially available , usually 15000 m3 @ 500 mm WG.

ACTION FOR FPII: 1) FPII should check the measurements and data of their existing equipment and compare with above theoretical calculations to ensure that at least the minimum requirements are met. 2) The schematic diagram no 1 shows the principle lay out of the system. FPII should compare with what they have and determine what additional material, equipment etc. they may require. 3) The lay out as shown on sketch 2 is simple and direct, but it does require a minimum difference in height between nut inlet and separating box outlet of at least 8 meters. That should be possible in FPII, and it will eliminate the need for the now used single chain bucket elevator. 122

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SECTION #4 THE FACTORY WASTE PRODUCT & POLLUTION

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Chapter #31 DISPOSAL OF "DRY" MATERIAL


31.1 Solid waste products and disposal.

31.1.01 The major source and nature of solid "wastes" from C.P.O. mills are: a) Empty Fruit Bunches b) Fibrous matter c) Shell material d) Solids ex centrifuges e) Solids ex Decanters 22-25% 13-15% 4-6% 0.5-1.0% 1.5-2.5% of F.F.B. weight. of F.F.B. weight. of F.F.B. weight. of F.F.B. weight. of F.F.B. weight.

Processing F.F.B. to the stages of C.P.O. and P.K. continuously generates these solid products, whilst the liquid effluent treatment generates "wet" (sludge) solids. These solids are removed from the anaerobic ponds and/or settling tanks with periodic intervals depending on the load of the system. (see 31.11 solids from effluent treatment) The Empty Fruit Bunches (E.F.B.) can be dealt with in two different ways: 31.2. The incinerator

31.2.01 E.F.B. from the mills process is transported directly from the outlet of the threshing machine to the inlet of the incinerator usually by means of open, slat type conveyors. Various types of incinerators have evolved over the years, but the underlying principle remained the same, i.e. a slow, low temperature "burning" or incineration of the (still wet) bunches on an inclined grate. The combined effect of a thick layer of E.F.B. and only natural draught conditions cause a slow and steady process of converting the E.F.B. into ashes. The 124 combustion efficiency is seldom optimum under these

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circumstances and the resulting stack plume from the incinerator chimney stack is characteristic. (see also under 33. air pollution) 31.2.02 Bunch ash is rich in potassium and has an ameliorating effect on acid sulphate soils and improves the soil pH. 31.2.03 Average nutrient values of bunch ash from incineration E.F.B. produces about 4.5 % ash on wet bunch weight, or an equivalent of about 10 % ash on dry bunch weight, with an approximate value of: 30-40 % K2O 3-5 % P2O5 7.5 % CaO The basic nutrient requirements of an oil palm are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium or Magnesium. The ratio will depend on the soil type and the area, thus the rate of application also varies, pending local conditions. (A soil inclined to leach will require a heavier application then one of a more colloidal structure) Mature oil palms, planted at a density of 135 palms per hectare remove from the soil annually approximately in K = 40 kilograms, in N = 15 kilograms, in P = 6 kilograms and it would therefore be a powerful soil which could sustain such depletion without some return of the elements used. 31.3 The direct field disposal

31.3.01 E.F.B. are also rich in plant nutrients, making mulching an alternative method of disposal. Mulching E.F.B. utilizes the full potential nutrient and soil enriching properties, whilst there is no source for air pollution. On analysis of E.F.B. it is usually found that the values are approximately: N = 14 %, P2O5 = 0.03 % and K2O = 0.45 %.

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A complete ground cover in the inter rows of planting can take as much as 200 tonnes of E.F.B. per hectare, returning to the soil an approximate nutrient value of: N = 250 kg/ha, P2O5 = 50 kg/ha and K2O = 800 kg/ha, which is quite a valuable dressing. Added to this are the physical benefits if humus to the soil and soil water conservation. (Whole) bunches are placed in between the palm trees and allowed to decompose naturally. In relative flat terrain, mulching in this way can be easily effected using standard tractor trailer units or their normally used equivalent to transport the E.F.B. The economic consideration, i.e. the cost of mulching per hectare versus the fertilizer cost per hectare may be the decisive factor. 31.3.02 It is possible to convert from a mill with conventional incineration to a direct field disposal system for E.F.B. with minimal direct cost to the mill, but the cost of the possibly required extra transport units to transport the quite considerable bulk of the E.F.B. (average = 25 % of F.F.B weight). 31.4 The use of E.F.B as supplementary fuel

31.4.01 The very high moisture content of the E.F.B. necessitates pre drying, if these bunches are effectively to be used as additional fuel in the boiler furnace, since their calorific value when wet is low (1050 kcal/kg) The calorific value of dried E.F.B. varies considerably with the oil content of the material and on average (with an oil content of 3 %) can be taken as between 2300 and 2350 kcal/kg. 31.4.02 Most factories do not use the E.F.B. as fuel, since the combined fibrous matter and shell provide sufficient fuel to operate and create a surplus which can be used for starting up periods etc.

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31.5 The fibrous material

31.5.01 All fibre produced by the process is normally used for boiler fuel. Pending the steam/power/fuel balance, this is normally sufficient to ensure adequate fuel supply, more so since it is mixed with the available shell. Surplus fuel is normally stored near the boiler(s) for reserve purposes during periods of low production, start up periods and, if sufficient reserves can be accumulated, to maintain boiler operation during part of the non producing periods to reduce the costs of power generation by means of diesel oil fuelled diesel generating sets. 31.5.02 Fibre is "dry" when oil has been extracted and free moisture flashed off during its transportation from the pressing station to the boiler feeding or storage area, but still has a certain moisture content. (between 30 and 35 %) It requires no further treatment and can be directly utilized as fuel in the boiler furnace. 31.5.03 Fibre when burned as fuel produces approximately: 10% ash on dry matter and this contains approximately: 20-30% K2O , 4-6% P2O5 and 10% CaO. The ashes can be conveniently disposed of in various ways, usually as a road topping for the non sealed roads in the mill/plantation areas and are thus not considered as an environmental threat. 31.6 The fuel value of fibre

31.6.01 The moisture content of the fibre used for fuel and the oil content of the fibre largely determine the calorific value available from this material. The oil loss on dry fibre is on average about 8 %, whilst the moisture content can vary between 30 and 40 %. Thus the calorific value available from this material can vary considerably, but on average remains between 2500 and 3600 kcal/kg which is sufficiently high to be used in the boiler furnace, but on its own is insufficient to generate sufficient heat to produce the required amounts of steam.

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31.6.02 It is for this reason that this fuel must be mixed with the shell which is produced, or mixed with other suitable fuel to enable sufficient heat to be generated. 31.7 The shell material 31.7.01 After the cracking of the palm nuts and the separation of the shell and kernel, the shell is transported to the boiler fuel feed or storage area and mixed with the fibrous material. The mixing can quite simply be achieved by feeding the shell to one or more of the conveyors which transport the fibrous material. 31.7.02 The shell (after the drying process of the nuts, the cracking and the usually pneumatic transportation) have moisture content varying between 12% and 18% although this can vary considerably depending on whether wet or dry separation of the shell and kernel is practised. The oil content, for the purpose of fuel, is negligible. 31.8 The fuel value of shell

31.8.01 There has been a difference established between the calorific values of "old" shell and "fresh" shell. For the purpose of determining the fuel value this can be ignored. Shell has on average a calorific value of between 3500 and 4000 kcal / kg and it will be noted that this is quite a lot higher than that of the fibrous material. 31.8.02 Under the normally prevailing conditions in a boiler furnace, shell burns very hot and its silica content produces a hard, solid slag/clinker which is difficult to remove from the furnace grate bars etc. It is for this reason that a mixture of fibre and shell is used and that the ratio of this mixture is controlled by regulating the quantity of shell added to the fibre and regularly analyzing samples taken from this mixture. 31.8.03 Shell produce approximately 2% ash and this contains approximately : 55-85% Silicic acid , 4-5% P2O5 and 2-3 % K2O.

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The ashes, being mixed with the ashes from the fibrous material, are disposed of as described above. 31.9 The sludge centrifuge solids

31.9.01 Centrifuge sludge has a good plant nutrient value and can be disposed of together with the E.F.B, if mulching is practised. Sludge (evaporated sludge) has an ash content of about 10 % and contains approximately: 20-30% K2O , 4-8% P2O5 and 10% CaO. The advantage of disposal with the bunch mulch is that the sludge becomes trapped by the bunches and is not readily washed off by the surface run off. 31.9.02 If mulching is not practised, these solids can be applied directly to the land. 31.10 Solids from Decanter systems

31.10.1 A typical C.P.O. factory generates a total effluent of 70 % from the clarification processes. The basic principle of a decanter system is to reduce or eliminate the effluent discharge either partially or totally, in order to reduce the total effluent volume. 31.10.2 Some decanter systems do not require the reduction of the viscosity of the crude oil by means of dilution and thus the resulting solids phase has a very low moisture content. Evaporation and flash off of this moisture produces a virtually "dry" cake which is easily handled. The dried cake, known as "palm oil meal" has been used both as a fertilizer and as a component in animal feed. This system usually utilizes the waste heat from the boiler flue gases to dry the solids from both the decanter and the nozzle separators. Such driers simultaneously serve as a "scrubber", thus reducing the particle emission in the flue gases of the boilers. 129

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31.10.3 The obvious benefits are the reduced effluent load to be treated, possible benefits from the sale value of the dried cake and (if applicable) the reduced particle emission of the flue gases. However, initial capital costs are quite high and the recurring maintenance costs and skills required are also quite high. Thus, the economics often dictate against the use of these systems. 31.11 The solids from liquid effluent treatment

31.11.1 These solids can also be directly applied as fertilizer to the oil palm plantings, but since the wet volumes are large, the sludge is first dewatered usually on sand beds, to reduce the volume and facilitate handling. 31.11.2 De-watering occurs by evaporation under natural sunlight and by percolation and/or drainage of the (free) water into the sand beds. The resulting solids "cake" can then be applied to the land, a typical application would be: for anaerobic sludge cake : 0.1 tonne per tonne of F.F.B. for aerobic sludge cake : 0.05 tonne per tonne of F.F.B. Again, economic considerations are often the deciding factor, although with the increased emphasis on environmental and pollution control over the last decade, the choice has become more limited.

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Chapter #32 DISPOSAL OF "WET" MATERIAL


32.1 General parameters for Palm Oil Mill liquid Effluent. (P.O.M.E.)
PARAMETER B.O.D. C.O.D. TOTAL SOLIDS SUSPENDED SOLIDS OIL N-NH3 pH 1989 1000 2000 2000 600 75 20 6-9 1991 500 1000 1500 400 50 10 6-9 1993 200 400 1500 400 50 5 6-9 1995 100 200 1500 400 50 2 6-9

These standards are acceptable for the industry and are approximately equal to those set in major oil palm growing areas. (Malaysia / Indonesia). 32.2 Terms and conventions used for general effluent descriptions:

32.2.01 Biological Oxygen Demand (B.O.D.) The calculation used to measure in milligram per litre, for percent mixtures: B.O.D.(mg/l) = [ ( D.O.b - D.O.i ) 100 : % ] - ( D.O.b -D.O.i) D.O.b , D.O.i = Dissolved Oxygen values found in blank (contains dilution water only) and dilutions of sample, respectively , at end of incubation period. D.O.s = Dissolved Oxygen originally present in undiluted sample. With B.O.D. > 200 mg/l, D.O.s is nearly = D.O.b and the second part of the formula becomes negligible. 131

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32.2.02 Biochemical oxidation is a slow process, theoretically infinite. Within a 20-day period, oxidation is approximately 95 to 99 %, and in the 5 - day period used for the B.O.D test is plus/minus 60 to 70 % complete. (the 5 day period is commonly notated as B.O.D.5 ) Tests can be either (in laboratory) by a Warburg Respiro meter (for slow and small samples ) or by an electrolytic respiro meter, usually with multiple electrolysis cells. The advantage is: 1) usage of a large (1 litre) sample, minimizes the errors of "grab sampling" and pipetting in dilutions. 2) value of B.O.D is directly available. 32.2.03 B.O.D testing has severe limitations: 1) a high concentration of active, acclimated seed bacteria is required 2) pretreatment is needed for toxic wastes and the efforts of nitrifying organisms must be reduced. 3) only the bio degradable organisms are measured 4) test is not valid after the soluble organic matter present in the solution has been used. 5) Arbitrary, long period required to obtain results. 32.3 Chemical Oxygen Demand (C.O.D.)

32.3.01 Used to measure the content of organic matter of both waste water, (effluent) and natural water. The oxygen equivalent of the organic matter that can be oxidized is measured by using a strong chemical oxidizing agent in an acidic medium. (Potassium di-chromate for example) A catalyst (silver sulphate) is required. Some organic components interfere, care must be taken to eliminate these. C.O.D is also used to measure the organic matter in wastes that are toxic to biological life. 32.3.02 The C.O.D of a waste is generally higher then the B.O.D. , because more compounds can be chemically oxidized then can be biologically oxidized. 132

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Usually it is possible to correlate C.O.D. with B.O.D. , which is useful, since C.O.D. can be determined in about 3 hours. Once a correlation has been established, it can be used to advantage for treatment control and operation. 32.4 Total Organic Carbon (T.O.C)

32.4.01 This is used for measuring organic matter present in water and is especially applicable to small concentrations of organic matter. The test is performed by injecting a small, known, quantity in a high temperature furnace, where the organic matter is oxidized to carbon dioxide in the presence of a catalyst. The CO2 is measured quantitatively by means of an infra red analyser. Test is very quick, but certain organic compounds resist being oxidized and the measured T.O.C. value will be slightly less than the actual amount. 32.5 Total Oxygen Demand (T.O.D.)

32.5.01 Organic matter are converted to stable end products in a platinum catalysed combustion chamber. T.O.D. is determined by monitoring the oxygen contend present in the carrier gas (nitrogen) Rapid testing and the results can be correlated with C.O.D. results. 32.6 Theoretical Oxygen Demand (Th.O.D.)

32.6.01 If the chemical formula is known, then Th.O.D. may be computed from this formula, expressed usually in gram O2/mol. 32.7 Correlation among the various measurements.

32.7.01 This depends primarily on the nature of the waste water, effluent and its source. If a good correlation can be established, then because of the rapidity of the C.O.D., T.O.C. and the T.O.D. tests, this can be very useful and eliminates or reduces the time to get B.O.D results directly.

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32.7.02 Example ratios' for untreated wastes are: B.O.D.5 / C.O.D. = 0.4 - 0.8 , B.O.D.5 / T.O.C = 1.0 - 1.6 etc. Once established, these ratio's can be used to calculate the B.O.D content to a close enough degree for control of plants etc. quite quickly. 32.8 Biological treatment: definitions

32.8.01 AEROBIC processes are biological treatment processes that occur in the presence of oxygen. Certain bacteria that survive only in the presence of dissolved oxygen are known as obligate (restricted to special conditions in life) aerobes. 32.8.02 ANAEROBIC processes are biological treatment processes that occur in the absence ofoxygen. Bacteria that can only survive in the absence of any dissolved oxygen are known as obligate anaerobes. 32.8.03 ANOXIC DENITRIFICATION is the process by which Nitrate nitrogen is converted biologically into nitrogen gas in the absence of oxygen. The process is also known as Anaerobic denitrification. 32.8.04 FACULTATIVE PROCESSES are biological treatment processes in which the organisms are indifferent to the presence of dissolved oxygen. These organisms are known as facultative micro organisms. 32.8.05 MICRO AEROPHILS are a group of micro organisms that grow best in the presence of low concentrations of oxygen. 32.8.06 CARBONACEOUS B.O.D. removal is the biological conversion of the carbonaceous organic matter in effluent into cell tissue and various gaseous end products. In this conversion it is assumed that the nitrogen present in the various compounds is converted to ammonia. 32.8.07 NITRIFICATION is the two stage biological process by which nitrate is converted to nitrogen and other gaseous end products. 32.8.08 STABILIZATION is the biological process by which organic matter in sludge produced from primary settling ponds and the biological treatment of effluent is stabilized, usually by conversion to gases and cell tissue. 134

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Depending on whether this stabilization is carried out under anaerobic or aerobic conditions, this process is known as anaerobic or aerobic digestion. 32.8.09 SUBSTRATE is the term used to denote the organic matter or nutrients that are converted during biological treatment or that may be limiting in biological treatment. ( for example: carbonaceous organic matter in waste water is called the substrate that is converted during biological treatment.) processes are the biological treatment 32.8.10 SUSPENDED GROWTH processes in which the micro organisms responsible for the conversion of the organic matter or other constituents in the effluent to gases and cell tissue are maintained in suspension within the liquid. 32.8.11 ATTACHED GROWTH processes are the biological treatment processes in which the micro organisms responsible for the conversion of the organic matter or other constituents in the effluent are attached to some medium, such as rock, slag or specially designed ceramic or plastic materials. Attached growth processes are also known as: fixed film processes. 32.9 AEROBIC SUSPENDED GROWTH treatment

32.9.01 The processes are: 1) Activated sludge 2) Suspended growth nitrification process 3) Aerated lagoons (ponds) (as used in P.O.M's) 4) Aerobic digesters (also used in P.O.M's) 5) High rate oxidation ponds 32.9.02 AERATED LAGOONS: evolved from facultative stabilization ponds when surface aeration was installed to overcome the odours from organically overloaded ponds. Description: The aerated lagoon process is essentially the same as the conventional extended aeration activated sludge process (with Hydr. Retention Time = +> 10 days), except that an earthen basin is used for the "reactor" and the oxygen required by the process is supplied by surface or diffuser aerators. 135

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Note: In an aerated lagoon all solids are maintained in suspension 32.9.03 AEROBIC DIGESTION Alternate method of treating organic sludge, produced from various treatment operations. Description: In conventional aerobic digestion, sludge is aerated for an extended period of time in an open, unheated tank using conventional air diffusers or surface aeration equipment. Either continuous or batch mode, with separate tank for decanting and/or concentration. 32.9.04 AEROBIC STABILIZATION PONDS In their simplest form, large - shallow earthen basins, used for the treatment by natural processes involving both algae and bacteria. Description: An aerobic stabilization pond contains bacteria (and/or algae) in suspension and aerobic conditions prevail throughout its depth. There are mainly two types: 1) Objective to maximize the production of algae (very shallow, limited to 6-18 inch depths) 2) Objective to maximize the amount of oxygen produced and pond depths up to 5 feet (1.6 m) are used. In both types, oxygen in addition to that produced by the algae, enters the liquid through atmospheric diffusion. For best results, contents must be mixed periodically, (pumps, surface aerators etc.) 32.9.05 AEROBIC PONDS Used for the treatment of high strength organic effluent, which also contain a high concentration of solids.

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Typically an aerobic pond is a deep earthen pond, with appropriate inlet and outlet piping. To conserve heat energy and to maintain anaerobic conditions, anaerobic ponds have been constructed to depths of > 6 metres. The wastes added to the pond settle to the bottom. The partially clarified effluent is discharged to further treatment ponds. Usually these ponds are anaerobic throughout their entire depth, except for an extremely shallow surface zone. Stabilization is brought about by a combination of precipitation and anaerobic conversion of organic wastes to C.O.2, C.H.4, other gaseous end products, organic acids and cell tissues. B.O.D.5 conversion efficiency up to 70% are routinely obtainable. Under optimum operating conditions removal efficiency up to 85% is possible. 32.9.06 FACULTATIVE PONDS Ponds in which the stabilization of wastes is brought about by a combination of aerobic, anaerobic and facultative bacteria, are known as facultative (aerobic -anaerobic) stabilization ponds. Description: Basically three zones exist in facultative ponds: 1) A surface zone, where aerobic bacteria and algae exist in a symbiotic relationship. 2) An intermediate zone that is partly aerobic and partly anaerobic, in which the decomposition of organic wastes is carried out by facultative bacteria. 3) An anaerobic bottom zone in which accumulated solids are actively decomposed by anaerobic bacteria. In practice, oxygen is maintained in the upper layer by the presence of algae, or by the use of surface aerators (in which case there are no algae required) The advantage of surface aeration is that a higher organic load can be applied. However, the organic load MUST NOT EXCEED the amount of oxygen 137

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that can be supplied by the aerators without completely mixing the ponds contents, or the benefits from anaerobic decomposition will be lost. 32.9.07 TERTIARY MATURATION PONDS Low rate stabilization ponds, designed to provide secondary effluent "polishing" and seasonal nitrification. The biological mechanisms involved are similar to the other aerobic suspended growth processes. Operationally the residual biological solids are endogenously respired and ammonia is converted to nitrate using the oxygen supplied from surface aerators (and where exist from algae) Minimum 20 days H.R.T to provide for complete endogenous respiration of the residual solids. To maintain aerobic conditions, the applied loading must be kept quite low. The efficiency of low rate ponds decreases with decreasing waste water temperature (all biological Nitrification systems suffer from these phenomena) To provide a reliable nitrified effluent that is low in B.O.D. 5 and suspended solids, an efficient and reliable effluent solids removal process will be required. 32.9.08 SOLIDS SEPARATION Probably the most important aspect of biological effluent treatment is the design of the facilities to separate The biological solids from the treated waste water; for it is axiomatic that if the solids cannot be separated and returned to the aeration tank, the activated sludge process will not function properly. 32.10 The control methods and technology

32.10.1 The choice of an appropriate effluent system depends on various factors, such as the characteristics of the effluent, (physical, chemical and biological), the local environment, the degree of treatment before disposal stipulated by the regulating authorities and the economic considerations.

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32.10.2 Since C.P.O. factories are usually located in the more remote areas, high levels of skill for the operation and maintenance are often not available or achievable and the preferred choice of suitable treatment must take this into account. C.P.O. factory liquid effluent can be said to be composed off: i) Clarification wastes ( 60 - 70 %) ii) Sterilizer condensate ( 30 - 40%) iii) Other liquid wastes ( 5%) A correctly operated C.P.O. factory, under proper control, will typically produce about 2 to 2.5 tonne of effluent for every ton of C.P.O. produced. This figure varies according to the design, i.e. conventional continuous settling versus decanter systems etc., but is seldom lower than that suggested above. 32.10.3 The effluent produced has typically a B.O.D. value of between 20,000 and 25,000 mg/litre, but is not (or very seldom) toxic. The effluent of the clarification process of the C.P.O. is the most difficult to treat, due to its viscosity caused by a high proportion of suspended solids. 32.11 Treatment types

32.11.1 A number of systems have been developed over the past decade, to treat this effluent. Most are biological processes, dictated by the bio degradable nature of the effluent. The processes are usually combinations of anaerobic and aerobic processes. 32.11.2 Before these processes, the proper screening, filtering and centrifuging to reduce the suspended solids as much as possible must be maintained, so that the "final" effluent to be treated has the lowest possible quantity of suspended solids. 32.11.3 Appropriate methods include the following: a) Anaerobic / facultative ponding b) Anaerobic / extended aeration ponding c) Anaerobic tank digestion / extended aeration ponding 139

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d) Anaerobic treatment followed by land application All methods must have the anaerobic stage, for the following reasons: i) High destruction efficiency (including lipids and pathogenic bacteria) ii) Lower sludge production iii) Low power requirement iv) Possible recovery / utilization of the methane gas produced. 32.11.4 Anaerobic processes can be either thermophilic or mesophyllic. Thermophilic reactions are generally more efficient but are highly sensitive to temperature variations (hence mainly used in "tank type digesters") Owing to the above, the processes that take place in anaerobic ponds are usually mesophyllic. 32.12 The anaerobic / facultative pond system

32.12.1 Essentially the components are: : the de - oiling tank : the acidification ponds : the methogenic ponds : the facultative ponds : the sand beds 32.12.2 The raw effluent firstly enters the (usually concrete) de - oiling tank, which should have a Hydraulic Retention Time (H.R.T.) of 1.5 days. Free oil is trapped and some solids settle out. The effluent is homogenized, cooled to a degree and flows to the anaerobic ponds. 32.13.1 The anaerobic ponds have two distinct phases: : the acidification phase : the methogenic phase By keeping these processes separated, by using two separate ponds, the optimum individual environment for both the acidification and the methogenic reactions are ensured.

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32.13.2 The acidification ponds are two ponds in series (with 2 days H.R.T. each), where the bacteria convert organic components into volatile fatty acids, which lower the pH of the liquor. Two ponds in series are used in order to restrict the bonded oil released to the first pond. The raw effluent is mixed with liquor from the primary anaerobic ponds (of the methogenic phase), this cools the effluent further, decreases the pH further and facilitates "seeding" (ratio 1:1) 32.13.3 The methogenic phase takes place in two ponds in series, with a typical H.R.T. of 30 and 15 days respectively. Here the volatile fatty acids are converted to methane, Co2 and other gases. 32.13.4 The partially treated liquor is then aerated in facultative ponds in series, with a total H.R.T. of 16 days, before being allowed to flow to the final discharge. 32.13.5 The sludge solids will build up in the anaerobic ponds. When this is de-watered on sand beds a cake can be recovered which can be utilized as plant nutrient. 32.13.6 This type of system is generally good with a final B.O.D. level well below 200 mg per litre and will handle "shock loads" from the factory. Other systems have been developed, basically similar to the one described above, but with different features (see sketch 2)i.e.: : de-oiling as part of the first acidification pond : longer retention times in the anaerobic ponds ( 70 days) (the longer period tends to even out fluctuations in loading rates and inefficiencies caused by poor maintenance of the system). Here also B.O.D. levels can be well below 100 mg/litre. 32.14 The Anaerobic / Extended aeration ponding system

32.14.1 This system is similar to that described under 32.13 above, but here the facultative ponds are replaced by extended aeration lagoons. The reason for this is that the facultative ponds with their retention 141

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time of 12 to 16 days and shallow depth (less than 1.5 metre) occupy rather large areas. An aerated lagoon, with its greater depth will cover substantially less area, retention time however will increase to 20 days. 32.14.2 The extra, mechanical, aerators will increase the capital costs, the recurring maintenance costs and the power requirements. Unlike the anaerobic/facultative ponding system, this system is sensitive to shock loads and the oxygen transfer in the aerated lagoon. The aerated liquor needs to be settled in an aerobic sedimentation tank or pond with at least a one day retention prior to final discharge. 32.15 Anaerobic Tank Digestion/Extended aeration system

32.15.1 This system has tank digesters, coupled with aerated lagoons. The closed type is suitable for tapping the bio gas produced which can be used as an energy source. Tank digesters are capital intensive, but do have a number of advantages; i.e.: a) compact, thus requiring little land area b) High loading rates and shorter retention time c) Easier for corrective measures (and sampling) d) Bio-gas production as energy source e) good mixing of (tank)contents possible 32.15.2 Tank digestion may be mesophyllic or thermophilic, the latter generally produces better digestion conditions. The anaerobic liquor discharged from the digester does require further treatment.( see sketch 3 & 4) 32.15.3 The raw effluent is acidified with anaerobic liquor from the tank digester, (H.R.T.= 1 day ), ratio 1:1 (by volume) The acidified effluent is then fed to a (mild) steel tank digester. Typical reduction in B.O.D. levels are 90 to 95 %. The tank contents are mixed or stirred with a "gas mixing" system. Gas mixing requires about 12% of the power required by a mechanical stirring device and costs about 25% less as there are no moving parts. 142

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Compressed bio gas from the digester process is directed to an emitter in the digester which allows escape of gas through a draught tube. The motion of the gas bubbles sets up a circulating current in the effluent that helps mixing. H.R.T. for these digesters is 10 days. (Open tank digesters are not stirred, typical retention time +/- 20 days) 32.15.4 In un stirred tank digesters the solids sink/settle to the bottom and are drawn off. Typical solids reduction is about 40%. The anaerobic liquor is then decanted to an anaerobic settling tank that further settles out solids (60 to 80% ) 32.15.5 The supernatant is then fed to an extended lagoon ( typical H.R.T.= 20 days). The anaerobic liquor is settled for one day in an anaerobic settling tank before allowing final discharge. Final B.O.D. of < 100 mg / litre are possible, however variations in effluent feed rates, B.O.D. input levels and suspended solids from the tank digesters and the settling efficiency of the anaerobic settling tank all affect the final B.O.D. level. 32.15.6 The settled solids are rich in nutrients and can be utilized as fertilizers. The final discharge from these type of systems has been used to recycle to the factory as process water.

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Typical performance of the tank digester/aeration pond system: (Parameters all except pH in mg/l)
RAW EFFLUENT pH B.O.D. C.O.D. TOTAL SOLIDS SUSPENDED SOLIDS VOLATILE SOLIDS OIL , GREASE NH3 - NITROGEN TOTAL NITROGEN 4.8 30800 76090 57030 27920 43490 10450 50 1030 FINAL DISCHARGE 8.1 120 1460 6720 1060 2160 30 3 100 REDUCTION % N/A 99.6 98.1 88.2 96.2 95.0 99.7 94.0 90.3

32.16

Land application of partially treated effluent.

32.16.1 Because of its rich nutrient content, the anaerobic liquor can be utilized as a fertilizer resource in the oil palm plantations. Raw effluent can also be used, but the high B.O.D. levels usually create an unpleasant odour and a fly / insect nuisance. The possibility of surface run off during heavy rain periods contaminating existing fresh water streams can also not be discounted. 32.16.2 Partially treated anaerobic liquor, with B.O.D. level not more than 5000 mg/l is suitable for land application and may also at the same allow the production and utilization of bio gas. 32.16.3 Partial digestion does not appreciably change the nutrient contents of the effluent, (which is related mainly to the nitrogen content) but complex organic molecules are broken down and are thus easier to be assimilated by the plants.

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32.17 Methods of land application

32.17.1 Although the physical land application is generally outside of the area of responsibility of the technical mill staff, a basic knowledge of the methods used to apply partially or fully digested effluent to the "fields" enhances the overall appreciation of the total effluent control system. There are a number of different methods to distribute this (still liquid) effluent, i.e.: I ) Fixed spray lines, moveable spray lines with sprinkler system In fixed spray line sprinkler systems the effluent is pumped through buried pipe lines direct to the sprinklers. Sprinklers are generally fixed every third row of palm trees and at about 27 metres intervals. Capital costs are high and maintenance costs are high. In moveable spray line sprinkler systems the basic principle is the same, but as a result of using moveable lines, the capital costs are substantially lower. Fast lock, clip lock type couplings facilitate the removal of the spray lines, at which time clogging etc. can be detected and cleared. II ) Flat beds Flat, bunded beds constructed between rows of palms are connected by channels which run from the top end to the bottom end of the slopes. Effluent is pumped to the top and allowed to run down the channels and each bunded bed is filled to a shallow depth, starting with the lowest. As each bed is filled, the feed is closed and directed to another channel. III) Furrows Here the effluent is pumped to high points and allowed to drain down the slopes in furrows of about 20 to 30 cm deep and about 30 cm wide. The velocity of the flow should be slow enough to allow percolation into the soil. Zig-Zag configuration on steeper slopes 145

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reduces the flow velocity and prevents erosion. The zigzag configuration will cause problems of uneven distribution, silting is also common. IV) Percolating trenches or pits Trenches and pits dug along the slopes are usually the silt pits dug to contain the sediments transported by surface erosion. The effluent is discharged into these pits and allowed to percolate into the soil. 32.17.2 The rate of application is decided and affected by various factors, i.e.: a) Characteristic of effluent, the concentration of solids (size of solids as well) The presence of "large" solids will frequently block or clog sprinkler nozzles. b) Type of vegetation between rows of palms c) Soil characteristics, the acidity, the porosity, normal water table etc. Over application may result in anaerobic conditions due to the formation of an impervious layer of organic matter on the soil surface. d) Age of palms, since palms of different age require different rates of application, which are usually determined by experimentation. 32.18 Effects of the application of digested effluent

32.18.1 Although the effects vary from place to place and the optimum for a particular plantation area is largely determined by experimentation, on average the yield of oil palm increases with the use of digested effluent. 32.18.2 The nutrient value of the soil improves, especially the phosphorus, the potassium and the magnesium values. The resulting leaf growth has proved to have increased values of nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium, all assisting in a higher F.F.B. production per palm. The effect on underground water has been shown to be negligible and surface drainage is not polluted, provided the application method and the application rates are controlled. 146

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Palm Oil Mill Effluent, POME, has a high organic polluting load and if released untreated into natural watercourses would result in a severe depletion of the dissolved oxygen level in the stream or water course. The organic pollution load is measured by the Biological Oxygen Demand, BOD of the effluent. By definition BOD is the amount of oxygen required for biological oxidation of waste over a stated period of time. (which in the tropical regions is usually interpreted as 3 days at 30 deg. Celsius) The higher the BOD load, the greater will be the polluting effect on the receiving water course. Depending on the frequency of discharge and the type / size of the water course it could lead to anaerobic conditions causing the death of the aerobic eco system and the destruction if the water course in terms of social and amenity value. Acceptable levels vary from country to country and should be checked with the authorities, but is almost always expressed in terms of the BOD level. (BOD levels for direct land application are usually much higher, up to 50 times as high) Treatment to an acceptable level of BOD before discharge is therefore required. ANAEROBIC DIGESTION: The cellulosic nature, high BOD and high temperature of POME practically precludes the effective use of aerobic methods of biological treatment. Anaerobic treatment, because of its ability to utilize combined oxygen and not dissolved oxygen is ideally suited to the treatment of high organic strength POME. Also, because of the use of combined oxygen, the higher temperatures, as high as 60 deg.C are not harmful but are actually beneficial in stimulating the rapid growth of the anaerobic microorganisms. This fact, coupled with the very high rate of decomposition of oils and greases and cellulosic solids by a number of anaerobic activities, make it very attractive as a first treatment for POME. 147

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The biochemistry of Anaerobic digestion is a two stage process, with both stages occurring simultaneously and in balance with each other. The first or acidogenic stage is dominated by a diverse group of facultative and anaerobic bacteria which have the ability to hydrolyze the POME constituents to soluble, less complex organic mixtures which are subsequently fermented to volatile acids for the most part , whilst some carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas is also produced. Very little COD stabilization occurs at this stage as the only COD leaving the system is the small amount of hydrogen gas that is formed and escapes. The second or methanogenic stage of the anaerobic digestion is dominated by a diverse group of strictly anaerobic bacteria which will oxidize hydrogen and reduce carbon to form methane and water, and /or ferment volatile acids to form methane and carbon dioxide. 4H2 + CO2 CH3OOH forms CH4 + 2 H2O forms CH4 + CO2

COD stabilization which occurs as methane and is insoluble in water is formed and leaves the system Operating requirements: Compared with the acidogenic bacteria the methanogenic ones are particularly slow growing and sensitive to changes in their environment. Therefore conditions have to be created that are favorable to methanogenic bacteria. pH, temperature and toxic materials have the greatest effect on the micro organisms rate of growth and on its metabolic activities. The optimum operating pH for the anaerobic biological process is around the neutral mark, 7. pH values below 6 and above 8 are not favorable and may even be toxic to the methanogens. The digestion process can be carried out at either the mesophilic range of 25 - 45 deg.C or the thermophilic range of 45 - 85 deg.C. A number of substances, such as chlorinated hydro carbons, heavy metals, synthetic detergents etc., have been reported to have an inhibitory effect on the process. 148

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POME does not normally contain these substances, or if they are present they are not present at inhibitory levels. The major buffering in an anaerobic digestion is the CO2 - HCO3 system. During the digestion process bicarbonate alkalinity is formed from ammonia which reacts with H2O and CO2. The ammonia is produced through the de-amination of the protein present in the POME and the bicarbonate alkalinity serves to prevent rapid changes in the pH and in a properly operating system treating POME it should be > 2,000 mg/l as CaCO3. In a well balanced system the volatile acids (VA) produced during the first stage of the digestion are utilized as a major substrate by the methane producers without accumulation of the acids in the system. Under this normal digesting condition the VA concentration is usually less then (or about) 400 mg/l expressed as acetic acid. However when the digestion process becomes overloaded, the slower methanogens cannot cope with the amount of VA produced. (popularly stated, the mixture turns 'sour') Depending on the buffering capacity of the system and the extend of the overloading the accumulation of the VA may deplete the buffering capacity of the digestion process totally, leading to a depression of the Ph to such an extent as to impair the activities of the more sensitive methanogens and the whole process turns "sour'. pH by itself is not a good control parameter as the pH does not decrease significantly in an adequately buffered digestion system until the system is already seriously affected. The best control parameter to use is the VA concentration and this should be used along with the pH and the alkalinity. These three parameters should be determined daily (preferably before feeding of the system starts) Any sharp increase over the normal VA concentration of the system is an indication of an impending failure and this should be immediately followed by feed reduction or even total stoppage. For POME the normal range is as follows: pH Alkalinity VA = or > 7 = > 2,000 mg/l = < 400 mg/l

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In some cases one may have to add neutralizing agents such as NaHCO3 to arrest the pH falling further to a level where the methanogens are inactivated. Basic criteria for anaerobic digestion systems: The most commonly used for POME is the Anaerobic lagoon type treatment, although the conventional tank type digesters are also used. Anaerobic contact, anaerobic filtering and anaerobic sludge blanket type are sometimes used in the municipal waste water treatment systems. Anaerobic lagoon: This is basically a large holding unit, usually in an earthen basin. Mixing of the lagoon contents is not provided and the retention time is long (minimal 40 days) in order to allow degradation of the POME to take place, gas to be produced and released and solids to settle down. Lagoons are always made as deep as possible (min. 3 - 4 meter) in order to minimize surface area and hence reduce the oxygen transfer from the atmosphere to the anaerobic system. Anaerobic lagoons are normally subject to low organic loading of 0.65 1.3 kg VS/cubic meter lagoon capacity per day. The advantages are generally the 'ease' of construction and the 'low' capital cost. The disadvantages are the long retention time; thus requires a large area, the need to de-sludge the lagoon to maintain its effective volume, the extensive need to monitor over a large area, requiring manpower and time. The system does not allow the capture and storage of any bio gas produced. Retention time for anaerobic treatment of POME varies from 20 to 100 days, depending on the degree of treatment wanted and the variability of the 'influent' feed. Recycling of the anaerobically digested overflow by mixing with the raw effluent will improve the pH of the influent feed into the anaerobic 150

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pond and depletes the oxygen content in the influent, which is desirable for anaerobic digestion. The use of anaerobic digestion alone would not be able to meet the standards as required or as stipulated, further treatment of the effluent from the anaerobic ponds is necessary and this is usually done in facultative ponds, where sufficient oxygenation to the water is introduced. The effluent after sedimentation in these ponds is allowed to discharge into the drains river, stream etc. Ponds should be located there where there is minimum effect on the surrounding environment and habitation. The required size of the ponds can be calculated from a number of given factors and flow rates, such as: Effluent ex sterilization station Effluent ex clarification station Effluent ex hydrocyclone plant Spillages , wash water etc = 0.15 m3/tonne FFB = 0.45 m3/tonne FFB = 0.05 m3/tonne FFB = 0.10 m3/tonne FFB = 0.75 m3/tonne FFB

The above example is about correct for a conventional, static tank type clarification system operated palm oil mill, with dynamic type clarification it can be reduced to about 0,45 m3/tonne FFB. For a 60 tph factory @ 0.75 tonne effluent/tonne FFB, the effluent to be handled in a 20 hour work day : = 20 x 60 x 0.75 = 900 tonnes/day. The BOD in the raw effluent can be assumed to be around 25,000 to 30,000 mg/l. For calculation the worst should be prepared for, i.e.the maximum BOD load per day: = 900 x 30,000/1000 = 27,000 kg/day. At a maximum loading of 0.4 kg BOD/m3, the effective pond volume required would be 27,000 kg BOD/day divided by 0.4 kg BOD/m3 = approximately 67,500 cubic meter.

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Allowing for a 20 % silting up factor, and realizing that ponds should not be filled to their maximum level in order to prevent unexpected overflows etc., the actual pond capacity should be around 67,500 x 1.3 = 87,750 cubic meter. The initial minimum retention time in these primary ponds will thus be 87,750 cubic meter divided by 900 cubic meters/day = about 97.5 days, which will steadily reduce as the solids built up in the ponds and the effective volume reduces. The effluent leaving the anaerobic ponds is expected to have a BOD of between 500 and 1000 mg/l. For the anaerobic maturity pond(s) at 900 cubic meter/day and a maximum loading of 0.1 kg BOD/m3 , the effective pond capacity required will be (900 : 0.1) x 1.2 = 10,800 cubic meters, or equivalent to about 12 days retention time. The effluent leaving from this treatment should have a BOD between 200 and 500 mg/l. Facultative ponds: The total maximum BOD load/day will be approximately: (900 x 500) : 1000 = 450 kg/day. At a maximum loading of 0.3 kg BOD/cubic meter, the effective pond capacity required for a 12 day retention will be approximately 21,500 cubic meter. These should be shallow ponds with an operating depth of about 1.25 meter only , a total depth of about 1.75 meter should be sufficient. The effluent leaving these ponds is expected to have a BOD of less than 100 mg/l. Anaerobic "Conventional" system: The tank type digester can be "low-rate" or "high-rate" designs. In the low-rate type the digester contents are not mixed, thus there is stratification in the digester. The solids retention time (SRT) is only partially dependent on the hydraulic loading, the process operates at a long hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 30 to 60 days

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The high-rate digester is a completely mixed digester where the SRT equals the HRT. Mixing of the contents is either by a mechanical stirrer or by gas recirculation Power requirements are low (1.8 Kw/cu.m capacity) with a bio gas recirculation rate of about 2 cu.m/min. The advantages of a high rate digester are that the formation of a scum layer in the digester is prevented. Uncontrolled scum formation will lead to an appreciable reduction of the digester's capacity and will affect the sampling results if samples are drawn quite close to the surface. Thermal stratification in the digester is avoided, particularly when the POME influent temperature is kept around 70 - 80 deg.C. There will be good contact between substrates and micro organisms and a shorter retention time, i.e. a smaller digester capacity, is required. Solids in the digester are kept to a minimum, as uncontrolled solids settlement will reduce the digester capacity. The advantage of the high rate is the ability to operate on low HRT (about 10 days) with high organic loading of up to 4.8 kg VS/cu.m digester capacity / day. It requires a much smaller area (about 20 % of the lagoon type) and allows the capture and harnessing of the bio gas produced. The initial capital cost however is high as the digester's construction is usually in mild steel with the internal surfaces in contact with bio gas sand blasted and coated with epoxy. Unless there is an economical application of the bio gas produced, or other compelling external reasons, the system is not commonly used for the treatment of POME Common operational problems: The successful operation of an anaerobic system requires a basic understanding of the process, its limitations and an effective monitoring system from which one can predict (and thus can prevent) impending failures. Unfortunately, it is often seen by otherwise responsible mill engineers and staff as a nuisance and "the less they know about it the better it suits them". 153

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POME is ideally suited to anaerobic treatment: 1) it is available at 70 - 80 deg.C and hence can be digested "as is" at the thermophilic range and temperatures as high as 55 deg.C can be achieved without any external, additional heating. 2) the high buffering capacity in the system allows digestion of the POME without neutralizing prior to feeding. 3) no toxic substances are present in inhibitory levels to the microorganisms. Despite this , digester failures do occur and can almost always be attributed to overloading of the anaerobic system, mainly arising from: a) overfeeding; this could be due to putting too much effluent into the pond (hydraulic loading) or the organic content of the effluent is too high (organic loading) b) reduction in operating capacity, either from lowering of the operating levels, or from sludge built up. The use of a reliable flow meter, or a reliable basculator should help to prevent the pumping of too much effluent into the system. A difference must be made between hydraulic loading and organic loading. HRT is obtained by dividing the effective digester capacity (in cub.m) by the actual feed input/day (cub.m/day). Whilst HRT can be maintained by ensuring a constant feed rate, the organic loading may not be so easily maintained as this is mostly affected by oil present in the POME. Example: digester capacity feed to digester TVS in POME oil content HRT organic loading : 4200 cub.m : 420 cub.m : 45,000 mg/l : 10,000 mg/l = 4200/420 = 10 days = 420 x 45/4200 = 4.5 kg VS/cub.m/day

if the oil content increases to 20,000 mg/l: TVS : 55,000 mg/l HRT = 10 days organic loading = 5.5 kg VS/cub.m/day In other words, in order to maintain the organic loading of 4.5 kg, the 154

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feed to the digester must be reduced to 4.5 x 4200/5.5 = 343 cub.m/day, a reduction of 18% of the designed maximum HRT. Characteristics of digested effluent: With the high rate digester system, the BOD removal can be as high as 95 % and to obtain the final effluent quality suitable to return to any water course discharge, the digested effluent can be settled with the resulting supernatant going into an aerobic system. The underflow of the settling tank can be recycled to the digester. Digested effluent is rich in N, P and K and can be used in the estates to supplement or replace the normally used inorganic fertilizers, the fertilizer value is approximately: (for 60 tph mill, at 20 hrs/day) Ammonium Sulphate (21 % N) Rock Phosphate (36 % P2O5 ) Muriate of Potash ( 60 % K2O) Kieserite ( 26 % MG O) 2.00 tonne/day 0.75 tonne/day 2.25 tonne/day 2.25 tonne/day

The high rate digester also produces approximately 25 cubic meter bio gas with a calorific value of approximately 22,400 KJ/cubic meter, from 1 cubic meter of POME digested. The direct use of the bio gas as a heat source is probably the most economical way of using it.

EFFLUENT FROM CPO MILLS


BEFORE TREATMENT
TEMPERATURE pH VOLATILE ACIDS COD BOD TOTAL SOLIDS (TS) TOTAL VOLATILE SOLIDS (TVS) SUSPENDED SOLIDS AMMONIAL NITROGEN (NH3-N) TOTAL KJELDAHL NITROGEN (TKN) PHOSPHORUS POTASSIUM MAGNESIUM 70 - 80OC 4 1,000 80,000 30,000 60,000 45,000 38,000 40 900 200 2,000 600

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AFTER TREATMENT
DISCHARGE TO WATER COURSE BOD SUSPENDED SLOIDS OIL & GREASE AMMONIACAL NITROGEN TOTAL NITROGEN pH TEMPERATURE LAND APPLICATION 100-5000 400 N/A 50 150 (1) 200 (2) 5-9 45OC

CHARACTERISTICS OF DIGESTED POME HIGH DIGESTER RATE


TEMPERATURE pH VOLATILE ACID ALKALINITY BOD SUSPENDED SOLIDS AMMONIACAL NITROGEN TOTAL KJELDAHL NITROGEN OIL & GREASE 43 7.15 265 2,300 1,900 3,725 55 175 175

FERTILIZER VALUE OF DIGESTED POME EXAMPLE FOR 60 TON PER HOUR FACTORY OUTPUT
FERTILIZER SUBSTITUTE AMMONIUM SULPHATE (21% N) ROCK PHOSPHATE (36% P2O5) MURIATE OF POTASH (60% K2O) KIESERITE (26 % MgO) DIRECT LAND 0.65 0.17 1.55 1.05 HIGH RATE DIGESTER 1.92 0.62 2.18 2.10

NOTES: Items (1) and (2) measured from filtered samples All values in mg/l, exept pH.

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NUTRIENT CONTENTS OF OIL PALM WASTE PRODUCTS POME (Palm Oil Mill Effluent): (at 5% dry matter)
From literature % N P K Mg Ca 2.4 0.3 4.8 1.4 0.8 N P K Mg Ca S Cl Dried decanter sludge (% on dry matter) N P K Mg Ca S Cl 2.3 0.2 0.7 0.3 2.9 0.2 0.1 Own analisis % 1.7 0.35 2.7 0.58 1.1 0.24 1.0 N P K Mg Ca S Cl On average per 1000 liter In kg 1 0.17 1.9 0.5 0.5 0.12 0.5

EMPTY BUNCHES
as bunch ash (%) N P K Mg Ca Mn B 0.05 1.5 30.0 3.0 4.0 300 ppm 120 ppm as empty bunches as empty bunches (in kg per 1000 kg Empty Bunches) N P K Mg Ca S Cl 2.4 kg 0.24 kg 6.0 kg 0.35 kg 0.75 kg 0.24 kg 0.63 kg

(70% moisture, 30 % dry matter) (% on dry matter) N P K Mg Ca S Cl 0.79 0.08 2.0 0.12 0.25 0.08 0.21

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Chapter #33 AIR POLLUTION


33.1 Boiler smoke The gases emitted from the chimney stacks of the boilers and the incinerators of C.P.O. factories contain particulates of condensed tar droplets and soot and other contaminations from 20 to 100 microns in size. 33.1.1 Boiler smoke is dark in colour due to the soot resulting from incomplete combustion of the mixture of fibre and shells used as fuel. The control of this smoke emission depends largely on the type (and the age) of the boiler(s) in use. 33.1.2 Some form of control over the combustion conditions may be achieved by efforts to maintain as much as possible a "steady state" condition. The main options for control measures are: i) Adequate and accurate instrumentation. Indicative instruments, such as steam pressure gauges, air pressure gauges, CO2 meters, smoke density monitors etc. should be installed and maintained in a functional condition. These will indicate if complete, or as near as possible complete combustion is taking place. Optimum levels of CO2, compatible with "steady state" operations are about 15 to 20%. ii) Automated control of fuel feed rates. The steam demand by the factory varies and thus maintaining a "steady state" condition compatible with the fluctuating demand requires continuous control. A closed loop control of the fuel feed rate and air supply can 158

Palm Oil Process


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assist or ensure a steady state combustion in tandem with the steam demand. iii) Modifications to boilers to improve the combustion conditions can include: a) prevention of (secondary) air leaks into the furnace (for instance through furnace doors) b) increasing the air volumes by using larger capacity draught fans c) promoting secondary air flow in furnace by directional nozzles d) mechanical fuel feed control e) increased chimney stack height to facilitate dispersion. 33.1.3 The control of particulates in the boiler smoke can be effected by baffle plates and secondary nozzles blowing down in the furnace. Dust collectors can be installed to cope with the particular conditions such as: - size of particles to be removed - required efficiency - flow rate of flue gases - composition of flue gases Dust collectors can be mechanical (cyclones) or cloth collectors (bag filters) or liquid scrubbers. 33.1.04 Cyclones may be single stage or multi stage. The single stage has an efficiency factor of about 40 to 50%, whilst the multistage can be as high as 85%. Cyclones require gas velocities of 7 to 20 metres per second in order to operate properly. Some cyclones have a water feed at the inlet (irrigated cyclone) to further assist in the collection of fine dust particles. 33.1.5 Bag filters simply trap the particles in the fabric when flue gases are drawn through the bag. The cost of bags and the maintenance cost is usually prohibitive and unless very strict pollution control measures are the norm, not generally used.

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33.1.6 Liquid scrubbers are quite effective particle removers, but are also quite expensive, both in capital expense and maintenance costs. Economic considerations and particular local circumstances may be the deciding factor. 33.2 Smoke from incinerators for Empty Fruit Bunches

33.2.1 The control of smoke/particulate emission from incinerator stacks can also be improved by improving combustion efficiencies with regulated feed rates. 33.2.2 The nature of the operation of incinerators ,i.e. the slow and "low" temperature burning also results in low gas exit velocity and precludes the use of dust collection equipment . 33.2.3 The "stack plume" is high in moisture content and thus has little buoyancy, therefore aerial dispersion is usually minimal. Visual observation of the colour of the smoke emitted from the stack can usually give a fair indication of the combustion condition. 33.2.04 The Ringelmann smoke charts may be used to determine either the increase or decrease in combustion efficiency by comparing the relative blackness of the smoke against these charts. Since each chart (6 in total) indicates a change of 20 % in the observation, an estimate can be made of the altered combustion condition and controls adjusted to achieve optimum conditions.

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SECTION #5 THE FACTORY STEAM & ELECTRICITY GENERATION MONITORING & EVALUTION

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Chapter #34 GENERATION OF STEAM AND ELECTRICITY


34.1 General boiler water information.

34.1.01 The most common components of boiler water deposits are: CALCIUM PHOSPHATE; CALCIUM CARBONATE (in low pressure boilers). MAGNESIUM HYDROXIDE; MAGNESIUM SILICATE; various forms of IRON OXIDE; SILICA (absorbed on previous mentioned precipitates and ALUMINA. 34.1.02 EXPECTED AVERAGE COMPOSITION OF BOILER SLUDGE
CONSTITUENT Calcium carbonate Calcium phosphate Calcium silicate Calcium sulphate Calcium hydroxide Magnesium phosphate COAGULATION TREATMENT HIGH USUALLY < 15% USUALLY < 3% NIL NIL NIL PO4 RESIDUAL TREATMENT USUALLY < 5% HIGH TRACE OR NIL NIL NIL USUALLY < 5% (except in H.P. boilers) MODERATE MODERATE USUALLY < 10% USUALLY < 10% NONE USUALLY < 5% (except in high purity feed water) USUALLY < 1.5% USUALLY LOW LOW USUALLY 8 - 12 % (except in very pure feed water)

Magnesium hydroxide Magnesium silicate Silica Alumina Oil Iron oxide

MODERATE MODERATE USUALLY < 10% < 10% NONE USUALLY < 5%

Sodium salts Copper Other metals Loss on ignition

USUALLY < 1.5% TRACE TRACE USUALLY < 5%

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34.1.03 If phosphate salts are used to treat the boiler water, calcium will preferentially precipitate as the phosphate before precipitation as the carbonate and calcium phosphate becomes the most prominent feature of the deposit. At the high temperature found in boilers, deposits are a serious problem causing poor heat transfer and potential tube failures. In low pressure boilers with a low heat transfer deposits may build up to a point where they completely occlude the boiler tube. Normally , water circulating through the tubes conduct the heat away from the metal, preventing the tube from reaching the stage whereby the metal structure weakens. 34.1.04 Deposits insulate the tube, reducing the rate at which this heat can be removed, which leads to overheating and eventual tube failure. If the deposit is not thick enough to cause such a failure, it can still cause a substantial loss in efficiency and disruption of the heat transfer load in other sections of the boiler. Deposits can be SCALE, precipitated in-situ on a heated surface, or previously precipitated chemicals, often in the form of a sludge. These "drop out" of the water in low velocity areas (circulating velocity), compacting to form a dense agglomerate similar to scale. but retaining the features of the original precipitate. 34.1.05 The second major water related boiler problem is CORROSION, the most common being the attack by oxygen. This occurs in virtually every part of the system, from tanks, pipelines, valves, boiler condensate lines etc., every where oxygen is present. Oxygen attack is speeded up by high temperatures and by a low pH of the water. There is also an alkali attack , corrosion mainly in high pressure boilers, where caustic can concentrate in a local area of steam bubble formation because of the presence of porous deposits. 34.1.06 The third major problem is the carry over from the boiler into the steam system. This may be a mechanical effect, such as boiler water spraying around a broken baffle, it may be due to the volatility of certain boiler water salts (such as silica and sodium compounds) or may be caused by foaming. 163

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34.1.07 Carry over is most often a mechanical problem and the chemicals found in the steam are those originally present in the boiler water, plus the volatile components that distil from the boiler, even in the absence of spray. There are three basic means for keeping these major problems under control: 1) EXTERNAL TREATMENT OF THE WATER , make up, condensate or both, BEFORE it enters the boiler, to reduce or eliminate chemicals (such as hardness or silica) gases or solids. (see 34.2 here under) 2) INTERNAL TREATMENT OF THE BOILER (FEED) WATER, boiler water, steam or condensate, with corrective chemicals. 3) BLOW DOWN, Control of the concentration of chemicals in the boiler water by "bleeding" of a portion of the water in the boiler. 34.2 EXTERNAL TREATMENT.

34.2.01 Broad classification, the aim is to control: a) suspended solids b) hardness c) alkalinity d) silica e) total dissolved solids f) organic matter g) gases a) Suspended Solids The removal is accomplished by coagulation/flocculation, filtration or precipitation. Other processes (except "direct reaction") usually require prior removal of solids Example: Ion exchange water should contain less than 10 mg/l suspended solids to avoid fouling of the exchanger and cause operating problems.

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b) Hardness A number of unit operations remove calcium and magnesium from water, summarized in the table below:
Impurity to be remove d Suspend ed solids Direct addition (note 1) Coagulatio n flocculation Solids liquid separation Preci pitation Adsorption Ion ex change Evapor ation Dega sification Membrane separation

n/a

10 mg/l

<1mg/l

10 mg/l

Pre treatment

Is required

for all of

these

Hardnes s

n/a

n/a

n/a

part removal note2 note 2

n/a

note 3

note 4

note 5

note

Alkalinity

Decreasing creasas require n/a

note 7

n/a

n/a

note 8

note 4

n/a

note

Silica

slight removal

slight removal

note

part removal note 9 n/a

note 10

note 4

n/a

note

Total Dissolve d Solids

may increase note 11

n/a

n/a

note

note 12

note 4

n/a

note

Organics

note 13

part removal note 13 may increase note 8

n /a

note 13

5-10%

part removal note 14 note 8

note 4

n/a

note

Gas

can be decreased to zero

n/a

note 15

note 16

note 4

note 17

note

NOTES: 1) Direct addition is application of chemicals directly to water, where by-products remain in solution. 2) In the precipitation process, hardness can be reduced by a controlled amount, depending on the line dosage. In partial lime softening - only Ca is removed by adding just enough lime to react with bicarbonate alkalinity plus free CO2. The reduction of Calcium equals the reduction of alkalinity, since CaCo3 forms as a precipitate. More hardness removal requires enough lime to react with magnesium as well to produce a hydroxide alkalinity of 10mg/l. The reduction of total solids equals the hardness reduction with 165

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coincident reduction of silica and organic matter. 3) The residuals after ion exchange vary with the water analysis, the regenerant dosis and the application method. 4) Make up to an evaporator is similar to a boiler water, treatment is similar. 5) If water is de-gasified for CO2 removal, the chemical balance may be disturbed and hardness may precipitatein the degasifier. 6) Degree of purification varies with the membrane characteristics. 7) Alkalinity may be reduced by coagulation with alum or iron salts it may be increased by aluminate and remains constant if dosage of alum and aluminate are balanced. 8) Alkalinity is reduced by blending the effluent of sodium and hydrogen zeolite units, to any required residual. The reduction produces Co2 gas which can be degassed to 5 - 10 mg/l at ambient temperature or to 0 at 100 degr. C. 9) The residual silica can be predicted from the water analysis and the dosage of absorbent applied in the treatment process. 10) Silica is removed in ion exchange processes only by strong base anion resins, regenerated with caustic. If the anion unit follows a sodium zeolite the residual may be 10 % of the feed. If the anion unit is part of a demineralizer, residuals as low as 0.01 mg/l can be achieved. 11) Some reactions, such as sodium sulphite and oxygen produce a soluble byproduct (sodium sulphate), which increases T.D.S. 12) The reduction of (T).D.S. by ion exchange varies with different cation and anion exchange processes. With sodium zeolite T.D.S. is unchanged on a CaCo3 equivalent basis, with hydrogen zeolite (H2X), T.D.S. reduction equals the alkalinity reduction, with a demineralizer removal is essentially complete and the residuals depend on the combination of units in the system.

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13) Organic matter is reduced by both coagulation/flocculation or lime softening. Efficiency varies with the selection of coagulants, chlorine, permanganate or powdered activated carbon. 14) Special ion exchange resins can be used to remove colour (activated carbon) Organic matter tends to accumulate irreversibly on anion and must be removed ahead of demineralization. 15) Carbon dioxide is removed by lime in cold process softeners and by de-gasification in the spray section of hot process softeners, which also reduces dissolved oxygen to a residual of about 0.5 mg/l. H2S may be removed by adding a heavy metal precipitant such as iron or zinc salt. 16) Taste and odour removed by activated carbon. (also removes chlorine, by chemical reaction) 17) De-gasifiers, using air stripping reduce CO2 and H2S by 90-95 % if the pH is kept below 7. Vacuum de-aerators do as well on CO2 and H2S and also reduce dissolved O2 to less than 1.0 mg/l. Steam heated de-aerators will remove all free CO2 and reduce dissolved O2 to 0.005 mg/l. c) Alkalinity It is desirable to have some alkalinity in boiler water, so complete removal of this is seldom practised, except in demineralization. Some alkalinity is also needed to provide optimum pH in the feedwater to prevent corrosion of piping and equipment. The degree of alkalinity reduction is dictated by the boiler-water control limits and the steam quality goals.

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d) Silica The normally permissible concentrations of silica at various operating pressures are:
Drum pressure in kg/cm2 0 - 20 20 - 30 30 - 42 42 - 52 52 - 62 62 - 70 Recommended limit in mg/l 150 90 40 30 20 8 Silica concentration producing 0.02 mg/l SiO2 in saturated steam at upper limit 150 90 55 35 20 15

Silica reduction is not always necessary, but is very necessary when operating turbines. Low concentrations of silica can produce a sticky sludge in low pressure boilers treated with phosphate. Treatment selection to the proper degree of silica reduction required by the steam system. e) Total Dissolved Solids Usual reduction achieved by a reduction of several individual contaminants. Treatment will result in residuals produced by processes which reduce T.D.S. as under:
RESIDUAL HARDNESS 160 nil 75 17 nil nil

PROCESS Original water Split steam Partial cold lime Hot lime - soda Hot lime - zeolite Demineralization

T.D.S. 275 170 190 145 155 1-2

ALKALINITY 135 20 50 40 30 1-2

SILICA 10 10 9 1 1 0.05

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f) Organic matter A quantitative term, includes wide variety of compounds, seldom a problem. g) Dissolved gasses Commonly used to remove gas mechanically rather than chemically. Blower types, vacuum types, steam scrubbing types (de-aerating heaters), all reduce CO2 and O2 concentrations. 34.3 INTERNAL TREATMENT.

34.3.01 Scale formation in a boiler is controlled mainly by four chemical programmes: 1) Coagulation (carbonate) 2) Phosphate residual 3) Chelation 4) Coordinated phosphate 1) COAGULATION Sodium carbonate, sodium hydroxide or both are added to the boiler water to supplement the alkalinity. The carbonate causes deliberate precipitation of calcium carbonate under favourable, controlled conditions, preventing depositions at some subsequent point as scale. Under alkaline conditions, magnesium and silica are also precipitated as magnesium hydroxide and magnesium silicate. There is usually a fairly high concentration of suspended solids in the boiler water and precipitation occurs on the solids. Only used on boilers with high hardness feed-water and operating below a pressure of 18 kg/cm2. 2) PHOSPHATE Where the pressure is above 17.5 kg/cm2, high concentrations of sludge are undesirable. Feed-water hardness to be limited to 60 mg/l. 169

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A sodium phosphate compound fed either to feed water or direct to boiler drum, quantity depending on water analysis. Magnesium and silica are precipitated as magnesium hydroxide and magnesium silicate, or calcium silicate. The alkalinity is usually adequate for magnesium precipitation. 3) CHELANT PROGRAMME A chelant is a molecule similar to an ion exchanger, low in molecular weight and soluble in water. The sodium salts of Ethylene Diamin Tetra-acetic Acid (EDTA) and Nitrilo-tri-acetic Acid (NTA) are chelating agents. These chelate (=form complex ions with) calcium and magnesium, because the resulting complex is soluble, this treatment is advantageous in minimizing blow-down. Usually limited to boilers operating below 100 kg/cm2. 4) CO-ORDINATED PHOSPHATE PROGRAMME Only used in high pressure, high heat transfer rate boilers. 34.4 BLOW DOWN.

34.4.01 Basically it is a process of diluting boiler-water solids by withdrawing water at a rate that induces a flow of feed-water into the boiler in excess of the steam demand, i.e.:(example):
Steam 900.000 kg/day, solids essentially zero Feed water 1.000.000 l/day solids 100 mg/l solids added per day=100 kg Boiler Water Solids Level1000 mg/l

Blow down 100.000 l/day Solids content 1000 mg/l Solids removal= 100 kg/day

Blow down may be intermittent or continuous, to concentration level of solids in boiler water.

maintain

When level is reached, blow down is opened for a short period to reduce the concentration, water is filled and boiler operated until control limits are reached again. 170

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It is common to express the blow down rate as a percentage of feed water. BLOW DOWN = 100 : CRf = % feed water. CRf = Control Ratio factor i.e.: if silica concentration is 1.5 mg/l in feed-water, and the allowable limit is 10 mg/l, the concentration ratio factor will be 10 : 1.5 = 6.7 The concentration ratio factor is calculated for each of the constituents , the lowest CRf determines the blow down rate. Example:
FACTOR T.D.S. SiO2 ALKALINITY MAKE-UP 150 3 20 FEED-WATER 75 1.5 10 BOILER-LIMIT 2000 10 150 MAX. CRf 26.7 6.7 15

Blow down = 100 : 6.7 = 15 % of feed water. High blow down losses can be reduced by treating water to reduce the constituent making the lowest CRf. Therefore careful sampling of both the feed water and the make up water is required to determine the correct blow down rate. Boiler water must be cooled before analyzing it. Although one of several constituents may determine the required blow down rate, it is general practice to determine all of the critical concentrations on a regular basis. Each can be related to the T.D.S as measured by a conductivity meter and actual blow down can be related to this. (Chloride test may also be used for this) Continuous blow down, at a calculated, controlled ratio is usually cheaper than the intermittent type blow down. (chemical usage)

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34.5 THE PRINCIPLE OF DE-AERATION

34.5.01 When dealing with de-aeration problems, it is usual to refer to dissolved oxygen content in millilitres per litre or in part per million (1 ml/l = 1.43 ppm) The volume of oxygen being corrected to the normal temperature and pressure (N.T.P.), i.e. 0 0C and 1 atmosphere. It is assumed that the source of all dissolved oxygen is the atmosphere which contains approximately 20 % of oxygen and 80 % of nitrogen, measured by volume. By the Law of Partial Pressures it follows that the pressure exerted by the oxygen constituent in air is 20% or one fifth of the total air pressure. The solubility of oxygen in water follows Henry's Law which states that the weight of gas dissolved in water is proportional to the pressure of the gas. The graph below shows the solubility of pure oxygen in water for varying temperature at a constant oxygen pressure of 1 kg/cm2. From this curve, it is possible to calculate the maximum dissolved oxygen contents of water for any temperature and pressure conditions. 34.5.02 Example: Calculation for the maximum dissolved oxygen content of water at atmospheric pressure and at a temperature of 82 oC.: From the saturated steam tables,
Internal vapour pressure of water Thus, total pressure (1 atm) Vapour pressure Difference (air pressure) Oxygen pressure (1/5 x air) 0.5 kg/cm2 1.0 kg/cm2 0.5 kg/cm2 0.5 kg/cm2 0.1 kg/cm2

From the graph,


Solubility of oxygen at 82 oC Therefore, oxygen in solution at 82 oC 18 x 0.1 : 1 = 1.8 ml/litre 18 ml/litre

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A series of curves as shown below are derived and drawn, through this calculation, indicating the maximum oxygen contents at varying temperatures and total pressure. The upper curve for atmospheric pressure is useful to ascertain the maximum oxygen content of open feed tanks at various temperatures. It is noted that the pressure lines reach the zero oxygen line at a temperature corresponding to the boiling point, but the oxygen contents increase rapidly as temperature falls below boiling point. When de-aerators are introduced, an oxygen content not exceeding 0.1 mg/l is usually specified. In most cases to water tube boilers and their economizers when the working pressure does not exceed 18kg/cm2, this allowable limit gives adequate, sufficient protection. 34.5.03 For modern, (high pressure) boilers plant, the following table may be taken as a guide:
MAX.PERMISSIBLE OXYGEN CONTENT ( MG / LITRE ) 0.05 0.03 0.02 0.01 0.005

BOILER PRESSURE ( KG / CM2 ) 18 32 42 62 OVER 62

STEAM TEMPERATURE (DEGR. CELSIUS) 320 400 430 480 OVER 480

The most simple method of de-aeration is by thermal, by operating at the boiling point of the water under vacuum or pressure. Under vacuum, the operating temperature is lower.

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34.6 PROCEDURE FOR BOILER BOIL-OUT

34.6.01 REQUIRED CHEMICALS:


Na2CO3 = SODA ASH , or Na3PO4 = TRI SODIUM PHOSPHATE (ANHYDROUS,=NO WATER=IN DRY FORM) Or Na3PO4(+12 H2O)= TRI SODIUM PHOSPHATE (PRE MIXED IN WATER)

34.6.02 USAGE OF CHEMICALS: PER 1000 LITRE WATER IN BOILER: = Na2 CO3 Na3 PO4 (+12 H2O) = = Na3 PO4 34.6.03 METHOD OF WORK: FIRST DAY: 1) Fill boiler with water with the chemicals already mixed in, to the normal operating water level. 2) Start slow firing to a maximum of 15 % of the normal working pressure, then stop firing and "rest" the boiler. (i.e. 12 hours firing; followed by 12 hours rest.) 3) There after, drain out the boiler water. SECOND DAY: 1) Fill boiler with water with chemicals already mixed in, to the normal operating water level. 2) Start slow firing to a maximum of 30 % of the normal working pressure, then maintain pressure for 12 hours in total. 3) Let boiler cool down 4) after cool down, drain out the boiler water. THIRD DAY: 1) Fill boiler with water with chemicals already mixed in, to the normal operating water level. 2) Fire up boiler to a maximum of 50 % of the normal working pressure , then maintain pressure for a total of 12 hours. 174 9 KG 5 KG 2,5 KG

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3) Blow down boiler while under pressure but maintain sufficient water level in boiler to let it cool down. 4) Leave water in boiler until cooled down completely. 5) When cold, drain out all water, refill with clean water and wash out all sludge, deposits etc. 6) Open and inspect headers, drums etc. 7) If found O.K. and no loose deposits etc., Close up boiler and refill with water and the normal water treatment chemicals. Common Chemicals Used to Treat (Boiler) Water
Common name Alum Typical specifications Lump - 17% Al2O3 Liquid - 8.5% Equiv weight 100* Bulk density kg/m3 960 180 960 96 % CaCO3 50 1280 Apprp H in 1% solution 3.4 Solubility

Chemical

Aluminium Sulphate [Al2(SO4)3 .14H2O] Bentonitic clay Calcium carbonate ( CaCO3 ) Calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] Calcium hypochlorite [CA (OCl)2.4H2O] Calcium oxide (CaO)

64kg/m3 @15oC

Bentonite Limestone

Insoluble Insoluble

Hydrated lime, Slaked lime HTH

96 % Ca(OH)2

40*

640

12

Insoluble

70 % Cl2

103

880

6-8

3% @15oC

Burned lime, quisk lime Gypsum

96 % CaO

30 *

960

12

Slake at 10-20% Insoluble

Calcium sulfate (CaSO4.2H2O) Chlorine (Cl2) Copper sulfate (CuSO4.5H2O) Dolomitic lime [Ca(OH)2.MgO] Ferric Chloride (FeCl3.6H2O) Ferric sulfate [Fe2(SO4)3.3H2O] Ferrous sulfate (FeSO4.7H2O)

98 % Gypsum

86*

880

5-6

Chlorine Blue vitriol

Gas - 99.8% Cl2 98 % pure

35.5 121 *

gas 1200

5-6

1.1 kg/m3 @5oC 32 kg/m3 @15oC Insoluble

Dolomitic lime

36-40% MgO

67#

640

12.4

Iron chloride

Lump-20% Fe Liquid-20% Fe 18.5 % Fe

91*

1120 210 1120

3-4

45% @15oC

Iron sulfate

51.5*

3-4

30% @15oC

Copperas

20% Fe

139*

1120

3-4

16kg/m3 @15oC

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Hydrochloric acid Muriatic acid 30% HCl,20oBaume Flake-46%Al2O3 Liquid-26%Al2O3 98 % pure 120* 155 1-2 35% @15oC

Sodium aluminate (NaAlO2) Sodium chloride (NaCl) Sodium carbonate (NaCO3) Sodium hydroxide (NaOH)

Aluminate

100*

800

11-12

40% @15oC

Rock salt, salt Soda ash

58.5

960

6-8

42 kg/m3 @15oC 42kg/m3 @15oC

98 % pure 58 % Na2O Flake-99% NaOH Liquid-50-70 %

53

960

6-8

Caustic, Lye

40

1040 190

11 12.8

24kg/m3 @15oC 70% @15oC 20% @15oC

Sodium phosphate (Na2HPO4) Sodium Metaphosphate (NaPO3) Sulfuric acid (H2SO4)

Disodium phosphate Hexamata phosphate

49% P2O5

47.3

880

66% P2O5

34

750

5-6

16kg/m3 @15oC

Oil of vitriol

94-96 % 66 o Baume

50*

240

1-2

Infinite

* Effective equivalent weight of commercial product # Effective equivalent weight based on Ca(OH)2 content

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34.7 STEAM REQUIREMENT CALCULATIONS

34.7.01 Steam required for mill capacity of 20 ton ffb/hr, 25 ton ffb/hr and 30 ton ffb/hr at the peak load of sterilizer.
At capacity 1ton FFB/hr 20/25/30 ton Steam consumption 3 peak sterilizer at the peak load* Digester Crude oil heater*, tank & clarification Process water heating * Cake breaker conveyor* Nut silo dryer* Kernel silo dryer* Vacuum oil dryer* Steam driven feed pumps De-aerator Kg steam/hr 256/240/224 20 82/74/66 36/38/40 90/72/60 60/48/40 42 HP 6/4.8/4 HP 30 LP nil HP 50 LP nil High pressure Sub total Losses 5 % Grand total 20 ton FFB/hr 25 ton FFB/hr 30 ton FFB/hr

kg steam/hr 5.120 400 1.640 720 1.800 1.200 840 120 nil 600 nil 1000 nil 1720 11.760 588 12.348

kg steam/hr 6.000 500 1.850 950 1.800 1.200 1.050 120 nil 750 nil 1250 nil 2120 13.350 667 14.017

kg steam/hr 6.720 600 2.000 1.200 1.800 1.200 1.260 120 nil 900 nil 1500 nil 2520 14.720 736 15.456

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34.7.02 TABLE OF FUEL / STEAM / POWER BALANCE 1. AVAILABLE FUEL PER HOUR
Basic of Shell 6%* Fibre 13%* 20 T FFB 1.200 kg 2.600 kg 25 T FFB 1.500 kg 3.250 kg 30 T FFB 1.800 kg 3.900 kg

*) based on average data under average conditions

2. AVAILABLE HEAT FROM FUEL PER HOUR


a) 20 T FFB: Shell Fibre Total b) 25 T FFB: Shell Fibre Total c) 30 T FFB: Shell Fibre Total = 1.800 x 3.850** kcal/kg = 3.900 x 2.570***Kcal/kg = 6.930.000 kcal = 16.953.000 kcal = 10.023.000 kcal = 1.500 x 3.850** kcal/kg = 3.250 x 2.570***kcal/kg = = 5.775.000 kcal 8.352.000 kcal = 14.127.500 kcal = 1.200 x 3.850** kcal/kg = 2.600 x 2.570***kcal/kg = = 4.620.000 kcal 6.682.000 kcal = 11.302.000 kcal

HEAT AVAILABLE FROM STEAM GENERATION


Basic of Heat quantity of fuel (fibre + shell) (100% DxP) 20 T FFB/hr 11.302.000 kcal 25 T FFB/hr 14.127.500 kcal 30 T FFB/hr 16.953.000 kcal

**) with moisture content 16% ***) with moisture content 34%

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3. STEAM OBTAINABLE FROM FUEL AVAILABLE (FIBRE + SHELL). (Steam is generated by a Water Tube Boiler)
Technical Data Working pressure Temperature at superheated outlet Feed water temperature Boiler efficiency Blow down rate Heat required to produce 1 kg of steam Bar.g
oC oC

20 260 105 73 4 616 kcal

% %

Hence, steam obtainable due to combustion of fuel (Fibre+Shell only)


STEAM OBTAINABLE 20 TON FFB 11,302,000 x 0.73 = 13,394 kg steam/hr 616 14,127,500 x 0.73 = 16,742 kg steam/hr 616 16,953,500 x 0.73 = 20,090 kg steam/hr 616

25 TON FFB

30 TON FFB

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AVAILABLE STEAM FOR ELECTRICAL POWER GENERATION AFTER DIRECT HIGH PRESSURE CONSUMPTION.
A) 20 TON FFB/hr Losses 3% (installation losses) 13,394 - 1,720 = 11,674 kg steam/hr = 350 kg steam/hr 11,324 kg steam/hr B) 25 TON FFB/hr Losses 3% (installation losses) 16,742 - 2.120 = 14,622 kg steam/hr = 440 kg steam/hr 14,182 kg steam/hr C) 30 TON FFB/hr Losses 3% (installation losses) 17,570 - 2.520 = 17,570 kg steam/hr = 527 kg steam/hr 17,043 kg steam/hr

4. AVAILABLE ELECTRIC POWER Total kW obtainable from available steam


TOTAL kW OBTAINABLE FROM AVAILABLE STEAM 20 TON FFB/hr 11,324 = 566 kW 20 14,182 = 709 kW 20 17,043 = 844 kW 20.18

25 TON FFB/hr

30 TON FFB/hr

(*)

High efficiency steam turbine characteristic


Output power Specific steam consumption Inlet steam pressure Exhaust steam pressure Inlet steam pressure : 500/600/750 kW : 20 kg/kW H : 18 bar (g) : 2.8 bar (g) : 260 oC

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(**) High efficiency steam turbine characteristic
Output power Specific steam consumption Inlet steam pressure Exhaust steam pressure Inlet steam temperature : up to 940 kW : 20.18 kg/kW H : 18 bar(g) max.21 bar(g) : 2.8 bar(g) max.3.5bar(g) : 260 oC max.300 oC

5. HORSE POWER & KILOWATT REQUIREMENT A load factor of 70% could be assumed as full load. 20 TON FFB & 25 TON FFB (Almost equal power requirements)
ELECTRIC POWER For processing Additional - Factory light - Work shop - Office & lab. - Domestic TOTAL 996.2 x 0.746 x 0.7 = 520 kW

59 x 0.746

= 44 kW

564 kW

30 TON FFB
ELECTRIC POWER For processing Additional - Factory light - Work shop - Office & lab. - Domestic TOTAL 1,102.2 x 0.746 x 0.7 = 576 kW 59 x 0.746 = 44 kW

620 kW

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STEAM AND POWER BALANCE
Steam (kg/hr) AVAILABLE 20 T FFB 25 T FFB 30 T FFB 11324 14182 17043 REQUIRED 12348 14017 15456 Balance +/- 1024 + 165 + 1587 Electric Power (kW) AVAILABLE 566 709 844 REQUIRED 564 564 620 Balance +/+2 + 145 + 224

Capacity

FINAL ANALYSIS
I. STEAM POWER I.a. For 20 TON FFB: - Steam required for processing - Steam available - Steam balance : : : 12348 kg/hr. 11324 kg/hr. 1024 kg/hr.

i.e. Fuel (Fibre + Shell) are not enough to generate the required steam for this reason, thus supplementary fuel (for example empty bunch) has to be used. I.b. For 25 TON FFB: - Steam required for processing - Steam required - Steam balance i.e. surplus of fuel. I.c. For 30 TON FFB: - Steam required for processing - Steam available Steam balance i.e. surplus of fuel. II. ELECTRIC POWER II.a. For 20 TON FFB: - Electric power required for processing - Power balance is : : 564 kW 566 kW + 2 kW - Electric power available for processing : : : : 15456 kg/hr. 17043 kg/hr. +1587 kg/hr. : : : 14017 kg/hr. 14182 kg/hr + 165 kg/hr.

That means that steam production is sufficient to generate the required power.

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II.b. For 25 TON FFB: - Electric power required for processing - Electric power available for processing - Power balance is : : : 564 kW 709 kW +145 kW

That means that steam production is sufficient to generate the required power (surplus). II.c. For 30 TON FFB: - Electric power required for processing - Electric power available for processing - Power balance is : : : 620 kW 844 kW + 224 kW

That means that steam production is sufficient to generate the required power (surplus).

SUMMARY
A. Mill capacity 20 TON FFB/hr: 1. To obtain sufficient steam/power for processing, empty bunches could be utilized as fuel. 2. Boiler capacity: 15 T/hr 3. Turbo alternator output: 650-700 kW (in order to cover additional power requirement for empty bunch treatment plant). B. Mill capacity 25 TON FFB/hr: 1. Steam and power can be sufficiently generated from fuel available. 2. Boiler capacity: 18 T/hr 3. Turbo Alternator output: 600-700 kW (in order to fully utilize the steam available). C. Mill capacity 30 TON FFB/hr: 1. Steam and power can be sufficiently generated from fuel available. 2. Boiler capacity: 18 T/hr 3. Turbo Alternator output: 700-950 kW (in order to fully utilize the steam available). shredded and dried

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NOTE 1: The above figures are merely shown as an example and should not be taken literally when calculating the requirements for a particular plant/factory. Each factory has its own specific needs and these should be taken into consideration when calculating its requirements. NOTE 2 : From the working results of palm oil mills which utilise empty bunches mixed with fibre and shell as fuel, it has been shown that as a consequence of burning the bunches a large part of the other wise available potassium salts are wasted. Regular boiler ash analysis for K20, have given percentages of 4, 9, to even 12% thus, not all potassium salts are wasted. It must be noted that the figures of low K20 content concerned boilers on full load and the high K20 figures concerned boilers on low load. Further more, the K20 content of fly-ash from the flues and chimneys in its turn is higher then the K20 content of ashes from the furnace grate, for instance:
In HCl soluble K20 grate ash 1st sample 2nd sample 3rd sample 12.04% 7.06% 9.28% flue ash 16.38 % 12.75 % 14.92 %

Thus a part of the potassium salts is carried along with the smoke gasses in some form and later on, when these gasses cool down, it will crystallize as fine dust and deposit with soot and other particles on various places in the smoke gas flues. Investigation in to the reasons for (violent) corrosion have comprised a qualitative chemical analysis of the acid liquid between the "iron blisters" and corroded parts. The tests showed that the existence of Mg - K - NH4 - iron Cl and SO4 could be determined. 184

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Unless the burning of empty bunches in the boiler furnace is absolutely necessary in order to maintain a positive fuel - steam power balance, it is therefore not recommended. 34.8 ELECTRICITY

34.8.01 Since a palm oil mill utilizes the expelled fibre, shells etc. for fuelling its boilers and generating steam, it is obvious that it is advantageous to generate electricity for normal processing by steam driven alternators. 34.8.02 In order to be able to start-up the boilers and the process, there has to be electricity available before sufficient steam is raised to operate the steam driven equipment and this is commonly achieved by generating electricity with diesel driven alternators. 34.8.03 In a well designed and correctly operated palm oil mill these diesel driven units should never be used to operate the main process lines and in fact the capacity of these units should be chosen such that there is sufficient power generated to allow for a correct start-up (and stopping) of the boilers and auxiliary equipment, but definitely insufficient to "run" the factory. 34.8.04 Steam turbines have now largely replaced all other types of steam drive units for alternators in palm oil mills. The steam turbine type most commonly used is designed to operate on the full steam pressure as generated by the boiler(s) and has a "back pressure" (or exhaust steam pressure) which is sufficiently high to be utilized for the sterilization process and the various heating applications in the oil mill. 34.8.05 The introduction of the water tube type steam boiler with super heated steam etc. has aided the introduction of a fairly large assortment of steam turbines into the industry, each with their own particular characteristics, their good point sand their "failings". 34.8.06 As for many other (specific) machinery in the mill, it would be outside the scope of this book to enter into too much detail for particular machines as it is far better to extract specific information from the manufacturers instruction manuals and hand books. 34.8.07 Correct operation of these machines consists mainly of correct 185

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starting and stopping procedures to be observed and correct load balancing when these machines are operating. Ideally this load balancing should be automatic and not manually controlled, so that actual kW loads and power factors etc. are equally shared out on the system, if more then one unit is operating in parallel with others. 34.8.08 Good and continuous supervision is the key word here and can save considerable amounts of money, by ensuring that correct operating procedures are followed and that diesel driven generator usage is restricted to the start - stop periods of the mill only.

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The Principle & Operational Techniques GENERAL STEAM PIPE & BOILER CALCULATIONS
Steam pipe diameter To calculate the diameter of a pipe to pass a stated quantity of steam: Area of pipe in square inches Steam quantity in lb/h x specific volume in ft3/lb x 1728 cu.inch = Velocity in ft/sec. x 3600 sec x 12 inches 0.25 x area in inches Diameter of pipe in inches =square root of : 3.14(=pi) N.B.: The velocity of dry saturated steam through a (main) pipe should not normally exceed 100 ft/sec. Steam velocity To calculate the velocity of a stated quantity of steam passing through a given pipe diameter: steam quantity in lb/h x spec.vol. in lb3/lb x 1728 cu.inch velocity in ft/sec = Diameter of pipe in sq.inches x 3600 sec. x 12 inches

Feed water pipe diameter To calculate the required diameter of a pipe to pass a stated quantity of boiler feed water: water quantity in lb/hr x 144 sq.inch Area of pipe in sq.inch = velocity in ft/secf. x 62.5 lb/ft3 x 3600 sec. N.B.: The area calculated should be increased by at least 30% to permit quick filling of the boiler(s) in emergency situations. 187

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0.25 x area + 30% Diameter of the pipe in inches =square root of: 3.14 (=pi) The usual velocity in a main feed pipe should not be more then about 3 ft/sec. and in a branch of the feed pipe about 2 ft.sec. Feed water velocity To calculate the velocity of a stated quantity of feed water passing through a feed water pipe of given diameter: water quantity in lb/hr x 144 velocity in ft/sec. = (pipe area in sq.inch. + 30%) x 3600 x 62.5 Pipe expansion The linear expansion of steam pipes (or feed pipes if in long stretches) can be calculated : E = ( T - t) x C x L where : E C L T T = = = = = expansion in inches coefficient in linear expansion pipe length in inches temperature of steam in oF ambient temperature in oF

The linear coefficient of expansion per oF for the varios metals various somewhat and should be obtained from the boiler or pipe manufacturer, but on average the following may be assumed: Mild steel Cast iron Copper Wrought iron Equivalent evaporation For purposes of comparison it is assumed that feed water is supplied and evaporated at a temperature of 212oF. 188 = = = = 0.0000065 0.0000063 0.0000093 0.0000069

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If W H t Wi Wi = = = = = = = weight in lb. of steam produced at any given temperature or pressure; total heat in Btu of 1lb. of steam at this temperature or pressure; temperature of feed water in oF; equivalent weight of steam at 212oF from feed water, then (1150.7 - 180) W [H - (t - 32)] , or W [H - ( t - 32 )] 970.7

Wi

Factor of evaporation The factor of evaporation for either saturated or superheated steam can be calculated: total heat of steam - (feed temperature - 32) 970.7 Gross boiler efficiency May be roughly calculated: furnace temperature flue gas exit temperature Boiler efficiency % = furnace temperature

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The Principle & Operational Techniques Chapter #35 REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE
35.1 Maintenance and maintenance Scheduling.

35.1.01 Most maintenance seen to date at older mills is either on a : "repair when breakdown" basis or on a scheduled time preventative basis. Both systems have considerable failings; the first one needs no explanation, it is always too late, the second one depends on scheduled inspections of the installed equipment in order to discover (and remedy) the condition that leads to the breakdown, damage etc. With the knowledge acquired over many years of mill operation in many different mills and under equally as many different circumstances various systems have evolved to control and "manage" maintenance. 35.1.02 One of the more successful ones can be termed:"break down fore cast" or a predictive system. Such a system requires the proper recording of machine/ equipment utilization (i.e. running hours, operating loads, through put rates etc.) and the proper recording of repairs effected in terms of time, parts etc. Once the above recording system is established, usually the cost of maintenance and the total spare part inventory cost decrease, resulting in a lower overall total cost of production. 35.1.03 More efficient maintenance control by management will reduce the stock holding levels of the three major areas : - consumables (which is about 15% of total) - materials, pipes, valves, fittings etc. (which is about 25 % of total) and - machinery spare parts (which represent about 60 % of total stock holding). Usually maintenance cost operate in cycles,i.e. a very heavy cost this year is followed by fairly moderate costs the following one or two years. 35.1.04 The main area for (initial) attention is good and consistent recording, so that trouble areas can be identified and analyzed to attempt to predict (the cause of) failure of the machine. Once this is in place, essential decisions in the following areas can be 190

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made: a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) i) j) Establish priorities Plan, Schedule work Prepare time schedules Prepare work orders Make cost estimates Keep track of costs Control of both material and spares holding Scheduling for preventative maintenance Record historical data of repairs etc. Train personnel

35.1.05 All above have a specific function and apart from the actual physical repair work most of the above administrative tasks can be assisted to a high degree with the introduction of the computer in the workshop/store environment, for the recording, sorting and linking the gathered data. Suitable interpretation of the data as noted above allows the following: a) better control by the engineering staff b) identification / reduction of excessive R&M costs c) early indication of equipment problems / failure d) improved planning / scheduling options e) repetitive failures can be identified / analyzed, leading to f) improvements in re design, lay out, replacements etc. g) less emergencies, more reliability h) less paper work (computerized records) i) better inventory control through instant access to updated data j) lower overall stock holding, lower costs Computer utilization to assist in the record keeping and the data bases should be on at least the following: 35.1.06 Individual machine records. Ideally if a machine has a nameplate, all data on that should be transferred to a data base that contains all equipment information, including equipment number (a code cross reference number to the stock inventory), original cost, replacement cost, (updated), warranty data, service agent information, service location, engineering drawings and specifications, parts descriptions and technical performance data.

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Spare parts must be cross referenced to interact with an inventory control data base. 35.1.07 Machine history. This should consist of a complete history of all equipment, assembled in accordance with machine and station. It should interact with work orders (job cards), inventory control, maintenance data base and generate reports of corrective actions taken. 35.1.08 Work orders (job cards). These should interact with the inventory control, equipment history and the maintenance data base, to produce on line reports of status of all equipment in total cost, including labour and parts in accordance with the allocated code numbers. It should be capable of producing up to date station status reports on demand. 35.1.09 Maintenance data base. These are basically activity schedules to be produced and to interact with work orders. (This data can also be interfaced to accept data from a condition monitoring device). 35.1.10 Inventory control. A coding system to accept inter changeability within a group of mills (general standardization, if planned for can thus be achieved). Stock holding to be categorized and to have the ability of "purchase order tracking", order printing (on a specified time basis) and maintain necessary lowest stock levels. 35.1.11 The concept of what is termed "condition monitoring" should be introduced in all mills, old or new, and regular monthly full inspections should be done and the results recorded. This however requires a high level of skill and competence for the carrying out of the inspection and the necessity to shut down and dismantle machinery for inspection. 192

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Although this type of monitoring is often the only one available,(virtually all larger companies have their own "visiting" engineers or employ consultants to monitor monthly, there are ways to mechanize this monitoring and reduce the reliance on individual levels of skill and competence. Condition monitoring by recording the machine inherent vibration levels, for instance, can give a very clear indication of a machine condition and whether it is heading for a breakdown or not. Such measuring/recording devices are not cheap but will, if used consistently, achieve the major aim, which remains: - reduce costs - improve reliability. Meanwhile it is strongly recommended that a regular full mill inspection is carried out, mill questionnaires are completed and an accurate record is kept of all the data gathered to build up an "historical data bank" for the existing mills. A central engineering division to control this and associated mill technical problems should be created, if not already in existence. A check list for mill visits and a questionnaire for completion by the mill staff before the inspection visit are the essential beginnings of a maintenance orientated recording system. 35.1.12 Monitoring machines / equipment. An effective preventative system leads to an equally effective predictive system, where action can be taken in time to prevent complete breakdown. As noted above, the major draw back is the high level of skill and competence required by the staff which carry out the routine inspections and the necessity to shut down and dismantle machinery for proper inspection. The personal relationship between the engineer or plant attendant and the machines under their care is no longer economically feasible. The modern integral machinery, totally enclosed and running at high speeds are designed to run automatically with only occasional, minimum attention from attendants. In the past the attendant assessed the machine condition by feeling by 193

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hand and listening to any changes in the running noises of the machine. This relationship was dependant on a continuous association with the machine on a day to day basis. Sensitive instruments are nowadays commonly available to monitor machinery, basically by a vibration measurement and an interpretation thereof, i.e.: An ideal machine would produce no vibration, a good designed well maintained machine will produce low levels of inherent vibration. As machines wear, parts deform, shafts un align, moving parts become unbalanced etc., clearances increase or decrease and an increase in vibration will be the result. This increase will create a resonance, an increased dynamic load on all moving parts and eventually this will lead to a machine breakdown. Instruments based condition monitoring can prevent this breakdown by indicating at what stage of vibration it becomes critical, so that repairs may be effected before that time. Generally maintenance methods fall into two categories: 1) Break down / replacement maintenance. In expensive machinery with the important ones duplicated allow operation to breakdown without a significant loss. As long as safety standards are maintained there is no economic advantage in knowing when it will break down. 2) Predictive, time based maintenance. Built up by statistical study and manual inspections, set out on a calendar based schedule or on an operating hours basis. Experience has shown that the reliability of newly serviced machines is not guaranteed and often subject to post repair failures or failures 194

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after machine inspection, the result of incorrect workmanship or non genuine spares etc. Skill and training are a very important pert of maintenance and merit separate attention. 35.1.13 Condition monitoring maintenance. The basic idea of this is that maintenance is only permitted when measurements show it to be necessary. The question as to when and why this should be introduced is best answered by a list of pro's and con's, since it is difficult to immediately quantify an economic attractive balance.
SAVINGS Increased average time between overhauls Virtual elimination of break down Elimination of secondary damage Elimination of component waste Reduction of the spare part costs Reduced repair duration COSTS Initial investigations, selecting of monitoring points, establishment of limits Selection, purchase of instruments Instruction, training of staff Instruction of engineers in the evaluation of the measurements

The reduction in maintenance staff will be a saving, but is not shown above since costs will be taken up in training those with the ability to absorb the new technique and the upgrading of the existing maintenance staff. In the long term a general, significant, reduction in overall maintenance costs can be expected. Introduction of the system can be either "step by step" or "instant". Both will require the KEEPING OF GOOD RECORDS as the FIRST and most IMPORTANT measure. That way the inventory control is more effective and stock levels can be set based on the inter changeability of parts etc. between mills, resulting in overall lower levels and less capital tied up in stock.

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35.1.14 Staff training On a group basis a team of Engineers / Technicians could cover all mills within one year, achieving a comprehensive monitoring system which would have the ability to be linked at some time to a computer based maintenance programme. This however will require training towards this goal, which could / should start well before the system is introduced. A Central Engineering division should have as one of its main tasks a "Technical Training Centre", to upgrade and teach technical skills. This would include trade skills, for (younger) tradesmen who will form the nucleus of future maintenance personnel. Training should blend in with the other training programmes operated within the group. 35.2 CHECK LIST FOR REPORTING ON PALM OIL MILLS. In order to be able to check the machinery and equipment in the factory and its ancilliated areas of operation engineers should prepare a check list which can be used as a basis for a variety of monitoring purposes. An example of a checklist is as under: 1. FACTORY
Reception area : Weighbridge : : Loading ramp : : Rail tracks Transfer tracks Marshalling yard Cages : : : : : condition of mill internal roads condition, operational procedures recording methods, accuracy condition, operational procedures fruit spillage, overall cleanliness overall condition overall condition, operational procedures type/condition of cage moving device number operational number under repair

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: Bogies : : : Capstans & Ropes Sterilization Check : : : : : : : : : Operation Building Crane & Thresher Crane : : : : Thresher : : : : condition of: beam hoist cables tipping chains power cables condition of feeding device , RPM thresher drum, RPM bar clearance , spider arms threshing action, effectiveness : : : chart recorders door wear and door joints door safety devices / measures wear plates/internal rail tracks hinged rail pieces condensate drainage condition silencer/pit condition valves , pipes , etc thermal insulation pressures , cycle times (door open-door close) sequence of usage , automatic system operation check roof , rafters, columns, floor : total number available number operational number under repair total number available condition, operational procedures

Unstripped bunch count 100 bunches Check : : all drive units, chains and sprockets machinery guards

Empty bunch/incinerating Check : condition of MT bunch conveyors, horizontal and

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inclined : : : : : : Digesters /Presses Check : : : : : : Digesters : : : : Presses : : : : : Crude oil Check : : : Vibrating screens : : : : : Crude oil pumps : crude oil gutters and tank tank operating temperature all drive units and machinery guards type condition and operation solids carry over / effectiveness dilution rates (at screens) tank heating type (closed coil or live steam) type , condition , method of operation condition of bottom fruit conveyors fruit elevator chains and buckets top fruit conveyors feed chutes return fruit conveyors drive units and machinery guards overall condition shaft, arms, wear plates operating temperatures electrical loading operational method press settings / electrical loading operating temperatures dilution rates / temperatures average throughput rates general performance/condition (visual) chutes etc. incinerator roofs incinerator grates external and internal brickwork drive units conveyors, machinery guards method of operation, sequence of usage

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Clarification Check : : : : Decanters : : Oil centrifuges : : Sludge centrifuges : : General station operation Check : : : : : : Fibre / nut recovery Cake Breaker Conv. : Primary Depericarper : : : : : Nut elevators Check Nut silos : : : : : condition / operation ducting condition fan condition , electrical loading fibre cyclone condition rotary sluice condition nut/fibre separation effectiveness condition chains / buckets electrical load drives and machinery guards overall condition, cleanliness average loading, operating temperatures condition of valves ,pipelines and fittings vacuum driers overall condition/ operation station working temperature station overall cleanliness special tools for centrifuges (available / condition) all drive units and machinery guards clarifier tank operation , levels and temperatures underflow composition and oil content pure oil skimming and operational procedures sludge tank operation feed rates, feed temperatures , electrical loading overall condition feed rates , feed temperatures , electrical loading type used , sequence of usage , condition type used , sequence of usage, condition nozzle sizes, electrical loading

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Check : : Nut grading drums Nut cracking : : : : : : Pneumatic separation : : : Hydro cyclones : : : Clay bath Separators : : : : : Kernel recovery Kernel silo Check : : : : : : overall condition, cleanliness average loading, operating temperatures heaters , fans , filters cleaning frequency conveyors , belts , etc vibrating screen , secondary separation heaters , filters , fans cleaning frequency drum condition, drive, machinery guards feeding rates and methods overall cracker condition cracker loading (electrical) cracker effectiveness uncracked nut return, quantity, where ducting condition , fan condition feed conveyor condition, loading rates rotary sluice condition, cyclone condition overall operation, drum condition separation effectiveness , pump condition water supply and waste discharge method overall operation , clay condition , quantity gravity tests , pump condition water supply and discharge , clay recovery conveyor / elevator condition recovery rate

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2. BOILER HOUSE AND POWER HOUSE
Boiler house Fuel : : : Boiler : : : Cleaning interval : : : Check : : : : : : : : Feed water pumps : : : Check Feed water plant : : : Demineralization plant : : : : General condition of vessels etc frequency of regeneration condition pumps, pipelines, valves etc. instrumentation check/calibration chemical dosing equipment condition /operation Deaerator condition, operation, temperatures manual/automatic/modulated feed supply : check fuel storage space stored fuel condition ,shell content , dryness etc distribution of fuel, firing method operating pressures operating procedures operating frequency (period before change over) furnace tubes chimney and soot collectors condition of: firing equipment fans, draught regulation and doors furnace and grate (visual) gauge glasses , indicators other instrumentation chimney temperatures ash and soot removal procedures blow down equipment and Procedures overall condition operational procedures frequency of rotation all drive units and machinery guards

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: : Engine room Prime movers condition of : : : : : Electrical switchboard : : : : Back pressure vessel : : : : Air compressors General : : : : : condition of pipelines, valves, fittings condition of instrumentation, gauges etc operational methods, pressures condition of safety equipment condition, loading, operation recording methods logbooks etc frequency of machine rotation / usage availability of safety devices etc overall cleanliness overall condition, cleanliness condition of switch gear condition of instrumentation condition of safety devices type and size of diesel driven alternators steam turbine driven alternators diesel engines steam turbines alternators treated water storage system /quantity recording usage/chemicals etc.

3.

OTHER OPERATIONAL AREAS


Raw-water treatment plant Check : : : : : filters and pumps condition raw and treated water chemicals used , quantities methods of dosing etc frequency of cleaning

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Effluent ponds / systems Check : : : : Laboratory Check : : : : : : Produce storage Check : : : : : oil tank temperature recording method of calibration, measuring devices condition of tanks, pipelines, valves etc method of despatch , security etc tank cleaning interval equipment used ,condition chemicals used, correctness sub sampling room, recording methods sampling methods, analysis methods raw data results , data interpretation accuracy , overall cleanliness sludge pits / ponds screens , drains , pumps aeration devices , overflow alarms etc general conditions, safety measures etc

4.

OTHER GENERAL MILL AREAS


Check condition/availability : : : : : : : Staff and labour housing : : : : Staff and labour : : water supply electricity supply housing availability overall power requirement Manager Assistant manager perimeter fencing station and factory lighting security lightning protection workshop equipment, material stock stores and spare part stock stores and spare part administration

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: : : : : : : Shift staff Shift labour Workshop staff Workshop artisans Workshop labour Stores staff Administrative staff

5.

OFFICE PROCEDURES /ATTENTION


General check/discussion 1 : : : : : 2 : : : : : 3 : : : 4 : : : : 5 : : : : : : : FFB and production recording produce despatch recording factory efficiency / losses recording laboratory recording actual versus target results Factory maintenance planning/ recording own maintenance contract maintenance supplier maintenance other maintenance Workshop utilization repair work spare parts manufacture Stores procedures parts ordering parts receiving stock takes and checking Training of mill workers station supervisors station operators boiler attendants engine room attendants laboratory attendants samplers

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The Principle & Operational Techniques SUMMARY OF MOST COMMON & MOST ENCOUNTERED PROBLEMS IN CPO MILLS
The successful operation of a CPO mill depends for a large part on the ability of the staff to recognize which or what problem is causing the lower than expected performance of the mill. Most oil mills have the same or similar common problems in the various areas of the operation and each time the engineer "walks around" in the mill he must be alert to these problems and put in an effort to eliminate or minimize the after effects of such problems. Most, if not all, problems have an effect on the process far beyond the station where the problem exists or originated. This " knock - on " effect is best illustrated starting from the sterilizer station, but is equally applicable to all other stations in the mill. The items listed hereunder are basically a reminder as to what to focus on, and where to look for possible improvements. STERILIZATION STATION
1. Equipment for the automatic cycle control (including the chart recorders) : often and repeated break down resulting in resulting in : manual operation, sequencing of units irregular cycles and

: excess steam consumption, higher oil losses on condensate, irregular factory throughput, higher losses overall. the excess steam consumption : higher and irregular steam demands on the boilers, higher stresses on the boilers, higher fuel consumption, possible fuel shortage. The excess steam demand also : using a dis-proportionate amount of "fresh" make up steam from the boilers to the back pressure vessel, which : an excessive amount of SUPERHEATED STEAM entering the sterilizers, possibly causing scorching and overheating of the exposed FFB

results in

results in

results in

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resulting in : poor bleach ability of the CPO produced, poor quality and stability of the CPO produced (poor DOBI value)

Apart from the above there are a number of other directly or in directly related unfavorable results from excessively fluctuating steam demands (frequent and more than necessary usage of additional power supply from diesel driven alternator units is but one of them!) generally all resulting in higher than necessary operating costs and maintenance requirements. 2. Other common problems in this station a. Pipeline leakage, door seal leakage, poor instrumentation b. Rail condition, both outside and inside the sterilizers

THRESHING STATION
1. Irregular feeding of the threshers, usually resulting in occasional over feeding of the threshers, causing poor stripping of the fruit, high oil losses in EFB. 2. Overfeeding causes overloading of the subsequent conveyors and fruit elevators, unnecessary compaction of the fruit during this transfer to the digesters, higher than necessary oil losses in the conveyors and elevators. 3. All overfeeding/overloading causes additional stress to drive motors, gearboxes, couplings, chains and sprockets etc. and will accelerate the wear and tear and increase the chancres of breakdown.

PRESSING STATION
1. The irregular feeding pattern of the threshers has the effect of irregular feeding of the digesters, causing irregular feeding of the screw presses. This generally results in presses having to adjust the cone pressure to maintain an acceptable percentage oil loss on press fibre. With automatic controlled equipment this causes excessive usage of the controls, resulting in accelerated wear and tear and increased chances of breakdown. 2. Poor automatic controls, or non functioning automatic controls resulting in higher than necessary oil losses and/or higher than necessary nut breakage during pressing. 3. Poor instrumentation, resulting in a lack of control of the required optimum operating conditions, such as temperatures, pressures, dilution rates etc.

NUT/KERNEL RECOVERY STATION


1. The most common problem here is usually a lack of maintenance. This is not necessarily due to insufficient maintenance, but simply because the equipment wear rate is very high in this station. 2. The lack of maintenance invites "short cuts" and improper operation of the equipment.

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3. Improper operation usually results in reduced capacity, which then gets "overloaded" resulting in high and higher than necessary losses in kernel and kernel of a lower overall quality. 4. The lack of cleanliness in this station is frequently the cause of breakdowns or a poor overall performance. Accumulated fibre, fibre dust, shell fragments etc. settling in chain drives, covering bearings etc. cause increased wear and tear and increased chances of breakdowns.

CLARIFICATION STATION
1. Incorrect level control in tanks, possible overflows, spillage etc. is frequently the cause for high losses. 2. Leakage from pipelines and equipment ditto. 3. Incorrect and/or improper operation of the equipment, i.e irregular usage, overloading, incorrect temperatures etc. 4. Improper operation can usually be related back to a lack of training and a lack of operational knowledge required by the operators in charge of this station. 5. Insufficient or unreliable instrumentation is frequently the cause of improper operation, generally resulting in higher than necessary overall oil losses in this station and the production of a lower than necessary quality of CPO produced and pumped to the storage tanks.

BOILER HOUSE & POWER HOUSE


1. Lack of instrumentation or instrumentation not functioning is frequently the cause for incorrect operation. 2. The non functioning or the not correctly functioning of the automatic controls, ranging from speed governors on generating sets, voltage regulators, power factor compensation, boiler feed water modulating control equipment, boiler water level alarm equipment, demineralizer alarm equipment, chemical dosing equipment etc. are all prime causes for incorrect operation, low efficiency and high operating and maintenance costs. 3. Lack of operational knowledge by the key operators for boilers and engine room. lack of training.

WATER TREATMENT
1. The most common problem is usually the lack of training of the key operators, resulting in poor control and poor efficiency. The indirect results of this can be disastrous, in the form of (frequent) boiler breakdowns, high repair costs and extended down time or reduced factory operation. 2. This is another area where the "knock-on " effects can be very extensive indeed, for example:

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Poor boiler water control will eventually lead to a much reduced output of the turbines, as over a period of time the impurities carried over with the steam will have caused a build up on the turbine rotor blades and also caused corrosion and extra wear on the stationary guide blades of the turbine. In other words, gradually the power delivered by the turbine appears to get less and less, upsetting the steam/power balance, causing an apparent lack of power availability/generation by the turbines and generally results in additional usage of the diesel driven generator sets to compensate for that.

LABORATORY OPERATIONS
1. Calibration of instruments and equipment 2. Accuracy of the test results, consistency of accuracy of sampling and test procedures 3. Correct interpretation of the results of the tests, action recommended. 4. Lack of training of key operators, analysts, samplers

EFFLUENT TREATMENT
1. Maintenance and upkeep of the various treatment ponds 2. Re-circulating, de-silting and overflows 3. Incorrect operation of the ponds resulting from a lack of knowledge of the biological actions taking place 4. Lack of interest of staff in this "dirty , unimportant" part of the operation, often resulting in nobody wanting to take the responsibility for this operation.

WORKSHOP AND MAINTENANCE


1. Lack of suitably trained / skilled personnel 2. Lack of proper records for machinery / equipment 3. Lack of keeping records up to date 4. Lack of proper , preventative, scheduling of maintenance 5. Lack of proper tools/equipment to perform the maintenance, and/or the upkeep of such tools. Lack of timely replacement of worn out equipment, either due to lack of funds (or insufficient budgeting) or due to an indifferent approach i.e. to wait till equipment breaks down or collapses before replacing it.

OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES
1. Frequently differs from operator to operator, from worker to worker. 2. No proper system established by management 3. Lack of direct involvement by management, too much left to the operators initiative.

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GENERAL COMMUNICATION
1. Feed back often not accurate and / or on an irregular , ad-hoc basis 2. Responsibility for particular areas of operation not clearly outlined, too many "grey" areas. 3. Information flow in and out insufficient.

GENERAL TRAINING
1. Lack of systematic approach and follow up. 2. Lack of proper records / recording of training activities 3. Too often on ad-hoc basis, trainees too often used as "cheap" additional labour.

Obviously there are many more problem items and areas which deserve a similar approach as the ones noted above and certainly there are specific problem for any specific mill. The above is not a definitive list, just an indication of how to develop a "feel" for the job of "running a mill" and getting a grip on the most common problems! The earlier issued paper called: "General contributory factors that influence quality, losses and performance" (incorporated in the Palm Oil Mill Management Circulars on Quality) should also be read in conjunction with the above notes.

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Chapter #36 PROCESS CONTROL


36.1.01 The aim of process control. The aim of process control is to detect the likelihood of a change in the conditions under which the factory is operating before the change actually occurs so that action may be taken to ensure that operation will continue at the maximum economic extraction efficiency whilst producing products of the best possible quality. 36.1.02 The F.F.B. ("raw material") to the mill can vary considerably, depending on: - Planting material - Age of planting - Pollination - Climatic conditions - Soil conditions - Fertilizer programmes - Harvesting methods - Transportation methods - Reception systems (x) (All of the above except the item marked (x) are noted under the various headings in chapter 1, whilst the item marked (x) is referred to in chapter 24.) 36.1.03 Since in any one day the effect of the full range of these variables on delivered F.F.B. can be experienced, it should be clear that a compromise has to be accepted. This does not simply imply that, for instance, a set sterilizer cycle can be used throughout the year, under the claim that it is impossible to cater for the variation in the condition of the F.F.B. The major variables that the mill should detect and cater for are: - bunch composition - ripeness standards - oil content - fruit to nut ratio - shell to kernel ratio - form (size) of nut 210

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36.1.04 To achieve efficient process control requires a constant flow of data, most of which is generated and calculated by the mill laboratory. For process control purposes, laboratory data should be considered as a newspaper rather then a history sheet, i.e. a report of "what is happening now". It follows that at least some of the laboratory data should be used on the day it is produced and not on the following day or days after that. If tomorrow is good enough, there is no point in for instance using (expensive) "Fosslet" equipment, when Soxhlets will give the same answer for less cost, but slower. 36.1.05 Factory Engineers in charge should see the results as they are produced. It is of no use waiting until tomorrow,for by then the oil or kernel will be lost, never to be recovered. 36.2 Examination of F.F.B.

36.2.01 It is the primary responsibility of the (estate) field management to harvest F.F.B. at optimum ripeness. Given the wide spread of area of the plantation(s), the ratio of Supervisors to workers and the desire of workers to increase immediate earnings, it is unrealistic to expect that the optimum conditions will be achieved at all times or even at any time. 36.2.02 To put the difficulty of control in perspective comparison with a mill operation is perhaps valid and will illustrate the point. Mill managers comments in reports often state, for instance, that the control of the operators feeding the threshers is difficult. The thresher operation is at a distance measured in meters from the mill office and under the direction of shift engineers situated at a distance of a few steps away from the operation. Despite this control is difficult! How much more so in the plantation, where distances are in kilometres and spread over large hectarages! 211

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36.2.03 In order to establish F.F.B. condition and from that enable the best or most suitable sterilizer cycle to be established, F.F.B. should be examined to determine the percentage "black and hard" bunches. To achieve optimum yield, all bunches must be stripped and since there is a limit to the percentage of bunches that can be recycled without loosing mill capacity, the sterilizer cycles have to be selected to achieve at least say 95 % efficiency of stripping. 36.2.04 Over the years various methods of F.F.B. assessment have been developed and tried, each having their own peculiarities. The data produced can be useful as an aid to harvesting control, even though this data is "historic". The method has to be simple and economic in order to survive and have the desired effect. 36.2.05 It is important that the only parameter measured is : "HARD AND BLACK BUNCHES" . Attempts to include various other classifications such as "under ripe", "ripe", "over ripe", "rotten", "long stalks" etc cannot be successful as they depend too much on subjective assessment, whereas "hard and black" can be numerically defined and is indisputable. If necessary the cage or container in which these bunches are counted can be kept apart and held for a later recheck. 36.2.06 As noted under 2.01 above, there will always be imperfections in the control of harvesting and the component of major interest to the mill is the "hard and black" bunch percentage. If this is accepted and that regardless of the size of any bunch with less than 5 (five) loose fruit on arrival at the mill this bunch is qualified as "hard", then by transferring not less then 100 bunches from one cage to another under the supervision of supervisor and two tally counters - one to count all bunches and - one to counting "hard " bunches, a percentage hard bunch can be established.

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This measurement should be made for each contributing division, twice per week and the results recorded and reported. 36.2.07 The operator supervising the operation can be trained easily, the record allows comparison between various areas / divisions, days, weeks, months and years. If the hard bunch percentage is noted to be increasing, the frequency of checking and reporting can be increased to keep track of this trend. 36.3 "EMPTY" BUNCH CHECKING

36.3.01 The largest possible source of product loss under normal operating conditions is in UNSTRIPPED BUNCH 36.3.02 It follows that in order to establish what this loss is, the "empty bunch" conveyor must be monitored continuously and at all times and any unstripped bunch ( U.S.B.) returned for further processing. 36.3.03 As the percentage U.S.B. is a measure of sterilizing efficiency and that a high recycle rate of U.S.B. reduces the mill's through put, data must be gathered and the accuracy of data on U.S.B. must be checked. U.S.B. can be defined as: any bunch which has more than 5 (five) fruit still inside the bunch. 36.3.04 U.S.B. can result from three causes: a) Inadequate threshing All U.S.B. to be re threshed, without re sterilizing. A reduction in U.S.B. then shows the percentage resulting from inadequate threshing. b) Inadequate sterilizing The balance U.S.B. from a) above is re sterilized and re threshed. A reduction in U.S.B. shows the percentage due to inadequate sterilization. c) Nature of the bunch The balance can be taken as the percentage U.S.B. as a result of the nature of the bunch. (These used to be called "katte koppen" or "knot heads").

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The results of these checks should be of interest to plant breeders, since there is likely to be a genetic reason as to why these bunches remain hard and unstrippable. 36.3.05 An effective method of measuring U.S.B. is to check not less than 100 "empty bunches", every hour, using exactly the same method as for the "hard and black" bunch count. Again, the results are to be recorded and reported. 36.3.06 The method as described above does not replace the 100% monitoring of the "empty" bunch conveyor and the recycling of the U.S.B. Indeed it provides a basis for comparing the efficiency of the recycle operation, i.e. the % measured should relate to the number of cages recycled per shift, which figure should also be recorded. 36.3.07 The procedures are quite simple and if maximum oil and kernel recovery are to be achieved they are essential and the cost is far less than operating a laboratory which under normal conditions will provide data that monitor much smaller potential losses. 36.4 SAMPLING.

36.4.01 It is self evident that samples should be representative of the product stream being sampled. It is also self evident that the various product streams vary in composition from time to time and that some are more homogeneous than others and some are heterogeneous. Thus, the selection of sample frequencies and size is critical, if data obtained from the sample is to be accurate and viable. 36.4.02 To illustrate the point: All empty bunches were taken from the conveyor of a particular mill over a period of time. Each separately analyzed for oil content and the results subjected to statistical analysis.

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The results showed that to obtain a representative sample of the product stream not less than 50 % of the bunches would have to be taken. It also showed that a bunch taken once per hour gave a totally misleading result for the operator takes an "average" bunch, i.e. one of medium size which seems to well stripped. Even instituting a system whereby the operator takes the tenth (or the twentieth) bunch to leave the thresher after it arrives at the conveyor and thereby instituting a degree of random selection hardly improves matters. Empty bunches is the extreme example but illustrates some of the difficulties. 36.4.03 At the other end of the scale: Two laboratories at two different mills were noted to obtain differing results on dirt in oil. Procedures at each laboratory were checked and no errors found, analyst and equipment were transposed and the difference persisted. The variability was tracked down to sub sampling errors, i.e. the drawing of a sample from the sum of the daily samples. Specks of dirt are distributed through the oil and unless it is well homogenized a sub sampling error can occur. This represents the other extreme of an apparently homogeneous product stream which contains an unevenly dispersed minor constituent. 36.4.04 In general, the major sampling problem arises in the kernel station, especially in cracked mixtures and admixture sampling. The sample size must be large enough, but what is large enough? Clearly 10 grams is too small, perhaps 5 kilogram is too large. The sample will vary from mill to mill and from time to time. A large primary sample should be taken and analyzed, re homogenized and split into a number of sub portions and each separately analyzed. 215

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If the several sub portions show similar analysis results then the sub portions size could have been large enough for primary sampling and the process can be repeated , using more sub portions. If there are unacceptable differences between the analysis results then the sub portions are too small for primary sampling purposes. All re mixing must be done thoroughly to ensure satisfactory results. The test has to be done many times to determine a satisfactory primary sample size. 36.4.05 Samples are normally drawn at a nominally one hour interval (for no better reason than it seems reasonable!) For the liquid product streams it probably is, but for kernel recovery stream it might not be and investigation into variability within the hour is needed to establish this timing interval. 36.5 INTERPRETATION OF THE RESULTS:

36.5.01 It is of no use drawing samples and analyzing them if the data produced is not used. Results should flow on to the operating staff, as they are produced. Whilst average results can be used in some cases, in many areas they are misleading and can cover inefficiency in operation. 36.5.02 If a one month average for one sludge centrifuge is 0.99% oil loss on wet basis and for another is 1.05 % oil loss on wet basis, the former may be considered the better; but if the range results is 0.77% to 1.22%, and 0.85 5 to 1.15 % respectively, the second machine is probably the better one! In both cases the process is anyway "out of control", i.e. the results are unpredictable, probably because the dilution rate is out of control. 36.5.03 A very simple scientific calculator will allow the mean (average) result and the standard deviation (degree of variability) to be calculated as quickly as the mean alone can be calculated. Reporting of mean and standard deviation should be adopted. Any high variability should be investigated to determine the cause. As some variability is inevitable, a method of checking trends is necessary.

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A simple method is to take the average of a number of results, e.g. the last four results, plot these on a graph and at the same time plot the range on the same sheet. This is historic to some extend, but will show when, for example, the sludge centrifuge performance deteriorated and a nozzle change or an investigation is needed. 36.6 GENERAL The above only scratches the surface of process control but gives some idea of what should be done to change the tendency of some to consider mills to be a disposal system for F.F.B to considering them to be optimum extraction units. An old mill is not to written off as beyond hope, some of the older mills are still most efficient, with good process control, albeit that they have been modified and extended over the years. 36.6.01 The introduction of computers into the oil mill office and laboratory environment can assist to a large degree to keep, calculate and analyse data gathered from the process and equipment. 36.6.02 Virtually all data produced by these areas can be "computerized" and a standard quality output of analyses and reports can be generated by either professionally written special software, or by making use of and adapting the already available common software for spread sheets and data base manipulation. 36.6.03 Once introduced and "set-up", the risk of calculating errors, statistical analysis errors etc. of considerable amounts of data can virtually be eliminated, whilst at the same time reports can quickly and correctly be produced and used as a "tool" by the engineers and management of the oil mill. 36.6.04 Laboratory data could be integrated with data as noted under Chapter 35-Maintenance, which would further enhance the capability of effective control of the processing of palm products.

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Chapter #37 QUALITY CONTROL


Quality control and Process control are inter dependent and thus one can not be effective without the other being equally as effective and well controlled. The majority of these monitoring processes rely on data gathered from the samples taken during the process and from the samples taken from the final products of C.P.O and P.K. 37.1 THE LABORATORY Methods of sampling and analysis. From the section on process control the following requirements can be noted: a) the weighing or measuring of all material supplied and discharged during the process of producing C.P.O and P.K. and of important semi - products (if any). standardized methods of analysis, which should be simple and easy reproducible. a good system of sampling , so that a representative set of samples is secured. an efficient system for recording the data resulting from the various tests and checks carried out.

b) c) d)

37.1.01 The process control is intended in the first place for the technical staff of the mill, who need the data obtained by the tests and checks for an efficient and economic management of the mill. More over, the process control enables the compilation of an accurate record/account of the work done and the results produced by the mill. By comparison of these (control) reports with those of similar or associated mills, it will sooner or later be possible to track down any imperfections so that improvements, modifications and or more 218

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efficient work methods can be introduced earlier and with the greatest possible chace of success. 37.1.02 The laboratory tests cover three distinct different areas: I ) The QUALITY analysis of the products ( C.P.O. and P.K. ) II) The LOSSES sustained from processing F.F.B. into oil and kernel III) The EFFICIENCY of individual items of machinery It will be clear that on many cases the tests and checks performed under the headings above can and will overlap, since an inefficient machine usually allows high losses and vice versa high losses usually indicate a poor state of the machinery involved. I : Quality analysis of Crude Palm Oil ( C.P.O.) The mill laboratory must routinely check at least the following three parameters on the quality of the oil: I.01 the Free Fatty Acid ( F.F.A.) percentage I.02 the Volatile Matter ( V.M. ) or moisture percentage I.03 the Dirt percentage The sampling of the production oil must be done at a point after the purifier and after the oil dryer and the following method should be used: A one litre bottle, which can be closed air tight, calibrated at one centimetre intervals is placed at each supply point. At the end of each half hour one centimetre of oil is taken from the sample point. The bottle is closed air tight again. At the end of the production run or shift, the sample is taken to the laboratory. (37 I).01 DETERMINATION OF F.F.A. % IN OIL : i) 3 to 5 grammes of melted and homogenized oil are weighed accurately into a 250 cc chemical flask.

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ii) 50 cc of previously neutralized isopropyl alcohol (90-96%) are added and the mixture warmed in a water bath for about 5 minutes. The solution is titrated against an NaOH solution in an accurate concentration of 0.1N on phenolphthalein.

iii)

iv) From the number of cc of the NaOH solution consumed minus the number of cc of NaOH used in the blank test, it is possible to determine the F.F.A. %, expressed as free palmitic acid . (molecular weight 256) Thus F.F.A. can be calculated:
number of cc NaOH (minus blank) x normality NaOH x 256 x 100 FFA = weight of sample in grammes x 1000

With pre prepared standard solutions, the following method is generally used: i) Add three drops of 0.1% phenolphthalein indicator.

ii) Titrate N/10 Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) into the oil until the first persistent pink colour is obtained. iii) No attention should be paid to the subsequent fading of the pink colour. iv) Record the number of ml of N/10 KOH required. v) Calculate the F.F.A. % :
FFA % = A x 2.56 weight of oil

where A = number of ml of N10/KOH required.

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NOTE: The reddish colour of the oil makes the recognition of the end point somewhat difficult and a certain amount of practice is required. The most important point to watch is the colour change in the upper layer of the spirit and not in the lower layer of it. In order to obtain an accurate indication of the acidity by this method, the alkali should be added as quickly as possible. If the analyst is not fast enough, a rough first titration , followed by an accurate second titration should be practised. The use of "standard solutions" is recommended, the results obtained are usually more accurate and the work method becomes a routine which is easy to perform. Basic chemicals required for analytical work are generally obtainable in accurately pre measured and pre mixed (small) quantities, since most of these have only a limited "shelf" life. The preparation of standard solutions can be done as under: a) Preparation of neutralized isopropyl alcohol i) To 200 ml of isopropyl alcohol in a conical flask add three drops of phenolphthalein. ii) Titrate against N/10 KOH until a pink colour is obtained. (a few drops only are required)

b) Preparation of 0.1 % Phenolphthalein from a 1.0 % phenolphthalein solution: (the solution is normally supplied in a 1.0 % strength) i) ii) Put 10 ml of the 1.0 5 solution into a 100 ml volumetric flask. (use a 10 ml pipette) Fill up the 100 ml volumetric flask to the 100 ml mark exactly.

c) Preparation of the 0.1 N Potassium Hydroxide solution (N/10 KOH): i) 221 0.1 N Potassium Hydroxide can be packed in various ways, in

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plastic packs of a standard weight. ii) Check the size of the pack and if suitably sized, pour the entire contents of the pack into a suitably sized volumetric flask and fill with distilled water. The usual standard size suits a 500 ml flask, which when filled with distilled water to the 500 ml mark exactly gives the solution at the correct strength.

iii)

(37 I).02 VOLATILE MATTER ( moisture content ) % IN OIL : i) Weigh accurately 10 to 15 grammes of oil into a crystallisation dish ("watch glass") and keep in a (conventional) oven for 3 hours at a temperature of 105 degree Celsius. ii) Remove the sample from the oven, cool in desiccator and weigh accurately. iii) Replace the sample in the oven, dry for 1 hour and weigh the sample again. iv) Continue this procedure until a constant decimal point is obtained. weight to the second

v) Record all weights and the time of drying accurately. NOTE: The use of a magnetron oven ( micro wave ) type is also practised and the in oven drying times can usually be reduced considerably. Example of recording: Moisture determination of oil after purifier, or after dryer: Date of sample Date of analysis Dish no Weight of dish Weight of dish + wet sample : : : : : dd/mm/yy dd/mm/yy D1 40.1234 grammes 51.2345 grammes

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Time in oven 9.30 am 1.00 pm 2.30 pm 4.00 pm Time out oven 12.30 pm 2.00 pm 3.30 pm 4.30 pm Weight of dish + sample 50.6789 50.2345 50.2300 50.2300

Calculation:
weight of moisture V.M. % = x 100 % weight of wet sample (51.2345 - 50.2300) x 100 % (51.2345 - 40.1234)

(37 I).03 DIRT percentage on production oil Method: i) The filter paper must be well rinsed with Shellsol, (or equivalent) then dried in oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 105 degrees Celsius, allowed to cool in desiccator and then accurately weighed.

ii) About 40 to 50 grammes of oil is weighed accurately into a 250 ml flask iii) Heat for about 10 minutes and add 50 ml of shellsol, shake vigorously to mix the contents. iv) The solution is then filtered through a "Gooch" crucible, under vacuum. v) The filter paper is then washed thoroughly with solvent, from a jet of a wash bottle. The washing must be thorough to ensure that no trace of oil is left on the filter paper. vi) The weighed crucible and filter paper are then dried in the oven at 105 degr. C. for two hours. 223

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vii) It is then left in a desiccator to cool down and weighed again. This procedure is continued until constant weight to the second decimal point is obtained. Calculation: Let A = weight of flask Let B = weight of flask + sample Let C = weight of crucible + filter paper Let D = weight of crucible + filter paper + dry non-oily solids
weight of non oily solids Dirt % = x 100 %, or weight of sample (D - C) = x 100 % (B - A)

37.1.03 There are a number of other factors which are also indicative of the quality of C.P.O. but the tests for these are not normally performed by the oil mil laboratory, but by the manufacturers of the products made from palm oil. Such test usually include or concern the oxidation of the oil and the bleach-ability of the oil. The bleach-ability of palm oil has been found to be related to the degree of oxidation of the oil. 37.2 Oxidation occurs largely as a result of processing methods, storage of oil, handling of the oil and increases notably by: a) Very high temperatures during the extraction (> 100 degr.C.) b) Very high temperatures for drying oil, especially if in direct contact with hot air. (hence the preferred use of a vacuum dryer, which operates at lower temperatures ) c) Incorrect pumping, handling, where air is mixed with oil, or when it falls into tanks with such a force that considerable turbulence is caused. 224

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d) Storage at too high temperatures for too long periods. e) During shipments, by over heating, incorrect placed heating coils etc. 37.2.01 In its natural state, palm oil contains anti oxidants (the most common being to copherols) and the avoidance of the exposure of too hot oil to the atmosphere will assist to keep oxidation levels low. The oxidation levels can be measured by determining the Peroxide Value (P.V.) of the hydro peroxides formed during the initial stages of oxidation. Continued oxidation will form saturated and unsaturated aldehydes and ketones. 37.2.02 A series of tests over a period of time will show the increase in P.V. (in m.e./kg), but this test is not concensive and the later formed oxidation compounds are measured using benzidine, giving the Benzidine Value (B.V.) For practical quality estimation, the sum of the oxidation products us used, commonly known as the total oxidation value ( TOTOX ) and is calculated as follows: Totox = 2 x P.V. + B.V. Good quality oil should be at maximum P.V. = 3 m.e./kg and have a B.V. of 6 at the time of shipment. 37.3 Bleach-ability can be measured by treating an oil sample by a standardized method and measuring the residual colour by comparison with a (Lovibond) tinto meter. The residual colour is due to a combination of carotene and oxidized fatty acids at high temperature and gives some indication of the amount of processing, refining etc. that will be necessary to produce good quality, palatable food products.

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37.4 QUALITY ANALYSIS OF PALM KERNEL.

37.4.01 Determination of Shell % in kernel i) From a sample of 1000 to 1500 grammes of kernel the shell particles are removed , by hand.

ii) If there are any half cracked or uncracked nuts present, then the kernels in these nuts must be taken out of the shells first. iii) The percentage of separated shell particles is determined by the weight of the initial sample of the kernels. Calculation:
weight of shells only x 100 % total sample weight

37.4.02 Determination of Dirt % in kernels As for the above , but dirt is understood to be any particles which cannot be regarded as either kernel or shell , i.e. abortive fruit, fibrous matter, bunch particles etc. Calculation:
weight of dirt x 100 % total sample weight

37.4.03 Percentage of broken kernels i) From the sample that has been used to find the shells and dirt percentages, the broken kernels are sorted out as well. ii) The percentage of broken kernel is calculated by weight of the initial sample: Calculation:
weight of broken kernel x 100 % total sample weight

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37.4.04 Determination of kernel discolouration i) Take one hundred kernels at random from the sample that has been taken for the determination of shell. dirt and broken kernel. ii) The kernels are each cut into two equal parts, perpendicularly to their longitudinal axis. iii) Of every bisected kernel one half is laid in a cut out of a special board provided with 10 x 10 holes. iv) Now the sections are checked for colour. A distinction is made between marked discolouration and no visible discolouration. NOTE: discolouration, slight

The distinction made is merely a subjective one and unless the check is always performed by the same person, there can be considerable differences and the check will be of little value. 37.4.05 Moisture percentage in kernels i) Approximately 150 grammes of kernel , cleared of shells, dirt etc. are ground or minced in a small grinding machine.

ii) This should be done as rapidly as possible, to prevent desiccation. iii) 100 grammes of the ground substance are dried to a constant weight in a drying oven, using exact similar techniques and methods as used for oil. Calculation:
weight of moisture x 100 % weight of wet sample

37.4.06 Determination of F.F.A. in kernel This can be determined by extracting some oil from the kernels of the sample taken and by using similar methods os described for C.P.O.

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37.4.07 Oil percentage in kernels Although not necessarily a quality parameter, the laboratory can determine the oil content. From the ground sample used for moisture determination the oil content can be established using similar techniques as for the determination of oil losses. 37.5 DETERMINATION OF OIL LOSSES.

37.5.01 During the process of extracting oil and kernel from the fruit, oil losses will occur in a number of areas. Samples are taken and tests are conducted to determine where oil is lost and how much of it is lost. In order of the process, the following losses can be calculated: a) oil loss on sterilizer condensate b) oil loss on empty bunches c) oil loss on fibre ( ex pressing equipment) d) oil losses sustained by clarification e) oil losses on nuts a) Oil loss on sterilizer condensate A continuous sample should be drawn from the condensate discharge lines of the sterilizers. This can be achieved with the aid of a sampling tube, fitted with a "dropper". From the average oil content of the condensate, the measured or calculated quantity of the condensate and the quantity of F.F.B processed it is possible to calculate the oil loss to F.F.B. b ) Oil loss on empty bunches (see also section on empty bunch checking and U.S.B. under the 228

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heading Process Control)

i) From a representative sample of empty bunches, obtain two samples of 100 grammes each ( by the "mixing - quartering - mixing quartering" technique) ii) Determine the moisture and oil content of the samples by the usual method iii) The daily average or periodical average is calculated from the analytical figures (i.e. the arithmetical mean of the replicate determinations) in proportion to the total quantity of bunches processed. iv) This will produce a "weighed" average. v) Finally the ratio oil loss in empty bunches to F.F.B. is calculated via the weight of the empty bunches. c ) Oil loss on fibre. Fibre samples can be taken at various points in the process, i.e. at the presses to determine the individual press performance or at the end of the cake breaker conveyor to determine the overall oil loss on fibre etc. Sampling procedures and test procedures are similar. Sampling: i) Sampling must be done at hourly intervals during the mill operation, with the first sample to be taken one hour after the mill (pressing station) has started. ii) A good "hand full" of the sample is to be collected, including the fibre and the fines. iii) Store the sample immediately in an air tight container or bag, clearly labelled to indicate the source of the sample. iv) Store the container in the coolest convenient place near the sampling point.

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Sub sampling: The most suitable method for sub sampling is as follows: i) Pour main sample onto a clean sheet of paper or plastic

ii) Sort out the kernels, shells and stalks etc. from the main sample iii) Mix the remainder thoroughly, breaking up lumps etc. but ensure that no spillage of fines or fibre takes place iv) Quarter the main sample until a sample of about 500 grammes is left over, again ensuring that all the fines are included. v) Cut or chop the sample to uniform size with a suitable chopper or grinder. vi) Mix this chopped up sample thoroughly and quarter to a final size of about 15 grammes for analysis. Make sure that during the quartering fines divided for one quarter do not get mixed with other quarters. vii) The analysis of the fibre sub sample must include all the fines within that sample and be carried out immediately after obtaining the final sub sample. Analysis: Moisture: The method for moisture determination and recording is exactly similar to the one as described for the moisture determination in oil ( see 1.02 ) Oil determination (using Soxhlet extraction method) i) Transfer the properly dried sample (from above) and keep in desiccator.

ii) Extract the oil and continue to extract until a clear solution is obtained, i.e. until no trace of oil left in the sample is observed. iii) The recording of weights should be recorded directly below the recordings of the ( previously ) dried sample. 230

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
iv) The weight of the extracted oil and the weight of dried fibre without oil must be recorded. v) The method of dying is as for the moisture determination, but in this case with hourly intervals. Example: Cake breaker conveyor: MOISTURE DETERMINATION Date of sample Date of analysis Thimble no : dd/mm/yy : dd/mm/yy : ........

A) Weight of thimble : ....... Weight of thimble + sample before drying : .......

Time in oven 8.00 am 2.00 pm 5.30 pm

Time out oven 1.00 pm 4.00 pm 7.30 pm

Weight of thimble + sample after drying

B) Weight of dried sample + thimble : ........... OIL DETERMINATION: (sample after extraction) C) 22.00 - 24.00 24.00 - 01.00 D) 22.00 - 23.00 24.00 - 01.00 ..........(thimble plus ..........(extracted fibre) ...........( extracted ...........( oil )

231

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The Principle & Operational Techniques
Calculation: Let A = weight of dry thimble Let B = Weight of thimble + dry fibre (fibre + oil) Let C = Weight of thimble + extracted fibre (without oil) Let D = Weight of oil extracted OIL LOSS ON DRY BASIS may be calculated by at least two methods:
i) D O.L.D.B. = X 100 % B-A D O.L.D.B. = X 100 % C+D-A

ii)

To decide which equation should be used, check the following: If the analysis has been carried out perfectly correct then the equation C + D = B will hold. However, some error will usually occur, so that C+D is > B, or C+D is < B. If C + D < B use equation ii) If C + D > B use equation i) If C + D = B use either i) or ii), the simplest being i) The daily average or periodic average is calculated from the analytical figures (arithmetical mean of the duplicate determinations) in proportion to the quantity of bunches handled during the period. From the figures, the quantity of fibre and the bunches handled, the ratio of oil loss in fibre to bunch weight can be calculated. d) oil loss on sludge: Sludge samples can be taken from the outlet of the individual machines, for checking their performance, or from the outlet for the "final" sludge before the disposal to the effluent treatment, for the overall loss of oil on sludge. The sampling procedures and the analysis method for both samples is identical. 232

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Sampling: i) Sampling should start one hour after the clarification station has "started" and thereafter at hourly intervals.

ii) Collect 500 ml from the sampling point into a suitable container and seal airtight. iii) Shake vigorously, then pour 100 ml of the well mixed sample into a measuring cylinder. iv) Pour the measured 100 ml into a 1000 ml bottle and seal air tight. v) Sampling throughout the normal operating day of the mill should produce at maximum 800 ml per shift which can all be kept in the 1000 ml bottle. vi) At the end of the day, maximum 3 bottles @ 1000 ml, clearly labelled with the source and date can be taken to the laboratory. Sub sampling and Analysis: Each 1000 ml bottle should be graduated on a 100 ml scale. The total quantity of the sample depends on the total time of operation of the mill. Assuming a 3 shift operation: There will be 3 bottles of samples i) Shake each bottle vigorously and pour away half of the sample.

ii) Repeat above procedure once more iii) Mix all three bottles into one iv) From the total mixed sample, shaken thoroughly pour away half the sample v) From the remainder, shaken thoroughly, pour out a final sample of about 60 grammes for analysis into a weighed, dry beaker.

233

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Assuming a 2 shift operation: There will be 2 bottles of samples i) Shake each bottle vigorously and pour away exactly half of the samples by means of a measuring cylinder.

ii) Mix the 2 bottles into one iii) From the total mixed sample proceed as described for the 3 shift operation. Assuming a 1 shift operation: (or individual machine samples) i) Shake the sample vigorously and pour away half the sample

ii) Shake the other half and pour out a final sample of about 60 grammes for analysis. ANALYSIS: A) Moisture determination: The method of moisture determination is the same as the method used for fibre analysis, i.e. dry until constant weight is obtained, but in this case however the drying is more critical. B) Oil determination: The final dried sample must be stored properly in a desiccator before oil extraction. The oil is to be extracted as soon as possible to prevent absorption of moisture from the atmosphere. i) Final dried sample is quickly soaked in solvent

ii) With the aid of a spatula, the sample in solvent is scraped in to a porcelain mortar. The sample is properly and carefully ground and sheared, taking care that no solvent or solids are spilled. iii) The ground sample is then filtered, using the finest grade filter paper. Suction filtration is necessary to reduce the filtration time. 234

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
iv) The dry weight of the filter paper is to be recorded. The filter paper together with the solids should be placed in the thimble for immediate extraction in the Soxhlet apparatus. v) When extraction is complete, the thimble is to be dried in the oven under similar procedures as described for the fibre analysis. vi) The extracted oil is to be dried and weighed. CALCULATION OF LOSSES: Let a = weight of beaker Let b = weight of beaker + wet sample (moisture-oil-solids) Let c = weight of beaker + dry sludge ( oil + solids) Let d = weight of thimble + filter paper Let e = weight of thimble + filter paper + dry sludge (oil+solids) Let f = weight of thimble + non-oily sludge Let g = weight of extracted oil Calculation and recording of oil losses on both wet and dry basis can thus be made:
c-a moisture % = x 100 % b-a

O.L.D.B. =
(method 1 ) g x 100 % e-d e-f x 100 % e-d

(method 2 )

O.L.W.B. =
(method 1 ) g x 100 % b-a c-f x 100 % b-a

(method 2 )

235

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
The methods 2 are usually preferred by the mill laboratories and reported in the mill control records. (With both methods recorded, there is sufficient data for statistical comparison and determination of error) e) Oil loss on nuts: Sampling procedures: Nut samples can be taken from the outlet of the depericarper, at hourly intervals The sample size should be about 750 grammes and stored in an airtight container until transferred to the laboratory. Sub sampling The final sample is obtained by mixing / quartering technique, until a sample of about 125 grammes remains Analysis: The nuts are cracked by hand and the kernels separated from the shells. From an accurately weighed quantity of 100 grammes of shells the oil and moisture contents are determined, using similar procedures as those used for other oil and moisture determinations described previously. Calculation: The percentage of oil lost in / on nuts by weight of fruit bunches is:
%, in which

axbxd c x 100

a = percentage of shell to bunches b = percentage of non-oily solids in shells produced c = percentage of non-oily solids in shell used for analysis d = percentage of oil to shell analyzed.

236

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
It is necessary to determine the moisture contents of the shells first in order to be able to calculate the oil loss on nuts. With the method described any kernel oil adhering to the inside of the shells is included in the percentage palm oil lost on nuts. This is a small and more or less constant error and can be accepted. (It is not improbable that at least part of the oil at the inside of the shells is in fact palm oil which during the sterilization process has percolated into the nuts through the germination holes) The weighed average of the analytical figures can be calculated for a period and from this the oil loss on nuts can be established. 37.6 Other tests: A number of other tests can be performed in the laboratory, usually at the request of the mill management or engineers to determine the efficiency of the individual machines or equipment. The frequency and the type of samples/tests are often depending of the available laboratory skills and equipment. Samples taken for such tests are usually "spot - check" samples, often "before" and "after" a particular machine or piece of equipment. The analysis methods for oil, sludge, fibre, nuts, kernel etc. are as described under the various commodities, whilst special techniques for other tests are usually described and expanded upon in the manufacturers manuals etc. More recent innovations have seen the introduction of the Micro wave oven (magnetron oven) and specialised equipments to determine oil losses (e.g. "Fosslet" equipment) These improvements have all resulted in data being available in a much shorter time after the samples have been taken. The improved methods, if used and utilised correctly, allow for more frequent sampling/analysis and thus can be an important "tool" for mill management and engineers to monitor and control the process more efficiently and reduce the overall losses in the factory.

237

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The Principle & Operational Techniques
This type of frequent sampling / analysis can often also provide an early indication of the physical state of certain machines and the degree of deterioration in their performance, thus allowing planned and scheduled repairs and maintenance to be adjusted accordingly and maintaining optimum usage of the machinery.

238

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The Principle & Operational Techniques

General Data
Processed Material
Sterilizer condensate: V.M. N.O.S. Oil/N.O.S. Empty bunches: V.M. N.O.S. Oil/N.O.S. Bunch ash: 04. - 0.5 to F.F.B and contains aprroximately: 30 - 40 % 2- 5% +/- 7.5 % Press cake: V.M. N.O.S. Oil/N.O.S. Wet nuts: Oil/N.O.S Oil loss Fibre: Shell: = 0.8 % = 0.5 % = 41 % = 55 % = 8% K2O P2O5 CaO = 67% = 31% = 6% = 95% = 4% = 9.5%

with V.M. of +/- 30 % has C.V. of +/- 2500 kcal/kg with V.M. of +/- 15 % has C.V. of +/- 3800 kcal/kg

239

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
C.P.O. ex continuous clarifier tank after purifier centrifuge after vacuum drier in storage : V.M. = 0.40 - 0.50 % : V.M. = 0.15 - 0.20 % : V.M. = < 0.10 % : V.M. = < 0.10 % : Dirt Clarifier tank Under flow : V.M. : Oil : N.O.S. After sludge centrifuge : V.M. : Oil : Oil/N.O.S. Raw effluent: N.O.S. Oil/N.O.S. pH B.O.D. After treatment: pH B.O.D. C.O.D. = 8 = < 200 ppm = < 1000 ppm = = 5% 4 = 12 % = 20.000 - 30.000 ppm = < 0.010 % = 85 % = 10 % = 5% = 95 % = 5% = 12.5 %

240

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
CRUDE PALM OIL Fatty Acid composition: (see also table 1, page 6-2)
Acid name LAURIC MYRISTIC PALMITIC STEARIC OLEIC LINOLEIC LINOLENIC C number 12 14 16 18 18(1) 18(2) 18(3) Type Saturated Saturated Saturated Saturated Un-saturated Un-saturated Un-saturated % Trace only 1-2 40 - 43 4 - 6.5 38 - 40 10 - 12 Trace only

The acid molecules combine together (in 3's) with a glycerine molecule to form a fat molecule called: triglyceride. The triglyceride composition can vary considerably, pending type and composition of numerous bonds of the saturated and un-saturated acids. Other constituents of C.P.O. are carotenes and tocopherols. Carotenes give C.P.O. its characteristic orange colour, which is then removed by bleaching the oil. Carotenes are precursors of Vitamin A, which is primarily formed when the molecule splits due to the addition of water. Tocopherols are naturally occuring anti-oxidants and in C.P.O. may be as high as 800 ppm, pending the quality of the material and the process.

241

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
PALM KERNEL OIL Fatty Acid composition
Acid CAPRYLIC CAPRIC LAURIC MYRISTIC PALMITIC STEARIC OLEIC LINOLEIC C number 8 10 12 14 16 18 18(1) 18(2) Type Saturated Saturated Saturated Saturated Saturated Saturated Un-saturated Un-saturated % 3 6 50 16 6 1 16 1

P.K.O. % of dried P.K. is approximately 50 %, the residue cake composition is as under: Carbo-hydrates Proteine Fibre Water Oil Ash 48% 19 % 13 % 11 % 5% 4%

242

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The Principle & Operational Techniques

Chapter #38 ADMINISTRATION AND ACCOUNTING


This area can usually be split up into three distinct responsibilities, i.e: the administration of : Quality control, Maintenance, stores and spare parts holding and the Financial control. 38-1. Quality control

38.1.01 This consists mainly of monitoring the quality of the palm products manufactured, stored and distributed, but also the quality of the raw input material (F.F.B.), the boiler feed water and water quality, the operation of the waste product sections (effluent control) etc. 38.1.02 Many of the records required and kept are to a large degree "repetitive" type records, requiring summary calculations etc. to be integrated with other administrative records. Here also the introduction of "computerized" records can provide a greater and more accurate measure of control, all resulting in (where possible) a reduction in the final cost of producing the palm products. 38-2. Repair and Maintenance control

38.2.01 As described in chapter 35, Repair and Maintenance, the keeping of records of the machinery and equipment performance and the condition can be a positive aid to the scheduling end execution of an effective repair and maintenance program for the mill's machinery. Here also the introduction of computerized records allow a large degree of record integration and a better (cost) control of this important part of the overall operation of an oil mill. 38.2.02 Spare parts and spare part stock holding can be kept at proven and accepted minimum levels if good records are kept, all helping to keep the overall financial requirements of the oil mill down to the minimum level required to sustain effective and profitable operation.

243

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
38-3. Financial control

38.3.01. As for any other industrial operation, financial records of the cost of the operation are to be kept and calculated. These records may take the form of weekly, monthly or other time based accounts and may vary with the individual factories, companies or corporations requirements. 38.3.02 The introduction of computer based accounting can provide an option to integrate some of the direct operational costs with for instance weigh bridge records, repair and maintenance costs, transport and distribution costs etc, during the time based period which is to be covered, thus virtually providing a day to day financial control of the production cost per tonne of palm product. 38-4 General The three sections above are just general descriptions, since each individual factory will have its own, specific, requirements or system of administrative control. It is however advisable that when there is more then one plant operating within a group of plants owned by one company or corporation, that an as much as possible "standardized" format for the generated accounts and reports is created and adopted in order to allow for a reasonable degree of accuracy when comparing different factories and to allow the staff who produce and process these records and reports to become familiar and competent with the recording and calculating procedures. Mill management should make full use of all the reports and records produced and (as noted in chapter 36, Process control) should use this data as a "news paper" rather than a "history sheet" in order to maintain full control and be able to alter / modify the production process as required, when required and not at some undetermined future date, usually after costs have already risen out of proportion, or losses have already increased to intolerable levels.

244

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques

GLOSSARY of terms
Absorbance ratio (carotene: chlorophyll) The ratio in which various bio-chemical palm products form during the period of growth till maturity of the palm fruit. Aerobic ponds Excavations made in earth to provide a holding space for liquid effluent in the aerobic stage. Ponds are not usually lined but have inclined earth walls. Anthesis The time of flowering. Back pressure system Method whereby low pressure (exhaust) steam from high pressure equipment (turbines) is collected and utilized for low pressure applications before released to the atmosphere. Bio-gas Usually methane based gas, in palm oil processing plants collected from effluent digesters or ponds. Bleachability The ability to reduce the (usually reddish-orange) colour of crude palm oil by chemical treatment. Blow down The release of water, solids and chemical material from boilers under pressure. Bogey The chassis, fitted with wheels, on which the sterilizer cage is transported over rail tracks. Boiler sludge An emulsion formed inside the water compartments of the boiler, usually containing water, treatment chemicals and some scale fragments. Brine bath Method to separate shell and kernels by floating the mixture in water which has its specific gravity increased by means of the addition of salt. I

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Cake breaker conveyor The paddle conveyor transporting the solid material expelled from the press to the nut - fibre separator (depericarper). Capstan A motor driven vertical or horizontal shaft drum, used for marshalling cages from loading ramp to sterilizers, crane pick-up point etc. Carbo-hydrates Compound of general formula : Cx(H2O)y usually containing sugars, starch, cellulose. Carotene An orange - red pigment in palm oil. Carry over (boiler) The possibility of water and or foam being carried over with the steam leaving the boiler. Catalyst A substance which accelerates or retards the rate of chemical reactions. Chlorophyll Green pigment found in all algae and higher plant and chiefly responsible for light capture in photosynthesis. It is the site of the first stage of the transformation of light energy to chemical energy. Clarification The process of separating "pure" palm oil from the crude oil and emulsion extracted from the press liquid. Clay bath Method to separate shell and kernels by floating the mixture in water which has its specific gravity increased by means of the addition of clay (usually Kaolin). Condensate Liquid formed from steam condensing on colder surfaces. In palm oil processing sterilizer condensate is thus formed when steam condenses on the fruit and in the sterilizer vessel. Condensing capacity The ability to reduce a given quantity of steam under given circumstances to condensate moisture. II

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Cone pressure The pressure exerted on the fruit mass expelled by a screw press. Consumables Materials held in stock that are not classified as either spare parts or raw materials. Crucible A small cup shaped pressed paper container commonly used in laboratories. Cutting and shearing The action of separating the fibrous material and the nuts before pressing, performed in the digester by a rotating set of "knife-arms". Decanter A specially designed high speed rotating centrifuge, usually with horizontal shaft, to separate various phases of liquid emulsions to a pre set degree into liquids and solids Dehydration (in sterilization) The reduction in moisture content due to the temperature and pressure changes during sterilization of the fresh fruit. Depericarper A set of equipment designed to facilitate the pneumatic separation of the (loose) fibre and nuts expelled by the cake breaker conveyor. Diffusion The action of steam penetration into air, thereby displacing the air. Digester drainage Under certain circumstances the drainage of "free" oil and liquid from the digester bottom, before the M.P.D. enters the press. Digester A circular vertical vessel equipped with rotating arms causing the fruit mass to be sheared and cut, thereby separating fibre from the nuts and preparing the mash (M.P.D.) for the action of pressing. Effluent Material left over after processing and extraction the palm oil and palm kernel.

III

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Endocarp The shell material if palm fruit. Exocarp The outer skin of palm fruit. Extraction rate A percentage calculated to show the relation of oil or kernel recovered from the F.F.B. Feedwater Water suitably treated, heated and de-aerated to be pumped to the boiler. Fines (in laboratory tests) Fibre and shell debris in fine, dust like form. Flue gasses Exhaust gasses from the operation of the boiler furnace escaping to atmosphere through the chimney stack. Fosslet equipment Laboratory equipment calibrated to measure particular oil losses in dry and wet waste material from the process. Hard bunch percentage A percentage calculated to show the ratio or quantity of unripe fruit delivered with the overall F.F.B. to the process plant. Hardness (water) A measure of chemical quality of the water used for the boiler, usually expressed in mainly calcium and magnesium. Hydro-cyclone Equipment designed to separate shell and kernel by means of a vortex created by water flow through a cylinder. Hydrolysis (of lipids) Decomposition of lipids through the addition of water. Incinerator A furnace designed for slow and low temperature burning of the empty bunches.

IV

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Inflorescence The reproductive shoot of plants, composed of, or bearing, flowers. Ion exchanger Part of the demineralization plant, where silica can be removed by an exchange process with base anion resins, usually regenerated with caustic material. Lipase Enzyme which splits lipids into glycerol and free fatty acids. Lipids Basically fat, a compound of glycerol and fatty acids. Loading ramp Equipment designed to facilitate the transfer of F.F.B from external road transport units to the sterilizer cages. Loose fruit Fruit which has abcissed from the fruit bunch on ripening. Marshalling yard The area designated to move, shunt and store the sterilizer cages, full or empty. Mash Passing to Digester (MPD) The fruit mash prepared by the digester, passed on to the pressing / extraction equipment. Mesocarp The main oil bearing tissue of the palm fruit. Mesophyll Internal tissue of leaves, other than the vascular elements, in which chlorophyll is found. Methogenic Having the capability of generating methane based gases. Mill capacity A theoretical calculation showing the quantity of F.F.B. that can be processed in a given period and at a given rate.

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Mulch loose organic material lain on the surface of the soil, assisting in retaining soil moisture, improvement of soil structure and increasing the organic matter content. Nut conditioning Treatment given to palm nuts, prior to the process of extracting the palm kernel. Nut-fibre separator See depericarper Orifice plate Plate fitted with a hole smaller than the internal pipe diameter in a steam pipe line to reduce the flow of steam through the pipe as a result of the "throttling" action. Palm oil meal The dry cake material remaining after extracting the drying off the oily phase and moisture from decanter solids. Palm produce The combined quantity of palm oil and palm kernel extracted from F.F.B. Parthenocarpic Formation of fruit without fertilization. Pathogenic Being able to cause disease in a host. Pericarp The main oil bearing tissue in oil palm fruit, plus the outer skin. Phospholipid A combination of oil with a phosphoric acid group and a nitrogenous base. Polishing drum A rotary drum in which nuts are treated and remaining fibres are loosened from the nuts, before further process of the nuts. Pressing The action of squeezing the oil out of the digested fruit. Regenerant Material used to regenerate exhausted ion and anion exchange resins. VI

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Ripple mill A rotary nutcracker, the action of which is more akin to shattering the shell than breaking the shell, without unacceptable breakage of the kernel. Rotary drum (thresher) The revolving part of the thresher machine, designed to carry the bunches up and dropping them back in the slotted drum, the action of which "threshes" the fruits from the bunch. Sand trap A tank fitted between the crude oil gutter and the vibrating screen, designed to allow sand and other (heavy) solid material to settle out. Scale ( boiler) Deposits of calcium and other solids on the water side of the heated surface of boiler tubes, drums etc. Screw press Equipment designed to extract the crude palm oil from the digested fruit by means of pressing. Senecent Grown old. Silica Silicon dioxide, hard stone like material, usually entered with water from source. Silo dryers Equipment designed to dry nut or kernel material by passing heated air through the material to be dried during a calculated retention time in the silo. Sludge Mixture of primarily oil and water Soil bearing test Test performed to establish the capacity of the soil to support structures etc. of a given weight on a given area of foundation. Soxhlet extraction A laboratory technique used to determine quantities of oil or grease mixed with normally dry material. VII

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Spectral scanning A method designed to allow the detection and calculation of various components of a compound material by scanning the images of various bands of colours produced by light rays. Stack plume The characteristic elongated cloud of smoke above a chimney stack. Steam sweeping The action of forcing the air inside sterilizers down wards towards the deaeration outlets. Sterilization The action of preparing the F.F.B. for further handling and process to allow the efficient and economic extraction of palm produce. Sterilizer cages Metal baskets in which the fruit is held during the sterilization process. Sterilizer vessel A long, cylindrical vessel in which the fruit to be sterilized is placed and submitted to the influence of live steam . Stripping process Commonly used term for threshing of fruit. Tannins Group of astringent substances, particularly found in the bark of trees, unripe fruits, leaves and galls. Tenera Also called D x P as it is a cross between Dura and Pisifera. Threshing The action of removing the fruits from the bunches in a revolving thresher drum. Tippler Device designed to rotate a sterilizer cage at ground level , tipping out the fruit and eliminating the use of an overhead hoisting crane. Torque Twisting force. causing rotation. VIII

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
Triple peak sterilization Process of sterilization whereby cycle is divided into three peaks, separated by intermittent blow - offs, assisting in the proper penetration of steam, dehydration and pre-treatment of nuts. Vibration measurement Measurement to indicate the overall vibration, or the increase in vibration of a particular machine, thereby providing data on which a forecast of the machine wear can be based. Vibro energy separator Equipment designed to separate the solid and liquid fraction of the crude oil extracted from the fruit by the press. The equipment has a simultaneous horizontal, vertical and gyrating movement. Viscosity Fluid rating of liquids Volatile matter Term commonly used to describe moisture in oil or kernel. Weigh-bridge Equipment designed to weigh the incoming F.F.B. into the factory and the outgoing produce from the factory. Wet separation The actions performed by either hydro-cyclones or clay-bath separators. Winnowing The actions performed by pneumatic separation of material of different density, volume and weight. Zeolite Chemical substance used in the treatment of boiler water.

IX

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques

INDEX
absorption : 25-23 acid sulphate soil : 31-1 administration : 38-1; 38-2 aerated lagoon : 32-5 aerobic : 32-4 aerobic pond : 32-6 aerobic stabilization pond : 32-6 aerobic suspended growth : 32-5 aerobic sludge cake : 31-7 aerobic digestion : 32-5 air flow rate : 30-5 air pollution 33-1 air release : 25-1; 25-3 air velocity : 30-4 alkali attack : 34-2 alkalinity : 34-3; 34-7 alumina : 34-1 anaerobic : 32-4 anaerobic ponds : 32-11 anaerobic sludge cake : 31-7 anaerobic tank digestion : 32-13 analysis c.p.o. : 37-1; 37-2; 37-3; 37-4; 37-5; 37-7; 37-8; 37-9 analysis p.k : 37-10; 37-11; 37-12 anoxic denitrification : 32-4 application digested effluent : 32-18 attached growth : 32-5 automated valve control : 25-19 bag filter : 33-2 batch type process : 25-19 bio gas : 32-14 bio-chemistry : 3-1 biochemical oxidation : 32-2 biological oxygen demand (b.o.d.) : 32-1; 32-2 biosynthesis : 3-2 black bunches : 36-3 bleach-ability : 29-12 blow down : 34-10 blow-off : 25-4; 25-5; 25-7; 25-8 boiler smoke : 33-1 X

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
boiler water : 34-1 boiler ash : 31-4 boiler boil out : 34-15 breakdown : 35-1 buch ash : 11-1 bulk density (fibre) : 30-4 bunch stripping : 25-2; 25-21 bunch trash : 28-1 bunch ash : 31-1; 31-2 by-pass : 25-5 cake breaker conveyor : 30-1 calcium carbonate : 34-1 calcium phosphate : 34-1 calorific value : 31-3 capstan : 25-20 carbohydrate : 3-1; 4-3 carboneceous b.o.d. : 32-4 carotene : 3-1; 4-2; 4-4; 29-12 carry over : 34-2; 34-3 centrifugal separator : 29-9 check list : 35-7; 35-8; 35-9; 35-10; 35-11; 35-12; 35-13 chelant programme : 34-9 chemical oxygen demand (c.o.d.) : 32-1; 32-2 chloro-plast : 4-4 chlorophyll : 3-1 clarification : 25-1; 29-2; 29-3; 29-7; 29-8 clay bath : 30-11 co-ordinated phosphate programme : 34-10 coagulation : 34-3; 34-9 combustion : 31-1; 33-1 composition : 28-2; 29-7 computer : 35-2 condensation/condensate : 25-3; 25-5; 25-6; 25-10; 25-11 condition monitoring maintenance : 35-5 cone pressure : 27-4 cone control : 28-4 constant bleed : 25-6 constant pressure : 25-7 consumables : 35-1 contamination : 28-4 control methods: 32-8 convection current : 29-7 conveyor : 25-25 XI

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
copper : 29-12 cracked mixture : 30-10 cracking ring : 30-9 crude oil gutter : 29-1 crude palm oil (c.p.o.) : 1-1; 26-1; 28-2; 29-1; 29-3; 29-7; 29-8 crude oil tank : 29-2 d x p : 30-1 de-aeration : 25-3; 34-12 de-gasified water : 34-5 de-watered sludge : 31-6 decanter : 29-8; 31-6 dehydration : 25-2; 25-8 demineralization : 34-6 depericarper : 30-1 deterioration : 29-9 determination oil losses : 37-12; 37-13; 37-14; 37-16; 37-18; 37-20 diffusion : 25-3; 25-4 digester : 27-1; 27-3 dilution : 27-4 dirt : 29-9; 29-10 disposal : 29-9 dry separation : 30-11 drying : 29-9 ducting : 30-5 dura : 1-2; 1-3; 28-1; 30-1 dust collector : 33-2 dust cyclone : 33-2 dynamic (oil) recovery : 29-4; 29-6 efficiency : 28-2 effluent : 32-1 elaedobius kamerunicus : 9-2 electricity : 34-1 electricity : 34-25 elevator : 25-25 empty bunches : 25-24; 31-1; 31-3; 36-4 emulsion layer : 29-7 emulsion : 27-3; 27-4; 29-3 endocarp : 1-2 enzyme : 3-2; 25-1; 30-13 evaluation : 29-10; 30-15 examination of f.f.b. : 36-2 extended aeration ponds : 32-13 external treatment : 34-3 XII

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
extraction rate : 24-1; 26-3; 28-1 f.f.a. premium : 29-11 facultative process : 32-4 facultative pond : 32-7 fan characteristics : 30-6; 30-7 feed water : 34-10; 34-11 feed screw : 27-1 fibre fuel : 30-12 fibre : 30-4; 31-3; 31-4 fibre / nut separator : 27-2 fibre:nuts : 28-1 field disposal : 31-2 filtration : 34-3 flash off : 25-6 flocculation : 34-3 flowers : 1-2 foaming : 34-2 free fatty acid : 3-2; 24-3; 25-1; 25-6; 29-10 free oil : 27-3; 27-4 fresh fruit bunches : 1-1 fruit cage : 25-4 fruit transport : 24-1; 25-20 fuel : 31-3 fuel/steam/power balance : 34-18 furrows : 32-18 gases : 34-3; 34-8 glycerol : 3-2 gravity : 29-7 hand press : 27-1 handling (f.f.b.) : 28-4 hardness : 34-3; 34-4 harvest interval : 28-3 harvesting efficiency : 28-4 heat transmission : 25-10 heat transfer : 34-2 heat loss : 25-20 heat penetration : 25-4 henry's law : 34-12 hoisting crane : 25-20 homogenization : 29-2 hydraulic retention time (h.r.t.) : 32-9 hydraulic press : 27-1; 30-1 hydro cyclone : 30-12 XIII

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
hydrolysis : 3-2; 29-10 hydroxyl group : 4-2 hygroscopic : 29-10 incinerator : 11-1; 31-1; 33-3 inflorescence : 1-2 instripped bunches : 36-4 internal treatment : 34-9 inventory control : 35-33 ion exchange : 34-3 iron oxide : 34-1 iron : 29-12 isopentenyl pyrophosphate : 4-4 kernel losses : 28-5 kernel drying : 30-13; 30-14 kernel recovery : 30-13 kernel extraction rate : 28-1 kernel cleaning : 30-14 kernel / shell separation : 30-10; 30-11 laboratory : 37-1 land application effluent : 32-17 linoleic acid : 4-1; 5-2 lipases : 4-1; 4-2 lipids : 3-1 liquid scrubber: 33-2 loading ramp : 24-2 lubrication : 25-6 m.p.d.: f.f.b : 28-1 m.p.d.analysis : 26-1 machine history : 35-3 machine records : 35-2 magnesium : 31-2 magnesium hydroxide : 34-1 magnesium silicate : 34-1 maintenance 35-1 mash passing to digester : 26-1 maturity : 5-1 melavonic acid : 4-4 mesocarp : 1-2; 25-1; 26-2; 26-3; 29-3 methogenic phase : 32-11 micro aerophil : 32-4 moisture : 29-9; 29-10; 30-2 moisture content : 4-2 monitoring equipment : 35-4 XIV

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
mould : 30-13 mulch : 11-1 mulching : 31-2; 31-5 multiple peak sterilization : 25-12 multiple sterilizers : 25-7 newton's law : 29-7; 29-8 nitrification : 32-4 nitrogen : 31-2 non oily solids : 29-3 nut / fibre separation : 30-3 nut / fibre : 30-1 nut cracking : 30-9; 30-10 nut treatment : 30-8; 30-9 nutrient value : 31-2 oil palm : 1-2 oil bearing cells : 25-1; 27-1 oil : 28-1; 29-3 oil losses : 25-23; 25-24 oil recovery : 29-8 oleic acid : 4-1; 5-2 organic matter : 34-3; 3408 orifice plate : 25-12; 25-18 other laboratory tests : 37-21 oxidation level : 29-2 oxidation : 29-9; 29-10; 29-12 oxygen attack : 34-2 paddles : 30-1 palm oil meal : 31-6 palm produce : 28-2; 28-5 palm oil mill effluent(p.o.m.e.) : 32-1 palm kernel : 1-1; 25-2; 28-2; 28-5 palmitic acid : 5-2 parthenocarps : 1-3; 26-2; 26-3 peak demand (steam) : 25-11; 25-12 peak yield : 1-2; 10-1; 11-1 penalty : 30-16 percolating trench : 32-18 percolation : 31-6 pericarp : 1-2 permanent magnet : 25-25 phosphate : 34-9 phospholipids : 3-1 phosphorus : 31-2 XV

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
physical properties of oil : 29-7 pneumatic air stream separation : 30-3 polishing drum : 30-8 pollination :1-2; 9-1 potassium : 31-1; 31-2 precipitation : 34-2 predictive maintenance : 35-1; 35-5 premium : 30-16 press cake : 27-1; 30-2 press (twin screw) : 28-1 pressing : 28-1 pressing (extraction) efficiency : 28-5 preventative maintenance : 35-1; 35-5 process control : 36-1 proteine : 3-2 proto-plast : 4-4 pure oil : 29-9 quality control : 37-1 quality : 28-3; 29-12; 30-11; 30-13; 30-14; 30-15; 30-16 recovery % : 28-5 retention time : 27-3; 30-2 return conveyor : 25-26 ringelmann : 33-3 ripeness : 1-1; 2-1; 5-1; 10-1; 24-2 ripple mill : 30-10 rotary drum : 25-21 rotating drum separator : 30-3 sampling : 25-21; 26-1 sampling : 36-5 sand trap / filter : 29-1 sand cyclone : 29-1 scale / deposits : 34-2 screen aperture : 29-2 screening : 29-1 screw speed : 28-4 screw press : 27-1 scrubber : 31-6 seasonal winds : 20-1 secondary depericarper : 30-8 seeding effluent : 32-11 sequencing : 25-19 settling : 29-1 shell : 30-12; 31-4 XVI

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
silica : 34-1; 34-7 site selection : 17-1 slag / clinker : 31-5 slip : 28-5 sludge : 29-9 sludge separator : 29-9 soda ash : 34-15 soil pH : 31-1 solids separation : 32-7 solids : 29-9; 31-1; 31-5; 31-6 sprinklers : 32-17 stabilization : 32-4 staff training : 35-5 standardization : 16-1 static tank recovery : 29-4; 29-5 steam turbine : 34-25 steam distributor : 25-4 steam demand : 25-9; 25-10 steam jacket : 27-1 steam : 34-1 steam pressure : 25-2; 25-7 steam requirement (calculation) : 34-17 steam consumption : 25-9; 25-11 steam sweeping : 25-3 sterilization : 25-21; 25-19; 28-4 sterilized fruit : 25-25 sterilizer : 24-3 sterilizer cycle : 25-6; 25-7 stirring arms : 27-3 stoke's law : 29-7 stones/debris : 25-25 storage : 29-9 substrate : 32-4 super natant : 32-14 supplementary fuel : 31-3 suspended solids : 32-1; 34-3 suspended growth : 32-5 tannin : 3-1 temperature : 25-4; 29-1; 29-2; 29-8; 30-13 tenera : 1-2; 1-3; 28-1 tertiary maturation pond : 32-7 theoretical oxygen demand (th.o.d.) : 32-3 thermophilic reaction : 32-9 XVII

Palm Oil Process


The Principle & Operational Techniques
thresher speed : 25-22; 25-23 thresher : 25-20; 25-21; 25-24 throttling : 25-11 through put : 27-1; 27-2 tippler : 25-20 tocopherol : 3-1; 4-2 torque : 28-5 total oxygen demand (t.o.d.) : 32-3 total solids : 32-1 total organic carbon (t.o.c.) : 32-3 total dissolved solids : 34-8 treatment types : 32-8 tri sodium phosphate : 34-15 tube failure : 34-2 turbulence : 25-3; 25-4 unstripped bunches : 25-21; 25-24 vacuum de-aerator : 34-6 vacuum dryer : 29-9 variables : 28-3 velocity (table) : 30-5 vertical column separator : 30-3 vibrating screen : 29-1; 29-2 vibro energy separator : 29-2 viscosity : 29-1; 29-3; 29-7; 29-8 waste disposal : 31-1 water : 29-3 weigh-bridge : 24-1 wet separation : 30-11 work orders (job cards) : 35-3

XVIII