Palm Oil Processing Equipment.
Palm oil processing equipment of all sizes go through the unit operational stages of threshing, digesting and pressing but they differ in the level of mechanisation of each unit operation and the interconnecting materials transfer mechanisms.
The major parts of the processing of Palm Oil Involves:
- Thresher: The fresh fruit bunch consists of fruit embedded in spikelets growing on the main stem. Manual threshing is achieved by cutting the fruit-laden spikelets from the bunch stem with an axe or machete and then separating the fruit from the spikelets by hand. Children and the elderly in the village earn income as casual labourers performing this activity at the factory site. In a mechanised system, a rotating drum or fixed drum equipped with rotary beater bars detach the fruit from the bunch, leaving the spikelets on the stem
- Digester: Digestion is the process of releasing palm oil in the fruit through the rupture or breaking down of the oil-bearing cells. The digester commonly used consists of a steam-heated cylindrical vessel fitted with a central rotating shaft carrying a number of beaters (stirring) arms. Through the action of the rotating beater arms, the fruit is pounded. Pounding, or digesting the fruit at high temperature, helps to reduce the viscosity of the oil and destroys the fruits’ outer covering (exocarp)
- Presser: There are two distinct methods of extracting oil from the digested material. One system uses mechanical presses and is called the ‘dry’ method. The other called the ‘wet’ method uses hot water to leach out the oil.
Other equipment includes an oil filter machine, belt conveyor, screw conveyor, etc.
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