Vegetable oil hydration and neutralization process
The vegetable oil hydration and neutralization process begins in tank E1 from where oil is pumped over by the N3n pump in controllable quantities via heat the T32d and T4n heat exchangers. It is heated to the required temperature level by steam and deodorized oil. The heated oil is then mixed with a phosphoric acid solution. A dynamic mixer M7n provides additional mixing. As the treatment progresses, acid nonhydratable phosphatides are transformed into a hydratable form. The reaction takes place in the E8n tank. Pump N6n then pumps the phosphoric acid solution from tank E5n through T9n and T10n heat exchangers where the oil is cooled by water in readiness for the reduction process into neutral oil.
In the next phase of neutralization, the oil is mixed with a given of alkali solution to neutralize fatty acids and excess phosphoric acids. The mixture is intensively done inside the M14n dynamic mixer. The oil is then transferred to the E15n tank for further conditioning. It is pumped inside this tank by pump N16n via T9n and T17n heat exchangers where it is heated to a specific temperature that allows separation.
The oil is then transferred to a self-discharging separator C23n where separation of soapstock and gums takes place. In tank E24n, non-fatty admixtures and gums soapstock are removed from the oil. The soapstock inside the oil is gradually removed inside tank E24n and pumped to storage by pump N25n.
Both cold and hot softened water is essential for the separator to work well. The cold softened water is pumped in from tank E18n by the N19n pump. Hot softened water comes from the E20n tank and is pumped in by the N21n pump. Direct steam is also required in the E20n tank to regulate the water temperature.
During the process, water containing fat is generated inside separator C23n. This fat-containing water is drained off to the adjacent G26n grease catcher. The oil which has now been neutralized is send to the T30n heat exchanger from where it is heated with low pressure steam to between 90 and 95 degrees centigrade. Hot softened water is introduced into the heat exchanger and mixed with the hot oil. The mixing is efficiently done by the M31 dynamic mixer. The mixture of oil and water is then transferred to the C32n separator where it is washed and sent to the E1o bleaching line. Water containing fat is sent to the G26n grease catcher. The oil in the grease catcher goes to the E1n tank via the N27n pump while the water is poured out to the external grease catcher.