Cleaned palm kernel is broken into smaller pieces with an impactor and then a rollermill. The kernel is then conditioned, flaked and sent to solvent extraction, or cooked and sent to full pressing.
The solvent extraction process uses hexane or other solvents to wash the palm kernel oil from the prepared flakes. The design of the equipment varies so that Crown can optimize the amount of solvent and bed depth needed to efficiently wash the flakes, the contact time of the solvent and flakes, and the power and utilities needed to run the equipment. Palm kernel is processed with the Model III Extractor.
Once the oil has been removed by the solvent, the solvent must be removed from both the flakes and the palm kernel oil. For the flakes, heat and steam are used to strip and recover the residual solvent. For the palm kernel oil, a distillation system is used to recover the solvent. The desolventized flakes are now a product and ready for sale as a good source of protein. The palm kernel can be further refined from a crude product to an edible product.
Oil Refining and Processing
Crude palm oil or palm kernel oil must be further processed to make an edible product. Edible palm oil is refined to improve the flavor, odor, color and stability using processes that degum, bleach, deacidify and deodorize the oil. These processes remove contaminants such as phosphatides, free fatty acids and pro-oxidants.
Further processing of palm oil or palm kernel oil is sometimes desired and is achieved by modifying the oil to change its melting characteristics. Byproducts may be processed to create value-added products or reduce costs.
Biodiesel is a renewable fuel derived from fats and oils. Although any source of fat can be used, palm oil plays a major part in this industry.
There is a significant number of oleochemicals made from the byproducts of palm oil and palm kernel oil. Whether it's glycerin from a biodiesel plant or fatty acids from a fat hydrolysis plant, Crown offers many different processes to add value to these fat byproducts.