How palm oil is made from palm fruit to palm oil?
Palm oil plantation
The next time you walk into a grocery store, take a moment to think about the fact that 50 percent of the items you see contain palm oil. Despite its ubiquity and familiar presence on ingredient lists, palm oil is a foreign, tropical product that most North Americans know very little about. Did you ever wonder where it comes from? How it’s grown and processed? Who handles it along the way? Do you know what a palm fruit looks like?
Oil palms are able to produce fruit for harvest within 4 to 6 years of planting, if fertilized well. Life expectancy is 28 to 30 years on average, at which point they are usually 40 feet / 12 metres high and it becomes too hard to harvest the heavy fruit bundles using extension pole.
Palm oil fruit bunches in tree
Palm fruits grow in dense bundles that are wedged tightly in between the branches. This picture shows fruit that isn’t yet ripe. It will eventually turn a brighter red-orange colour.
Harvesting palm fruit
A worker harvests palm fruit. He must chop off branches in order to dislodge the bundle, which crashes to the ground. Harvesting is physically grueling work and is much easier when palms are smaller and the fruit
bunches aren’t as big.
Loading palm fruit
After harvesting, the palm fruit bundles are collected in a cart pulled by a donkey, hauled to the edge of the plantation, and loaded by these workers into a truck. They thrust big metal poles into the centres of the bundles to lift and pitch them.
Truck containing palm fruit
Palm fruit is delivered to the palm oil mill plant. Trucks drive up a ramp and tip their loads into hoppers that deliver the fruit directly to the steam chambers(palm fruit sterilizer section) .
Palm fruit sterilizing machine
Palm fruits are extremely hard. When I picked at one with a fingernail, it was nearly impossible to scratch the surface. They must be softened before anything can be done. The first step is to ‘cook’ them for one hour with high-pressure, high-temperature steam (300 psi, 140 degrees Celsius). This picture shows a load of fruit that has just exited the steam chamber.
Palm fruit threshing machine
Palm fruit thresher in palm oil mill plant is used for separate empty fruit bunch and palm fruit.According the palm oil processing machinery capacity we can design the thresher capacity, usually we have a spare one, in case one of them not work. Empty fruit bunch from palm fruit thresher will be conveyed to outside, can be used as stertilizer in palm fruit plantation. Sterilized palm fruit will be convey to next station.
Palm oil pressing machine
Sterilized palm fruit from thresher conveyed to digestor.There are blades in digestor, blades will be rolling by motor which is on the top of digestor. Palm fruit peel can be crushed by blades, besides we will fill the steam in digestor for heating. Palm fruit pulp cell can be destroyed under the high temperature condition, after that we can get higher oil yield.
Crude palm oil
This is a picture of the crude oil from palm fruit pulp, which makes up approximately 22 percent of a typical palm fruit bundle. At this point, its main use would be for cooking. Palm kernel oil, which is approximately 1.8 percent of a palm fruit bundle, is the more valuable commodity and has a much paler colour than the pulp oil. Kernel oil gets refined and used in ice cream, chocolate, soap, cosmetics, etc.
11. Wastewater is pumped into the bio-digester
Water left over from processing contains palm fruit residue, oil, and organic matter. It gets pumped into these huge bio-digesters, which capture the methane gas generated by the decomposition of the sludge and use it to power part of the plant.