The invention relates to a process of oil/water mixture separation assisted by a vacuum system inside the vessel. The concept of this practice is in accordance with the difference in specific gravity where liquid with lowest specific gravity will be at the top whilst the higher specific gravity will settling at bottom – in this case, oil will be at top and sludge/water will be at bottom. With the aid of vacuum, the oil separation can be improved and shorten the oil retention time.
Increasing concern on high oil loss at the clarifier station, prompted many researchers over the years to invent a new technology or concept to reduce oil loss and maximize oil production throughout the process. High oil loss in conventional clarifiers affect the production throughput, hence reduce the Oil Extraction Rate (OER) in palm oil mills.
Palm oil clarification in most mills rely heavily on gravitational forces; where it requires at least 3 hours to obtain clear and bright oil. This is indeed causing a detrimental loss in overall oil throughput due to the extended processing time. Failure to reach sufficient settling time will cause high oil loss in the NOS or sludge. Longer processing time in conventional clarifiers, affects the production cost and throughput in palm oil mills.
With vacuum technology applied in clarification process, the oil retention time and the oil losses in the sludge can be substantially reduced.
Prof Dr Robiah Binti Yunus
Faculty of Engineering UPM
Date of Input: 26/11/2020 | Updated: 26/11/2020 | asrizam
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