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Oil/Fat Pretreatment

The pretreatment involves removing of impurities. Depending on the properties of the feedstock, either water degumming is applied, or regular bleaching where a small amount of phosphoric acid is added and intensively mixed with oil to precipitate the gums and impurities which will then be removed along with bleaching earth.

Oil/Fat Hydrogenation

Oil and hydrogen react at low pressures, in order to remove the unsaturation. The hydrogenated oil will yield more stable products in the further processing and avoid the fatty acids hydrogenation step.

oil-fat

Oil/Fat Splitting

The desmet ballestra oleo splitting is characterised by the very high splitting degree and the very low carry over of fatty matter in the sweet water and free glycerol in the crude fatty acids.

This latter feature avoids the splitting degree reversion in the storage.

The unique design of our splitter is that the upper heat and mass transfer section is foul proof avoiding then the need for the frequent stop over for cleaning.

The crude fatty acids are normally dehydrated, while the sweet water are preconcentrated and passed through an in-line settling vessel to separate to the maximum extent the fatty matter.

Sweetwater treatment

Many of our plants operate without chemical treatment of the sweet water, matter of fact De Smet and Ballestra were the first to operate in this way since 1989; nevertheless we can supply a fully continuous treatment whereas required.

Chemical treatment of spent lyes, on the contrary of sweet water, is unavoidable and is carried out in a continuous, fully automatically controlled unit.

Sweetwater concentration

The unit is tailored to the capacity, the available utilities and the specific customer preferences in up to four effects. Both natural and forced circulation units are supplied.

Maximum heat recovery is achieved by feed effluent heat exchangers and thermo compressors.

For spent lyes concentration, the unit differs from the one for sweet water for the salt separation recovery and drying section. Also the materials of construction are different from the ones for sweet water. Due to the presence of salt only the forced circulation alternative is viable.

This unit can also handle, when required, bio-diesel diluted glycerine.

oil-fat1

Glycerine distillation/refining

The distillation is based on a packed tower where the glycerine is distilled, fractionated to separate both heavy and light boiling impurities and condensed.

Yellowish glycerine is condensed in a separate scrubber. Deodorisation can be supplied according to the material being processed.
Refining is continuous on three in line bleachers.

In case of spent lyes or bio-diesel glycerine a salt squeezing section is added.

Fatty acids distillation

The distillers are towers with structured packing to fractionate heavy and light boiling impurities and to ensure that the fatty acids are distilled at the lowest possible temperature.

Squeezing of the residue is carried out in a separate distiller.

Condensation can be carried out inside the tower over packing with cooling of an external pump around or outside the tower in shell and tubes condensers.

In both cases heat is recovered generating low pressure steam.

Canned pumps with falling film reboilers or centrifugal pumps with suppressed vaporisation reboilers are proposed according to the case.

Fatty acids fractional distillation

The single or multi towers plants are based on towers with structured packing. Typical design of the towers foresees three products outlets (top, sidedraw and bottom).

Of course all features of the distillation apply to the fractionation.

Fatty acids dry fractionation

Controlled cooling/crystallising followed by pressure membrane filtration is used for the production of oleic acid.

Dry fractionation process leading to clean and simple operation guaranteeing a lower operating and investment cost.

Fatty acids hydrogenation

The unit is designed to hydrogenate in a semi-continuous way either the neutral oil or the fatty acids.

The hydrogenation is carried out in a reactor with a jet mixer.

Heat of reaction is utilised to generate low pressure steam in an external exchanger; to further improve the overall heat balance feed /effluent heat exchangers are foreseen.

Spent lyes treatment

Many of our plants operate without chemical treatment of the sweet water, matter of fact De Smet and Ballestra were the first to operate in this way since 1989; nevertheless we can supply a fully continuous treatment whereas required.

Chemical treatment of spent lyes, on the contrary of sweet water, is unavoidable and is carried out in a continuous, fully automatically controlled unit.

The same applies for methylesters.

Spent lyes concentratrion

The unit is tailored to the capacity, the available utilities and the specific customer preferences in up to four effects. Both natural and forced circulation units are supplied.

Maximum heat recovery is achieved by feed effluent heat exchangers and thermo compressors.

For spent lyes concentration, the unit differs from the one for sweet water for the salt separation recovery and drying section. Also the materials of construction are different from the ones for sweet water. Due to the presence of salt only the forced circulation alternative is viable.

This unit can also handle, when required, bio-diesel diluted glycerine

Glycerine distillation/ refining

The distillation is based on a packed tower where the glycerine is distilled, fractionated to separate both heavy and light boiling impurities and condensed.

Yellowish glycerine is condensed in a separate scrubber. Deodorisation can be supplied according to the material being processed.
Refining is continuous on three in line bleachers.

In case of spent lyes or bio-diesel glycerine a salt squeezing section is added.