Background
Due to the national policy of Thailand in promoting the utilization of bio-fuel for industrial sectors, particularly for transportation, the demand of palm oil for biodiesel production is currently increasing. This situation appealed to many farmers to expand oil palm plantation into new potential regions. Although oil palm plantation in those new regions results in high yield, a key problem is an increasing in the distance that fresh fruit bunches (FFB) have to be transported due to unavailability of palm oil extraction plants, resulting in a higher transportation cost and a lower quality of FFB.
Extraction is an important upstream process of palm oil production. It has been playing an important role in increasing value of oil palm products. Normally, conventional palm oil extraction plants require steam in the process and the minimum production capacity of 15 tons of fresh fruit bunches per hour is considered to be economically feasible. Moreover, using steam in the palm oil extraction process directly causes considerable environmental impact due to the waste water released from the process.
Therefore, steamless nut-separated palm oil extraction system was developed with the goal to enhance the capability of palm oil extraction in those new regions. This system has the minimum production capacity of 1.5 tons of fresh fruit bunches per hour and does not release any waste water. In addition, it has additional highlight features including: low production cost, simple maintenance, and the use of processing waste as animal feed.

Project Details
This research project aimed to solve two primary problems of conventional palm oil extraction systems: 1) reducing the production capacity to fit the requirement of new palm plantation regions and 2) reducing environmental impact. The approach of solving the problems is to eliminate the use of steam in the extraction process while maintaining the quality of Crude palm oil to be grade A. In addition to solving the two primary problems, the steamless nut-separated palm oil extraction process obtained from this research project also has highlight features including; low production cost, simple maintenance, and the useof processing waste as animal feed.

Output
A prototype of steamless nut-separated palm oil extraction system is an evolution from conventional palm oil extraction systems using steam. Because this system does not create water pollution and, therefore, does need a water treatment system, it can be one of appropriate answers for Thailand National Policy.

Project Leader : Dr. Ekkarut Viyanit
National Metal and Materials Technology Center
Research Team : Dr. Tanahorn Tantanawat
Dr. Ukrit Sahapatsombut
Dr. Noramon Intaranoint
Researcher from Great Agro Co.,LTD.
contact : 02-5646500 ext. 4734
ekkarutv@mtec.or.th

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