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Edible Oil Refinery Plant

GOYUM GROUP is a leading Manufacturer and Exporter of both Physical & Chemical Edible Oil Refinery Plant with our manufacturing facilities in Ludhiana ( Punjab ), India. We provide turnkey solutions for Batch Type Vegetable Oil Refinery Plants from 5 Tons to 25 Tons Per Day in Batch Type and Continuous Type Cooking Oil Refinery Plant from 30 Tons Per Day onwards. Our oil processing machines and equipment are suitable for various types of oils and fats industry.

GOYUM Edible Oil Refinery Plant

Edible Oil Refining Process

Refining is a process of bring vegetable oil by physical chemical changes to remove unwanted compounds and constituents so that to ensure the refined oil to optimal taste, aroma, stability and appearance. During the refining process the nutritional value of the edible oil will be un effected ensuring the stability, safety and yield. The refined Oil will also not affect the health of the consumer however it ensures good digestibility by minimizing trans fats and 3 mpcd compounds.

The Oil soluble vitamins like A and D will be fortified after refining process as per who guidelines ensuring consumer health is protected.

Edible Oil Refining Processes:
  1. Physical Oil Refining Process
  2. Chemical Oil Refining Process
Edible Oil Refining Types:
  1. Batch Type Oil Refinery
  2. Continuous Type Oil Refinery

Continuous Type Edible Oil Refinery Plant Process

Process Description of Physical Oil Refining

With these steps the quality and acceptability of refined oil will be improved. Generally, the removal of fatty acids is carried out with the help of a caustic soda solution as a neutralizing agent.

Whereas hard oils like Palm Oil, Palm kernel oil, Shea butter and also lauric oils like coconut oils plus rice bran oil are with high FFA content.

Although Chemical refining will generate acceptable quality of refined oil, the soap formed with caustic soda will also entrap some oil and excess caustic used during the process will convert neutral oil also into soap.

To prevent this type of unwanted losses High FFA oils are refined through the Physical refining route without using caustic soda solution which is a chemical.

The physical refining route ensures the consumer acceptability and allows to retain important compounds like Oryzanol of rice bran oil when refined physically. That’s why this refining process gain importance and losses will be minimal.

Steps involved in Physical Refining

Physical Refining Plant Process Flowchart

Process Description of Chemical Oil Refining

The chemical refining is specifically used for Soft Oils where the FFA content is very low and phospholipids are higher. The phospholipids recovered in the form of Gums and could be converted to liquid lecithin to add additional value to the product and increase profitability.

The major variation in chemical physical refining is additional 3 steps of Degumming, Neutralizing and water washing. The remaining bleaching and Deodorization will be the same and similar to physical refining.

There will be some special oils which contain waxes like Sunflower, Corn germ, Rice bran and Cottonseed (required only in cold countries) a dewaxing step will be included after bleaching.

Steps involved in Chemical Refining

Chemical Refining Plant Process

Below are the steps of Physical & Chemical Oil Refining Plant.

Pretreatment of Oil

The feed oil to be processed will be heated to 65-70°C with the regenerative heat exchanger by outgoing deodorized oil followed by a heater to heat the feed ( at the time of start-up). Concentrated phosphoric acid with 85% and above concentration (0.05 – 0.10%) will be added with the Acid Metering Pump and intensively mixed with the oil in Knife Mixer and allowed to flow to the conditioner Reactor with a specific retention time so that all the phosphatides will be treated before entering to Bleaching section

Degumming, Neutralization and Water Washing

Degumming, Neutralization and Water Washing section


The vegetable oils are triglyceride esters of fatty acids and also called lipids. These lipids also contain phospholipids like lecithin, cephalin and inositol etc. A part of the phospholipids are hydratable and apart is non-hydratable. The hydratable phospholipids are hydrated settled and separated and dried to convert to Liquid lecithin. The non-hydratable phosphatides are treated with concentrated phosphoric acid to generated a common ion effect and make them separate from the lipids. These non-hydratable phosphatides are removed along with neutralization.

The Process is to heat the oil to 65 to 70 deg centigrade mix with hot water upto 2% based on phosphorous ppm and allowed to react for 20 to 25 minutes in a reactor and will be separated in a batch process by settling the gums, in continuous through centrifugal separators.


This is the second step of the Chemical refining process. During this step, the oil is treated with Caustic soda solution and Free fatty acid are neutralized and it generates a mixture of soap formed from free fatty acids and Oil. The soap phase is heavy and Oil phase is light. Again this will be separated either through settling in a batch process or through separation done by centrifuges in a continuous process.

Water degummed oil from separator is pumped to plate heat exchanger where oil is heated to neutralization temperature i.e. around 80 to 85 Deg C. The hot oil is fed to mixer with pre-calculated requisite quantity of phosphoric acid where oil and phosphoric acid is allowed a brief holding time and allowed for precipitation and also for trace metals.

The Precipated oil after the addition of phosphoric acid is fed into mixer where the oil is mixed with pre-calculated quantity of caustic soda solution of suitable baume strength. Free fatty acids are allowed to react with caustic soda to form soap either short mix or long mix process based on the type of the oil . The reacted oil is sent to the Soap Separator. The precipitated impurities are removed from the oil as water-based heavy phase called as soap stock. The separated soap stock could be used for soap manufacturing, converting to acid oil and further acid oil will be used in soap production or Biodiesel production.

Water Washing:

The residual soap in the degummed & neutralized oil is reduced by water washing. In this case the oil from the separator is heated to about 95 C in the Washing Heater and then mixed with 10 – 15% soft water in the Wash Mixer. After a few minutes of retention in the Wash Reactor, the wet oil enters the Wash Water Separator. The washed oil, typically containing under 100 ppm soap and with a reduced level of phosphorus, is sent directly to bleaching as described above. The heavy phase soapy water is collected in the Recovered oil tank and drained to Effluent treatment.

Vacuum Drying:

Washed oil is fed continuously to the Vacuum dryer and sprayed through specially designed nozzles. The vacuum dryer is kept under a vacuum of 70 torr. The dried oil from the vacuum chamber is continuously pumped out by pump to intermediate storage tank.

Striking Features
  • Consumption of Utilities and Power is low
  • Chemical consumption at a minimum
  • Highly Efficient removal of Phosphatides/gums
  • Reduction in Oil processing Losses
  • Plant designed in combination with partial degumming, total degumming and neutralization
  • Knife mixer used for effective dispersion of reagent
  • Retention time could be varied to achieve optimum results

Bleaching of Oil

Bleaching Plant, Bleacher

The pre treated oil from the conditioning reactor allowed to flow through heater by raizing the temperature to 95 – 105 deg c to the slurry mixer at specific rate of the production capacity of the plant through flow meter. The Bleaching earth dosing system will be filled bleaching earth either activated or neutral as per lab results into the static mixer. In the static mixer the Oil and clay will be very well mixed and slurry flows into the three stage bleacher. A pneumatic dosing system will meter the bleaching earth synchronized with oil flow for accuracy and efficiency. The Bleacher will be under vacuum

The oil Bleaching temperature can also be raised in the first compartment of Bleacher. The Bleached equipped with both mechanical agitation and sparge steam provision. Both dry and wet bleaching effects are together incorporated in the system to enable to adopt the process suitable to the Oil based Dobhi test. The earth adsorbs all treated gums as well as trace metals, color bodies and other polar impurities. Specific retention will maintained within the bleacher for proper absorption of color pigements. The oil and earth mixture is discharged by the Bleacher Discharge Pump to the vertical Pressure leaf filters where the spent earth is removed. The filtered oil is collected in the Filtrate Receiver. The Bleached Oil will be transfered to the Bleached Oil tank through the alternative Polish Filters fixed with 5 micron bags.

Striking Features
  • Metal contents and residual P-contents will be eliminated by additional pre treatment
  • Bleaching in single reactor – Compact system with slurry preparation
  • Bleaching chemical could not be carried over to Vacuum system
  • Dry and Wet Bleaching effect in a single bleaching system
  • Colour reduction will be improved due to dual bleaching effect
  • Bleaching earth consumption at minimum level
  • Automated dosing system ensures accurate quantity of Bleaching earth
  • Utilities consumed at minimum level

Deacidification and Deodorization

DeAcidification and Deodorization Plant

Bleached oil from bleached oil tank continuously pumped through flow meter and it is preheated with the help of regenerative heat exchanger heater and PHE at the time of start-up to the Deaerator. The Deaerator is under full vacuum so that residual air is reduced to an absolute minimum. The Deaerator Discharge Pump sends the oil through a regenerative heat exchanger where the temperature is increased by hot deodorized oil. The oil is heated to full processing temperature in the Vacuum Heater by the thermic fluid heating system. The Final Vacuum heater is connected to vacuum duct of Deodorizer through which a part of the free fatty acid is removed.

The hot oil from the final vacuum heater (240 – 260 deg c) enters the deodorizer stripping column fixed with structural packings and provision of sparging steam arrangement and automatic level controlling system, where the Oil flows through the channels of a series of vertically arranged trays while agitated by sparging steam. The Specified time of thermal action breaks down carotene and other colour bodies, resulting in lighter oil colour. The balance amount of free fatty acids in the oil is reduced to minimum levels. The maximum retention time in the Deodorizer could be varied and to a maximum of 75 minutes.

The deodorized oil will be moved out by the Product Pump and used in all regenerative heat exchangers further cooled to storage temperature in the Deodorizing section, Deaerating section, Bleaching section and final Oil Cooler. The anti-oxidants are dosed to oil in the Deodorizer. The finished oil is finally sent to storage through 5-micron polish Filters where all particles are filtered in the case that remained.

i) Fatty Acid Distillate Recovery:

Fatty acids, other odoriferous materials like aldehydes, ketones and tocopherols, squalene and any other materials evaporated from the oil, are condensed by direct contact with the recycled and cooled distillate in the Vapor Scrubber. The cooled distillate is recirculated by the Distillate Pump through the Distillate Cooler where it is continuously cooled by cooling water. Accumulated distillate is discharged from the Scrubber whenever it exceeds the level and automatically transferred to a fatty distillate storage tank.

ii) Protection from Air Contamination and Oxidative stability:

During the total process of deodorization, the packed column Deaerator ensures maximum removal of dissolved air before entering to high-temperature heating system. This totals de aeration to reduce polymerization of the oil on the inside of the heat exchanger coils. The optimum quality of Oil will be protected especially when processing unsaturated oils, from the air contamination and prevents Oxidation maintaining the peroxide value below 10 PPM.

Striking Features
  • Consumption of steam for stripping FFA & Odoriferous matter at minimum level
  • Splash oil generation will be zero
  • Improved FFA recovery
  • Erection will be easier and simple due to single vessel
  • High energy savings with regenerative heat exchangers
  • Bleaching earth consumption at minimum level
  • wide surface area generated by structured packing enhances the stripping action
  • Minimum sparge steam requirement
  • Minimum load on vacuum system
  • Side reactions will be nullified like polymerization, isomerization, etc
  • Cleaning and Maintenace provision included for sparge steam pipes
  • Good for deodorization of all kinds of fats


Some oils like sunflower, corn germ, cottonseed and rice bran oils contain some percentage of wax which is to be removed through the process of dewaxing. This may be in the middle of the refinery after bleaching and/or at the end of the refinery after deodorization

De-waxing is a process technique to separate waxes and materials that cause cloudy ness to the oil at 20 deg c or below. This dewaxing process allows isolating high melting point fats which crystallized parts are responsible for turbidity in some vegetable oils during winter season or after refrigeration.

Bleached oil from oil tank is fed to crystallizer through a number of exchangers. The oil is first passed to cooler where it is cooled to 400C by cooling water & then further cooled in heat regenerative heat exchanger with the de-waxed oil. The cooled oil is further processed to cool down in crystallizing cooler where the oil is cooled down by chilled water. The cooled oil is then fed to crystallizer. Crystallizer is a vertical concentric cylindrical vessel with conical bottom, fitted with cooling coil, and agitator driven by geared motor connected to Variable frequency drive to change the RPM as per requirement and it is specific for each oil. The Crystallizers are of specific capacity like 10 /15/20 tons After feed calculated quantity of oil through flow meter with totalizer, it is agitated to homogenize the mass and cooled under control temperature conditions gradually by circulating chilled water through coil to temperature and allows develop crystals. The cooled and chilled crystalized matured oil is passed through filters. The filters hold the wax in the filter and allow it to pass the clear oil. This Oil is collected in dewaxed oil tank and taken to the next step of processing.

The wax settled in the filters will be collected by heating melting and transferring to the wax tank. The wax will be sold to Industries where they use wax in several applications like chewing gum, candles etc.

Striking Features
  • Good stability of dewaxed oil at cold temperatures.
  • Specified could point could be maintained easily
  • Minimum filter aid consumption
  • No oxidation of Oil
  • Low oil content in wax
  • Bleaching earth consumption at minimum level
  • Specially designed crystallizers for better heat transfer
  • Minimum energy consumption

Batch Oil Refining ( Physical and Chemical)

This is a system where the refining process either physical or chemical will be carried out by selecting the batch size of 5 ton or 25 tons. The equipment manufacture according to the size of the batch and operated manually as per specified technical and operational instruction. Batch systems are suitable for smaller capacities for higher capacities it is difficult to construct huge vessels and operational constraints and human error will be higher.

Comparison Between Batch and Continuous Refining Process

Human Intervention Manually operated Automatic Continuously operated
Process Batch by Batch Continuous
Manpower Higher Lower
Capacity Suitable for small Capacities Suitable for Medium to High Capacities
Human Factor Judgement involves Human error No Human error all the parameters fixed
Quality Vary Consistent
Heat Recovery Minimum Maximum heat recovered through regenerative Heat exchangers
Utility Consumption Higher Lower compared to Batch
Power Consumption Higher Lower compared to Batch
Chemical Consumption Higher Lower compared to Batch
Investment Lower Higher
Process Cost Higher Lower compared to Batch
Return on investment Lower Higher compared to Batch

Related Oil Refinery Plant Process

Are You Looking to Start a New Edible Oil Refinery Plant or Further Expansion?

The Edible Oil Refinery Plant offered by GOYUM is robust, versatile, reliable and efficient. This Cooking Oil Refinery Plant is based on practically proven technology which is not only energy efficient & environment friendly, but also economical.

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