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KA 04001






28600 KARAK



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2nd JUNE 2008- 14th NOVEMBER 2008

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“ I declare that this report is written by my own except as cited references”.

Signature :………………………

Prepared by : Nor Ilia Anisa Aris

Date : ………………………

Signature : ………………………..

Approved by : Fadzli Mahadi (Supervisor from Mempaga Palm Oil Mill)

Date : ………………………..

Signature : ………………………..

Approved by : Suriyati Salleh (Supervisor from FKKSA)

Date : ………………………..

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In preparing this report, I was in asking with many people especially in

Mempaga Palm Oil Mill. They have contributed towards my understanding and
thoughts. In particular, I wish to express my sincere appreciation to my supervisor’s,
Mr. Fadzli Mahadi for encouragement, guidance, critics and friendship. I am also very
thankful to my workmates especially in laboratory such as Mdm. Zamzaviyana Zaine,
Mr. Ridzuan Muhammad, Muhd Nazri Nordin and Abdul Kadir Idris for their
guidance, advice and also motivation. I am also indebted to Faculty of Chemical
Engineering and Natural Resources (FKKSA) lectures for their support during my
practical in Mempaga Palm Oil Mill.

My sincere appreciation also extends to my industrial supervisor’s from

Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Miss Suriyati Salleh, manager of Mempaga Palm
Oil Mill, Hj. Megat Abdul Rahman and other who have provided assistance at various
occasions. Their views and tips are useful indeed. Unfortunately, it is not possible to
list all of them in this limited space. I am grateful to all community of Mempaga Palm
Oil Mill and friends in same batch with me who also contribute for industrial training.

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General Background 1

Organization Background 3

Origin of Oil Palm 6

Work Summary in Mempaga Palm Oil Mill 8

Handling Effects

2.1.2 Bunch Reception

2.1.3 Sterilization

2.1.4 Digestion of the Fruit

2.1.5 Press Cake

2.1.6 Clarification and Purification of the

Crude Palm Oil

2.1.7 Depericarping and Nut Separation

2.1.8 Nut Cracking

2.1.9 Separation of Kernels and Shells

2.1.10 Palm Kernel Drying


3.1 Introduction

3.2 External Treatment

3.3 Internal Treatment


4.1 Introduction

4.2 Sources and Treatment of Waste Materials



Palm Oil Analysis

5.2.1 Free Fatty Acid (FFA)

5.2.2 Volatile Matter (VM)

5.2.3 Dirt

5.2.4 Deterioration of Bleacheability Index (DOBI)

Kernel Analysis

5.3.1 Free Fatty Acid (FFA)

5.3.2 Determination of Moisture Content

5.3.3 Determination of Shell and Dirt in

Palm Kernels

Losses Analysis in Palm Oil Mill

5.4.1 Oil Loss

5.4.2 Kernel Loss

Mass Passing to Digester (MPD) Analysis

Boiler Water Test





2.0 Lifting Velocity of Particle
3.0 Limitation Parameter in Boiler Feed Water
4.0 Parameters for Effluent of Palm Oil Mill

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Structure of Palm Fruit
Fresh Fruit (on the left is a cut fruit)
Block Flow Diagram for Extraction of
the Crude Palm Oil
Full Instrumentation in Sterilizer
Process Flow Diagram (PFD) of Clarification
Process Flow for External Treatment
Process Flow for Internal Treatment
Process Flow Diagram of Effluent Treatment Plant
Procedures in Calculating Oil Loss

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1.1 General Background

The overall development of the palm oil sector in Malaysia is best described as
having been most colorful. Oil palm was first introduced to Malaysia (then Malaya) in
1875. Early interest in oil palm was as an ornamental plant, and from about 1917
onwards the palm oil sector began its development into what it witnessed today as a
multi-billion Ringgit industry. Malaysia has one of the most ideal climatic conditions
for growing oil palm, and it is in Malaysia that the crop’s full potential has been
realized and exploited.

Malaysia is the largest producer of palm oil in the world. Felda Palm Industries
Sdn. Bhd. (FPISB) is a company principally engaged in purchasing and processing of
palm oil. it is primarily rolled to process palm oil bunches mainly from Felda schemes
to produce crude palm oil and palm kernel. FPISB now has 72 mills located throughout
Malaysia. The company has subsidiaries and 7 associate companies which are involved
in business as refining, kernel crushing, bulking, transportation and marketing.

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The company ranks the biggest palm oil processing company in the world with
the annual output capacities exceeding 2.2 million tones. With refineries equipped with
the state of the art facilities, the company produces one of the widest ranges of refined
palm oil products. In 2002, the company produced over 2.3 million metric tones of
crude palm oil accounting for some 23% of the total national production. The aim of
company is to be able to use all palm oil by-products. From the awareness of this
objective, since 1995 research and development activities are centralized.

The policy statement of FBISB is to strive and propel the drive to its superior
product quality via ISO 9002. As an integrated entity completely involved from the
source to finished products, this superb achievement put paid to the company’s
commitment of striving together towards satisfaction through quality, as enshrined in
its corporate mission.

The mission of FPISB is to be a leader in the palm oil industry at the global
level, while the mission is to move forward together the excellence in the 21st century,
making FPISB a leader in a quality products and services which meet customer

In order to achieve their vision and mission, all objectives below must be
followed. The objectives are to strive towards achieving and investing in human
resource development, process and technology at the local and international levels, to
diversify products in increasing competiveness in the international market.

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1.2 Organization Background

Mempaga palm oil mill had been opened at 1979. The mill is capable to
process 40 tonnes metric per hour. The sources of fresh fruit bunches are from the
plantation area around it such as Felda Mempaga, Felda Sertik and Felda Lakum.

At the mill level, the production supervisor shall have command over the mill
workers and responsible to the assistant mill managers which are Mr. Zakaria bin
Abdullah and Mr. Rizali bin Abdullah. Mr. Zakaria bin Abdullah who in turn will be
responsible for accomplishing the mill’s maintenance. While the second assistant mill
manager will be responsible to the mill operation.

The mill manager of Mempaga Palm Oil Mill, Tuan Haji Megat Abdul Rahman
bin Megat Husin is responsible for coordinating the mill’s quality control activities
among the various organizational units in the mill. He was assisted by two assistant
managers, 9 head departments and 63 operators. (Figure 1.0)

Through his knowledge, he would identify the quality needs and determine
how these needs should be met. Moreover through direct access to all employees, the
mill manager cans issues orders to perform those deeds which carry out this plan.
Besides, he can observe whether the results have been obtained.

In fulfilling his role as the mill’s quality coordinator, the mill manager will
perform few functions such as initiate corrective action on out of control conditions
and related quality problems, conduct follow-up to assure that products despatched by
the mill conform to quality requirements by ISO.

Mr. Fadzli bin Mahadi, who as the mill laboratory assistant will report directly
to the mill manager in day-to-day control and responsible to the zone quality controller
on all matters related to process and quality control.

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Control of testing equipments and chemical reagents should be joined the
responsibility of laboratory assistant. In order to carry out this responsibility, following
functions should be performed y maintaining records or other suitable conclusive
evidence and checking the mill’s testing equipment and chemical reagents at
established periods to assure continued accuracy.

Next as the zone quality controller also will report directly to the zone
controller and will be responsible for assuring that the mill’s quality program is being
followed correctly by the mill management. He shall also maintain contact with the
Head Office Quality Control staff on all matters related.

This Quality Control Program may be defined as Perbadanan Works’ System

coordinating the quality improvement and maintenance activities of the various
organizational units in FPISB so as to produce good quality products at minimum
budget but maximum recovery efficiency.

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Figure 1.0 Organization Chart

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1.3 Origin of Oil Palm

It is generally agreed that the Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis) originated in the
tropical rain forest region of West Africa. The main belt runs through the southern
latitudes of Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo and
into the equatorial region of Angola and the Congo. Processing oil palm fruits for
edible oil has been practiced in Africa for thousands of years, and the oil produced,
highly coloured and flavoured, is an essential ingredient in much of the traditional
West African cuisine. The traditional process is simple, but tedious and inefficient.
During the 14th to 17th centuries some palm fruits were taken to the Americas and
from there to the Far East. The plant appears to have thrived better in the Far East, thus
providing the largest commercial production of an economic crop far removed from its
centre of origin.

Palm oil is rich in carotenoids, (pigments found in plants and animals) from
which it derives its deep red colour, and the major component of its glycerides is the
saturated fatty acid palmitic; hence it is a viscous semi-solid, even at tropical ambients,
and a solid fat in temperate climates.

Because of its economic importance as an high-yielding source of edible and

technical oils, the oil palm is now grown as a plantation crop in most countries with
high rainfall (minimum 1 600 mm/yr) in tropical climates within 10° of the equator.
The palm bears its fruit in bunches (Figure 1.1) varying in weight from 10 to 40 kg.
The individual fruit, (Figure 1.2) ranging from 6 to 20 gm, are made up of an outer
skin (the exocarp), a pulp (mesocarp) containing the palm oil in a fibrous matrix; a
central nut consisting of a shell (endocarp); and the kernel, which itself contains an oil,
quite different to palm oil, resembling coconut oil.

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Figure 1.1 Structure of the Palm Fruit

Figure 1.2 Fresh Fruit (on the left is a cut fruit)

However, such high yields are rarely achieved in practice because climatic
conditions are usually less than ideal (Table 1.0). Rainfall is erratic in palm estate and
hence the tree suffers water-related stresses. The management of costly inputs of
labour, imported fertilizers, pesticides and harvesting machinery, is also a difficulty
that hampers the yield of plantations.

Table 1.0: Ideal Composition of Palm Fruit Bunch

Part of Fresh Fruit Bunch Composition
Bunch Weight 23-27 kg
Fruit/ Bunch 60-65%
Oil/ Bunch 21-23%
Kernel/Bunch 5-7 %
Mesocarp/ Bunch 44-46 %
Mesocarp/ Fruit 71-76 %

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Kernel/ Fruit 21-22
Shell/ Fruit 10-11


1.4 Work Summary in Mempaga Palm Oil Mill

According to Gantt Chart, each month I asked to go to each station which are
sterilization station, press station, clarification, steam boiler, incinerator and effluent
plant to learn about the process and machine used in there. For the first month in this
mill, I would went to sterilization station where learned about the varying of fruit fresh
bunches (FFB) in loading ramp. Care must be taken in harvesting, handling and
transportation of FFB so that the FFB is not damaged. The damaged palm fruit will
increase to poor quality crude palm oil (CPO) due to increasing free fatty acid (FFA)
content. Detail of the process is explained on Chapter 2.

Besides, I also had to present the topic given by manager of mill. The first topic
was about oil and kernel loss at palm oil mill. One week is given to prepare and study
of the topic. After 2 weeks, I would be given the new topic which is about the water
treatment system in palm oil mill. (More explanation in Chapter 3). The last topic
given by manager is about clarification process and control at mill. The detail of
presentation also is explained in next chapter. I also had chance to visit the other
FPISB mill such as in Jengka 21 which is different from Mempaga Palm Oil Mill
because that mill is one of the new mill built through automatically process. If
compared with Mempaga Palm Oil Mill, Jengka 21 Palm Oil Mill is controlled
automatically and used latest technology in produced palm oil. Therefore, there were
some methods and technologies should be applied in Mempaga Palm Oil Mill. I also
was taken to Bukit Goh Laboratory which is the laboratory under Felda Scheme to

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analyze sample from effluent. The analysis involved of the analysis which cannot be
analyzed at mill laboratory because of limitation analyzer such as biological oxygen
demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), suspended solid, total nitrogen and
total dissolved solid analyzer. The parameter of each analysis is based on Department
of Environmental (DOE’s) standard.

The last task asked by supervisor was analysis which I needed to analyze the
quality of oil and sludge at mill. Firstly, deterioration of bleachability index (DOBI)
and free fatty acid (FFA) analyzes of oil and sludge. The variable parameter was ratio
the volume of sludge and oil. There was 90% of oil mixed with 10% of sludge, 80% of
oil mixed with 20% of sludge until 50% of oil mixed with 50% of sludge. From the
analysis, the result showed that 90% of oil mixed with 10% of sludge gave higher
value of DOBI when compared with the high percentage of sludge. However, for the
FFA analysis, 90% of oil mixed with 10% of sludge gave the lower value.

The second task of analysis was about same analysis but different sample was
taken. The sample was taken at before crude palm oil, after crude palm oil, vertical
tank, sludge condensate and mixed raw material. According to the theory and result
from analysis, before crude palm oil showed that the value of FFA in range of
limitation. Moreover, the value of DOBI is also under limitation which around 2.30.

In everyday, I have to analyze the oil loss and kernel loss to define the
effectiveness of process and palm oil extraction in Mempaga Palm Oil Mill such as oil
loss in sludge mixture raw effluent, sludge of condensate and sludge of trap, while the
percentage of kernel loss is analyzed in light particle, fibre cyclone and wet shell.
(Shown in Appendix).

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2.1 General Processing Description

Research and development work in many disciplines - biochemistry, chemical

and mechanical engineering - and the establishment of plantations, which provided the
opportunity for large-scale fully mechanized processing, resulted in the evolution of a
sequence of processing steps designed to extract, from a harvested oil palm bunch, a
high yield of a product of acceptable quality for the international edible oil trade. The
oil winning process, in summary, involves the reception of fresh fruit bunches from the
plantations, sterilizing and threshing of the bunches to free the palm fruit, mashing the
fruit and pressing out the crude palm oil. The crude oil is further treated to purify and
dry it for storage and export.

Large-scale plants, featuring all stages required to produce palm oil to

international standards, are generally handling from 3 to 60 tonnes of FFB/hr. The
large installations have mechanical handling systems (bucket and screw conveyers,
pumps and pipelines) and operate continuously, depending on the availability of FFB.
Boilers, fuelled by fibre and shell, produce superheated steam, used to generate
electricity through turbine generators. The lower pressure steam from the turbine is

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used for heating purposes throughout the palm oil mill. Most processing operations are
automatically controlled and routine sampling and analysis by process control
laboratories ensure smooth, efficient operation. Although such large installations are
capital intensive, extraction rates of 23 - 24 percent palm oil per bunch can be achieved
from good quality.

Conversion of crude palm oil to refined oil involves removal of the products of
hydrolysis and oxidation, colour and flavour. After refining, the oil may be separated
(fractionated) into liquid and solid phases by thermo-mechanical means (controlled
cooling, crystallization, and filtering), and the liquid fraction (olein) is used
extensively as a liquid cooking oil in tropical climates, competing successfully with the
more expensive groundnut, corn, and sunflower oils.

Extraction of oil from the palm kernels is generally separate from palm oil
extraction, and will often be carried out in mills that process other oilseeds (such as
groundnuts, rapeseed, cottonseed, shea nuts or copra). The stages in this process
comprise grinding the kernels into small particles, heating (cooking), and extracting
the oil using an oilseed expeller or petroleum-derived solvent. The oil then requires
clarification in a filter press or by sedimentation. Extraction is a well-established
industry, with large numbers of international manufacturers able to offer equipment
that can process from 10 kg to several tonnes per hour.

Palm oil processors of all sizes go through these unit operational stages. They
differ in the level of mechanisation of each unit operation and the interconnecting
materials transfer mechanisms that make the system batch or continuous. The scale of
operations differs at the level of process and product quality control that may be
achieved by the method of mechanisation adopted.

Palm oil mills in Malaysia process fresh fruit bunches (FFB) received from the
oil palm plantations into crude palm oil (CPO) and other by-products. Two products
are produced in a palm oil mill. They are crude palm oil (CPO) and palm kernel. Palm

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kernels are processed at palm kernel crushing plants into palm kernel oil. A few palm
oil mills in Malaysia have also included in their operations the palm kernel crushing
facilities. Figure 2.0 shows the block flow diagram for the extraction of crude palm

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Separator Sludge
(Clarification Wastewater)

2.1.1 Harvesting Technique and Handling Effects

In the early stages of fruit formation, the oil content of the fruit is very low. As
the fruit approaches maturity the formation of oil increases rapidly to about 50 %t of
mesocarp weigh. In a fresh ripe, un-bruised fruit the free fatty acid (FFA) content of
the oil is below 0.3 %. However, in the ripe fruit the exocarp becomes soft and is more
easily attacked by lipolytic enzymes, especially at the base when the fruit becomes
detached from the bunch. The enzymatic attack results in an increase in the FFA of the
oil through hydrolysis. Research has shown that if the fruit is bruised, the FFA in the
damaged part of the fruit increases rapidly to 60 percent in an hour. There is therefore
great variation in the composition and quality within the bunch, depending on how
much the bunch has been bruised.

Harvesting involves the cutting of the bunch from the tree and allowing it to
fall to the ground by gravity. Fruits may be damaged in the process of pruning palm
fronds to expose the bunch base to facilitate bunch cutting. As the bunch (weighing
about 25 kg) falls to the ground the impact bruises the fruit. During loading and
unloading of bunches into and out of transport containers there are further
opportunities for the fruit to be bruised. Connoisseurs of good edible palm oil know
that the increased FFA only adds ‘bite’ to the oil flavour. At worst, the high FFA
content oil has good laxative effects. The free fatty acid content is not a quality issue
for those who consume the crude oil directly, although it is for oil refiners, who have a
problem with neutralization of high FFA content palm oil.

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2.1.2 Bunch Reception

Fresh fruit arrives from the field as bunches or loose fruit. The fresh fruit is
normally emptied into wooden boxes suitable for weighing on a scale so that quantities
of fruit arriving at the processing site may be checked. Large installations use
weighbridges to weigh materials in trucks.

The quality standard achieved is initially dependent on the quality of bunches

arriving at the mill. The mill cannot improve upon this quality but can prevent or
minimise further deterioration.

The field factors that affect the composition and final quality of palm oil are
genetic, age of the tree, agronomic, environmental, harvesting technique, handling and
transport. Many of these factors are beyond the control of a small-scale processor.
Perhaps some control may be exercised over harvesting technique as well as post-
harvest transport and handling.

2.1.3 Sterilization

After loading into the sterilizer cages, the FFB is subjected to steam-heat
treatment in horizontal sterilizers. Sterilization means the use of high-temperature wet-
heat treatment of loose fruit. Sterilization uses pressurized steam. The sterilization
action serves several purposes.

i. Heat treatment destroys oil-splitting enzymes and arrests hydrolysis and


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ii For large-scale installations, where bunches are cooked whole, the wet heat
weakens the fruit stem and makes it easy to remove the fruit from bunches on
shaking or tumbling in the threshing machine.
iii Heat helps to solidify proteins in which the oil-bearing cells are
microscopically dispersed. The protein solidification (coagulation) allows the
oil-bearing cells to come together and flow more easily on application of
iv Fruit cooking weakens the pulp structure, softening it and making it easier to
detach the fibrous material and its contents during the digestion process. The
high heat is enough to partially disrupt the oil-containing cells in the mesocarp
and permits oil to be released more readily.
v The moisture introduced by the steam acts chemically to break down gums and
resins. The gums and resins cause the oil to foam during frying. Some of the
gums and resins are soluble in water. Others can be made soluble in water,
when broken down by wet steam (hydrolysis), so that they can be removed
during oil clarification. Starches present in the fruit are hydrolyzed and
removed in this way.
vi When high-pressure steam is used for sterilization, the heat causes the moisture
in the nuts to expand. When the pressure is reduced the contraction of the nut
leads to the detachment of the kernel from the shell wall, thus loosening the
kernels within their shells. The detachment of the kernel from the shell wall
greatly facilitates later nut cracking operations. From the foregoing, it is
obvious that sterilization (cooking) is one of the most important operations in
oil processing, ensuring the success of several other phases.

In Mempaga Palm Oil Mill, steam supplied in sterilizer do not exceed than 45
psi as shows in Figure 2.1. The sterilization cycles, times and patterns vary from mill
to mill. There are 3 types of peak in sterilization however a three-peak sterilization
pattern is normally used. This is because of the compactness of the FFB that was
bought about the weevil pollination introduced in the early 1980s. The steam
condensate is discharged as wastewater and referred to as sterilization condensate.

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Figure 2.1 Full Instrumentation in Sterilizer

However, during sterilization it is important to ensure evacuation of air from

the sterilizer. Air not only acts as a barrier to heat transfer, but oil oxidation increases
considerably at high temperatures; hence oxidation risks are high during sterilization.
Over-sterilization can also lead to poor bleach ability of the resultant oil. Sterilization
is also the chief factor responsible for the discolouration of palm kernels, leading to
poor bleach ability of the extracted oil and reduction of the protein value of the press

2.1.4 Digestion of the Fruit

Digestion is the process of releasing the palm oil in the fruit through the rupture
or breaking down of the oil-bearing cells. The digester commonly used consists of a
steam-heated cylindrical vessel fitted with a central rotating shaft carrying a number of
beater (stirring) arms. Through the action of the rotating beater arms the fruit is
pounded. Pounding, or digesting the fruit at high temperature, helps to reduce the
viscosity of the oil, destroys the fruits’ outer covering (exocarp), and completes the
disruption of the oil cells already begun in the sterilization phase. Thus some palm oil

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is released and collected in the crude oil tank together with the pressed oil. In order to
have good digestion of the fruits, it is important the digester full all time at about 900C.

2.1.5 Press Cake

There are two distinct methods of extracting oil from the digested material. One
system uses mechanical presses and is called the ‘dry’ method. The other called the
‘wet’ method uses hot water to leach out the oil. In the ‘dry’ method the objective of
the extraction stage is to squeeze the oil out of a mixture of oil, moisture, fibre and nuts
by applying mechanical pressure on the digested mash. There are a large number of
different types of presses but the principle of operation is similar for each. The
pressure for each cone press is maintained at about 30 -45 bar.

The primary objective of sampling the press cake is to ascertain the oil loss in
the fibre and the percentage of nuts broken in the press. The oil loss on wet nuts from
the press cake and the percentage fibre to nut in the press cake are also determined.
The fibre in the press cake is one of the sources of high oil loss, since the need for
obtaining a representative sample.

The residual oil of fibre is dependent upon the type of extraction press used.
The fibre derived from hydraulic manual presses can have oil content on non-oily
solids (NOS) as high as 11%. Oil content of fibre from screw and auto-hydraulic
presses can be as high as 9% and 10 % oil/NOS respectively.

Many factors can affect oil losses in fibre. The most likely are temperature of
digesters and sterilization. The percentage of broken nuts is usually less than 3% in the
case of manual-hydraulic presses but can be as high as 10% in the case of screw

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presses and 15% in the case of auto-hydraulic presses. If higher values are obtained,
this may be due to:-

i. Fruit composition (low fibre/nut ratio in the press)

ii. Poor digestion
iii. Mash composition
iv. Excessive press-pressures as in the case of the screw press, and over
drainage of digester as in the case of auto-hydraulic presses.

2.1.6 Clarification and Purification of the Crude Palm Oil

The crude palm oil (CPO) from the presses consists of a mixture of palm oil
(35%- 45%), water (45%-55%) and fibrous materials in varying proportions (Figure
2.2). It is pumped to a vertical clarification tank for oil separation. The main point of
clarification process is separating the oil from its entrained impurities. There are three
main functions of clarification process which to control the quality of oil, minimize oil
loss in sludge or water phase and essential for effective oil separation.

The temperature of the clarification tank content is maintained at about 900C to

enhance oil separation. The clarified oil is continuously skimmed-off from the top of
clarification tank. It is then passed through a high speed centrifuge and a vacuum dryer
before it is sent to the bulk storage tanks. The oil at this stage has a moisture and dirt
content of below 0.1% and 0.01% respectively.

The underflow from the clarification tank still contains some oil and this is
recovered by passing the underflow through a sludge separator. The recovered oil is
returned to the clarification tank. The other stream consisting of water and fibrous
debris is discharged as wastewater, which is generally referred to as separator sludge.

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The wastewater from the clarifier is drained off into nearby sludge pits dug for
the purpose. The accumulated sludge is often collected in buckets and used to kill
weeds in the processing area.

In order to check the effectiveness of vertical clarifier tank, it is normal routine

practice to sample this oil as it passes from the crude oil tank to the oil purifier and
measure the dirt and moisture contents. The maximum percentage of dirt after purifier
is 0.40%, while the moisture is 0.015%.

The oil from oil purifier is passed through a vacuum dryer before pumping to
storage and it is necessary to take samples of the oil as produced from the pipeline
taking the oil to the storage tank. The purified and dried oil is transferred to bulk
storage tank for storage prior to dispatch from the mill. Since the rate of oxidation of
the oil increases with the temperature of storage the oil is normally maintained around
50°C, using hot water or low-pressure steam-heating coils, to prevent solidification and
fractionation. Iron contamination from the storage tank may occur if the tank is not
lined with a suitable protective coating.

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Figure 2.2 Process Flow Diagram (PFD) of Clarification Process

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Fine Fibre 2
Dry Fibre 4
Wet Fibre 6
Fine Shell 10
Average Normal Shell 12 or 14
Fine Broken Nut 14
Fine Kernel 16
Shell 16
Normal Nut 18

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Nut (bigger one) 20
Kernel 24

(Source: Monggano Report)

The objective of sampling fibre from the depericarper cyclone is to ascertain

the magnitude of the kernel loss. The kernel losses should be examined daily. In
addition the moisture content of the fibre is measured in order to asses the drying
efficiency of the cake breaker conveyor and also the NOS content of the fibre is
determined for the assessment of the kernel extraction efficiency. These measurements
can be carried out once a week.

The percentage of kernel to fibre should not normally exceed 2%, and if results
are consistently higher attention should be paid to the pressure in the press and air
velocity in the depericarper. The air velocity has to be accurately determined for
efficient nut and fibre separation. Conversely, if the air velocity is too low, blocking of
the separation duct and cyclone can occur. Such occurrence will affect the throughput
of the palm oil mill.

2.1.8 Nut Cracking

Nuts coming from the nut fibre separator are usually still warm, and a large
number may have the kernels sticking to the shell. Cracking of the nut at this stage, by
the conventional centrifugal-type nut cracker, will result in the splitting of the nuts and
any kernels sticking to the broken shell will be lost. Thus, cooling of the nuts to loosen
the kernels before cracking will result in better cracking efficiency and kernel
recovery. Moreover, warm nuts are more difficult to crack as the shells are more

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However, with the introduction of the ripple mill for nut-cracking, drying of the
nuts is no longer necessary, especially if the FFB have been effectively sterilized.

2.1.9 Separation of Kernels and Shells

The methods employed to separate the kernels and shells are based on the
difference in specific gravity (SG) between the kernels and shells. Undried kernels and
shells have a SG of about 1.07 and 1.15-1.25 respectively. Thus, a separation medium
consisting of clay suspension or salt solution with a SG of 1.12 will effectively
separate the kernels and shells. The choice of which depends on the availability, costs
and maintenance of the materials and equipment.

Presently, the most popular separator is the hydro cyclone which is much easier
to operate and maintain. The discharge from this process constitutes the last source of
wastewater stream, i.e hydro cyclone wastewater.

Large-scale mills use the recovered fibre and nutshells to fire the steam boilers.
The super-heated steam is then used to drive turbines to generate electricity for the
mill. For this reason it makes economic sense to recover the fibre and to shell the palm
nuts. In the large-scale kernel recovery process, the nuts contained in the press cake are
separated from the fibre in a depericarper. They are then dried and cracked in
centrifugal crackers to release the kernels.

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2.1.10 Palm Kernel Drying

During the nut cracking process some of the kernels are broken. The rate of
FFA increase is much faster in broken kernels than in whole kernels. Breakage of
kernels should therefore be kept as low as possible, given other processing
considerations. The palm kernels have to be dried to below 7% moisture in order to
prevent the growth of mould and permit a longer storage time. The growth of mould on
kernels not only spoils their appearance but also promotes the hydrolysis of the palm
kernel oil. Palm kernels are commonly dried in a silo dryer. Drying is achieved by
blowing a current of warm air through the kernels in the silo. In a large silo, it is
important to avoid over-heating or over-drying in order to prevent the palm kernel oil
from being pre-maturely ‘liberated’.

In palm oil mills, kernel bunkers had built and the kernels are transported in
bulk instead of in bags. The kernels are normally sold to palm kernel oil production.
The kernels as bagged should be analyzed daily for percentage of shell and dirt. If the
bagged kernels remain in store at the mill for several weeks are despatch the moisture
content may change somewhat and it may be desirable for control purposes to sample
and measure the moisture , shell and dirt contents of the bags of kernels for particular

The oil content of the kernel and FFA of the palm kernel oil, are also measured
and they may be measured on a bulked sample made by mixing the daily sample
accumulated over three or four days.

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3.1 Introduction

Water treatment system is the systems that reduce harmful contaminants in the
water boiler, dealing with certain parameter that must be concerned of the water boiler.
In Mempaga Palm Oil Mill, the raw water is pumped from the nearest river. The
important thing in treatment water system is boiler water treatment.

The efficient operation of a steam boiler depends very much on proper

treatment of the boiler water with the aim of preventing scale formation, corrosion and
steam contamination. Scale deposits on the waterside heating surfaces can cause poor
heat transfer and loss of thermal efficiency. They can also lead to over heating of the
metal and the development of corrosion beneath the deposit. Foaming of the boiler can
result water in entrainment and carry-over of water and boiler salts into the steam

The water treatment system can be divided by two types which are external and
internal treatment. External treatment applies to the purification process carried out on
the water before it is fed into the boiler and include one or more of the following

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treatment such as clarification, filtration, softening and deionization. While internal
treatment is the secondary treatment of boiler feed water by means of chemical
compounds added to the feed water system or into boiler directly.

3.2 External Treatment

Figure 3.0 shows the process flow of external water treatment in Mempaga
Palm Oil Mill. The raw water used is river water which the river water is pumped to
pond as the backup water supplied in water treatment system. Besides, pond is used to
allow sedimentation process before further water treatment which can reduce chemical
used during water treatment system.

River water Pond Clarifier

Sand Filter
Overhead Tank Clear Water

Figure 3.0 Process Flow for External Treatment

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The color of river water is usually due to the presence of dissolved or
colloidally dispersed colored organic materials. To trap these colored materials,
coagulants are used. In this mill, aluminium sulphate (Al3SO4) or alum is used as
coagulant. The effectiveness of the coagulant will depend on the pH of the river water
and flocs will appear very well when worked on a pH between 6.0 to 6.5. However, in
the certain cases, the river water is acidic in the pH range between 5.0 to 6.0. This is
cannot be treated satisfactory by alum alone. Usually soda ash is added to bring the pH
in requiring range (7.2 or 7.5) for effective coagulation of the alum. Moreover, the
water thus obtained from the coagulation tank is acidic and corrosive to pipelines.

Then the water will enter the clarifier from bottom side for separating the
suspended solids from water by gravity. In clarifier, after sufficient time, particles
adhere to each other and grow into larger particles, or, floc, which is prone to settle in
water. The overflow water will go to the next step which is clear water tank. The clear
water tank contain of water absence from flocs. In improving the quality of water, sand
filter is used to remove fine particles, silt, clay and other particles up to 10-15 µ size.
The effectiveness will depend on the particle size and the exit clearance of the filter.
Sand filter become clogged with floc after a period in use and they are then
backwashed to remove the floc. The last step in external treatment is overhead tank.
The overhead tank is placed at high position because the pressure of water flow and
ensure to supply at the mill.

3.3 Internal Treatment

Boiler water treatment is very important in concerning at the mill because

water is added into boiler directly which is used to generate the electricity and steam.
For the internal treatment, there are four types of chemical such as sulphite-based
chemical; phosphate- based chemical, alkali-based chemical and sludge conditioner.

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Sulphite-based chemical used to prevent oxygen pitting and general corrosion.
Pitting is the term given too much localised corrosion that forms pits in the metal
surface. If a material is liable to pitting penetration can occur prematurely and
corrosion rate data are not a reliable guide to the equipment life. Pitting can be caused
by a variety of circumstances; any situation that causes a localized increase in
corrosion rate may result in the formation of a pit. In an aerated medium the oxygen
concentration will be lower at the bottom of a pit, and the bottom will be anodic to the
surrounding metal, causing increased corrosion and deepening of the pit. A good
surface finish will reduce this type of attack. Pitting can also occur if the composition
of the metal is not uniform; for example, the presence of slag inclusions in welds. The
impingement of bubbles can also cause pitting, the effect of cavitation in pumps, which
is an example of erosion-corrosion.

Phosphate-based chemical used in boiler treatment which is to prevent hard

scale formation and other deposition. Largo C-112, used as on-line chemical in
phosphate-based chemical type to prevent formation of scales & accumulation of non
micro-biological deposits on heat transfer surface. In addition, Largo-104 which is
scale inhibitor used in preventing formation of scales & deposit.

The next type of based chemical is alkali-based chemical to maintain correct

pH and alkalinity condition. In Mempaga Mill’s, Largo 130 or called pH adjuster
content of caustic soda with catalyst is the basic solution to help boost alkalinity & pH.
It is very important in maintain pH to put off corrosion from occur. Lastly is sludge
conditioner where Largo 105 is used to render boiler sludge and precipitates in a boiler
condition. Besides, sludge conditioner also used in preventing to settle on boiler
surfaces as scales and deposits.

The dosage of the chemicals for internal treatment are controlled by carrying
out analysis of the boiler water such as sulphite is reserved of 50 to 80 ppm, phosphate
at 40 to 70 ppm, caustic alkalinity need to be controlled around 250 to 350 ppm
calcium carbonate (CaCO3) for maintaining correct pH and alkalinity in the boiler

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water. Moreover, the reading of total dissolved solids (TDS) is maintained at 1500 to
2000 ppm for preventing scale deposits and carry-over.

According to Figure 3.1, first step in internal water treatment is water

softening which is used to exchange Ca2+ and Mg2+ cause hardness to Na+ using ion
exchange resin. When hard water is passed through resins, hardness mineral ions are
preferentially absorbed. Dissolved salts present in the boiler feed water will precipitate
in the boiler to form scale, as evaporation proceeds. In order to prevent scale
formations in the boiler, the dissolved salts are removed by a water softening plant.
Then water is added to hot water tank as the pre-heat water before enter the thermal
dearator. In hot water, temperature is maintained at 700C. Hot water is passed to
thermal dearator to remove dissolved gases from the boiler feedwater by mechanical
and thermal means. Dissolved gases such as oxygen, O2 and carbon dioxide, C02 in
boiler feed water can cause corrosion in feed system and economizers. When the water
enters the boiler, evaporation liberates most of the dissolved gases, but these can still
cause corrosion in the boiler. The liberated gases leave the boiler with the steam and
dissolve again when the steam condenses, making the condensate corrosive.

Water Hot Water

Softening Tank
When boilers have to be shut-down for long periods exceeding one or two
months, dry storage methods are recommended to protect the boiler against corrosion.
This entails thorough cleaning and drying of the boiler and closure of all openings so
as to exclude moisture and air within the boiler drum and pressure parts. Trays
moisture absorbing materials are placed to maintenance a low humidity.

In most cases, the boiler is subject to standby storage involving short periods of
hours or days, where the boiler may be required to start-up on short notice. In standby
storage, it is recommended that the boiler be completely filled up with water treated to
a sufficient level of alkalinity and oxygen absorbing chemicals.

Before putting a boiler on wet storage, the sulphite reserve must be maintained
at around 200 ppm. When the boiler is on wet storage, the pH and sulphite reserve of
the boiler water must be monitored at least once a week to ensure that the pH is around
10-11 and sulphite reserve is around 150-200 ppm. If the reserves are determined to be
low, then either additional chemical should be slug-dosed or the boiler should be put
into operation again.

Table 3.0: Limitation Parameter in Boiler Feed Water

Parameter Limitation
pH 10-11
Hardness < 5 ppm
TDS 1800 – 2500 ppm
Caustic alkalinity 250 – 350 ppm
Phosphate 40 – 70 ppm
Sulphite 30 – 80 ppm

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4.1 Introduction

Palm oil mills typically generate large quantities of oily effluent with extremely
high organic content, smoke and particulate air emissions, odour and noise. The
environmental issues of the crude palm oil industry are primarily related to water
pollution due to indiscriminate discharge of untreated or partially treated palm oil mill
effluents into public watercourses, improper interim storage of solid waste materials
including boiler and incinerator ash, decanter solids, spent bleaching earth and sludge
separator residue, improper land-application techniques or practices for solid and/or
liquid wastes, air pollution due to the use of solid fuel fired boilers and incinerators for
empty bunches, odour emission from poorly managed effluent treatment systems,
especially if they are located in close proximity to neighbouring residential areas and
some noise from the milling processes.

Palm oil mills are traditionally located near rivers from which water is
abstracted for their milling operations. Prior to the advent of strict environmental
control, some palm oil mills conveniently discharge their effluents into the rivers in an
untreated or partially treated condition as this was the cheapest method of palm oil mill

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effluent (POME) disposal. However, excessive quantities of untreated POME will
deplete a waterbody of its oxygen and suffocate the aquatic life. Untreated POME
from an average-sized palm oil mill, i.e processing capacity of about 30 tonnes FFB
per hour, has an organic content equivalent to raw domestic sewage from a population
of 300,000 persons. Thus, the impact of raw POME discharge to a relatively small
river can be devastating to its eco-system and beneficial uses.

4.2 Sources and Treatment of Waste Materials

4.2.1 Solid Waste

In a well run palm oil mill, it is expected that each 100 tonnes of FFB
processed yields 20 to 24 tonnes of crude palm oil and about 4 tonnes of palm kernels.
Thus between 72 to 76 percent of the FFB comes out at various stages of the process as

The solid wastes that result from the milling operations are:

i. Empty fruit bunches (EFB)- 23% of FFB

ii. Potash ash- 0.5% of FFB
iii. Palm kernel- 6% of FFB
iv. Fibre- 13.5% of FFB
v. Shell- 5.5% of FFB

In the large- and medium-scale mills the above-mentioned waste products are
all put to economically useful purpose. They could therefore be referred to as by-
products rather than waste products. Wet, empty bunches are partly dried in the sun

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and later used as fuel. Another economic use for the empty bunches is to return them to
the plantation as a mulch to enhance moisture retention and organic matter in the soil.

The palm kernel shell is also used as a source of fuel for the boilers.
Unfortunately the shell contains silicates that form a scale in the boilers if too much
shell is fed to the furnace, thus limiting the amount of shell that can be utilised in the
boilers. Residual shell is disposed of as gravel for plantation roads maintenance.
Blacksmiths also buy the shells to use as fuel material in their casting and forging
operations. Palm nut shell is also used in the preparation of pozzolana, a cement
substitute material that has been developed by the Kwame Nkrumah University of
Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

The fibre recovered from the nut/fibre separation stage is a good combustible
material and finds ready use as fuel to boil the fruit. The fibre constitutes the bulk of
material used to fire the large boilers used to generate superheated steam to drive
turbines for electrical power generation in large-scale plants. Boiler ash is recycled as
fertilizer and factory floor cleaning agent. The potash in the ashes reacts with the oil to
form a weak potash soap that is washed away with water.

4.2.2 Aqueous Effluent

Large quantities of water are used during the extraction of crude palm oil from
the FFB. About 50% of the water results in POME, the other 50% being lost as steam,
mainly through sterilizer exhaust, piping leakages, as well as wash waters. The POME
comprises a combination of the wastewaters which are principally generated and
discharged from the following major processing.

i. Sterilization of FFB- sterilizer condensate is about 36% of total POME

ii. Clarification of the extracted crude palm oil- clarification wastewater is
about 60% of total POME

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iii. Hydrocyclone separation of cracked mixture of kernel and shell-
hydrocyclone wastewater is about 4% of total POME

Liquid waste treatment involves anaerobic fermentation followed by aerobic

fermentation in large ponds until the effluent quality is suitable for discharge. In some
of the mills the treated effluent is used on the farm as manure and source of water for
irrigation. The sludge accumulating in the fermentation ponds is periodically removed
and fed to the land. To manage the amount of oil entrained in the effluent, while at the
same time improving the efficiency of oil recovery, the large mills use de-watering and
decanting centrifuges at various locations in the process line.

The clarification wastewater constitutes approximately 60% of the total waste

and the various parameters of the clarification waste analyzed are as tabulated below:-

Table 4.0: Parameters for Effluent of Palm Oil Mill

Parameters Sterilizer Clarification Hydrocyclone
Condensate Sludge Discharged
From table above, it can be seen that the clarification waste has very low pH
value, high value of BOD and solid levels. In addition, it contains about 1% of oil. The
temperature of the waste is normally above room temperature and is about 80 to 900C.
These conditions of the effluent make treatment difficult and very limited methods of
treatment either a single or a series of sludge traps where further oil can be recovered
from the waste before proceeding into a common sump to be pumped up for treatment
purpose. Pre-Treatment of POME

The contents of POME are essentially organic and moderately biodegradable.

The biodegradability is influenced by the extent of cellulosic materials present such as
the palm fibre residues as well as the residual oil content. The effluent treatment
technologies for POME are therefore invariably combinations of physical and
biological processes. The physical treatment includes pre-treatment steps such as
screening, sedimentation and oil removal in oil traps prior to the secondary treatment
in biological treatment systems.

Sand and grit that accompany the FFB and residual oil are removed in a sand
trap and/or oil trap. The oil trap consists of a baffled pit or sump that retains the
wastewater for at least 10 hours. Hydraulic retention times (HRTs) of about 1 to 2 days
are preferable for more effective oil removal and minimal loss of oil to the effluent.

Steam is sometimes used to heat oil bearing wastewaters in the oil trap to
improve oil separation and release. The oil that floats to the wastewater surface is
manually skimmed-off and recovered on a regular basis and stored in drums. The
skimmed oil is either sent to the clarifiers for further processing, or sold to soap
manufacturers as raw material. The sand, grit and other settled solids are disposed-off
onto the plantation land.

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The organic content of POME is generally biodegradable and treatment is

based on anaerobic, aerobic and facultative processes. The processes are essentially
biochemical and rely on the enhanced growth and metabolic activities of suitable
microorganisms to breakdown the organic matter into simple end-products gases such
as methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide, and water.

The microorganisms involved are primarily bacteria and algae which result in
the production of excess biomass (microbial cells) that needs to be disposed-off in the
form of sludge. This sludge can be appropriately land-applied in the palm oil mill
plantation as soil conditioner. Currently, there are various treatment alternatives
include the land disposal of either raw or partially treated wastewater, physical or
chemical treatment, biological treatment, incineration or others. However, the system
which is commonly adopted by most oil mills is 100% biological treatment system
with emphasis on the anaerobic digestion as the primary treatment The biological
treatments in Mempaga Palm Oil Mill involve four stages of ponds which are mixing,
anaerobic, facultative and aerobic stage. (Figure 4.0)

a) Mixing Pond

The first stage in biological treatment is the mixing stage. Waste

effluent from the clarification and sterilizer station are pumped to the cooling
pond where they are cooled in 1 day or less and then mixed with the recycled
supernatant liquor from the anaerobic ponds in the ratio 1:1. This mixture is
retained in 1 day before going into the anaerobic ponds. The purpose of this
pond is to increase the initial pH of the as well as to give a sort of buffer effect
to the anaerobic pond whenever the raw effluent is charged into the system. In
order to achieve this, the mixing has to be carried out very consistently inside
the mixing pond.

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b) Anaerobic Pond

The mixed waste is exposed to anaerobic reactions inside the anaerobic

pond for a certain retention time. The waste will be decomposed anaerobically
by anaerobic bacteria. Anaerobic breakdown of the organic matter consists of
several stages, acidification and a gasification stage which produce primarily
methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) and very little of hydrogen sulphide
(H2S). During the acidification stage of organic matter will be decomposed into
new cells which are called acid formers and together with organic acids. The
organic acids will react with hydrogen gas to form other new cells which are
called methane formers and at the same time methane and carbon dioxide are
liberated. The methane bacteria are sensitive to acidic conditions and therefore
the pH of pond should not be allowed drop below 6.75.

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The retention time depends on initial BOD loading of the wastes

efficient removal of oil in the raw effluent and the type of anaerobic digester
used. In the case of steel digester the retention time is in the region of 20 days
while for the earth ponds, the retention time is between 45 – 60 days. It is
expected that this anaerobic digestion shall be able to reduce the BOD from
25000 to 2000 ppm or below than 2000 ppm.

c) Facultative Pond

Term of facultative refers to a mixture of anaerobic and aerobic

condition. The anaerobic conditions exist towards the bottom while the aerobic
conditions are maintained in the upper layer. Facultative pond is designed to
operate at lower BOD input than the anaerobic pond and this allows dissolved
oxygen to persist throughout greater part of the liquid depth, at least during the

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day time. Solids entering the pond will deposit on the bottom and organic
matter in this sludge layer will undergo anaerobic breakdown.

Soluble fermentation products will enter the liquid layer above and then
broken down anaerobically along the soluble and colloidal organic in the
incoming waste from the supernatant liquor. Under properly controlled
conditions the growth of algae occurs in the facultative pond and will supply
oxygen for further bacterial breakdown of the organic matter. The retention
period of this facultative stage is about 20 days and the depth of 8 feet is
expected good BOD removal shall occur.

d) Algae Pond

After the facultative reaction, the waste is passed to a series of two or

more shallows ponds known as algae ponds which is the aerobic stage. It has a
retention time of 7 days for each. These algae ponds are wholly in aerobic
condition throughout of its depth of 4 ft. In this pond, the organic loading is
very low and therefore with the help of sunlight to allow the existence of the
interaction between the bacteria and algae whereby the photosynthesis algae
utilize the CO2 released in bacterial respiration and the benefit for the bacteria
through the releasing of oxygen by algae. It is expected the final pond shall be
able to reduce the BOD and solids level to the DOE’s acceptable limits.

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Figure 4.0 Process Flow Diagram of Effluent Treatment Plamt

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4.2.3 Gaseous Emission

There are two principal sources of air pollution in palm oil mills:-
i. Boiler that use the waste fibre and shell materials
ii. Incinerators that burn the empty fruit bunches (EFB) for recovery of
potash ash

Smoke and dust emissions are the main concerns due to incomplete combustion
of the solid waste materials. Palm oil mill is generally self-sufficient in terms of energy
requirements due to the availability of adequate quantities of the fibre and shell
materials that are used as solid fuel in the steam boiler.

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5.1 Introduction

In palm oil mill, the effectiveness of an assessment oil extraction and quality of
products where production oil and kernel had been carried out by analyzing the sample
everyday in palm oil mill laboratory. The quality of palm oil manufactures of edible
products made from palm oil desire to purchase oil which will refine consistently well,
and at reasonable cost to facilitate the making of end-products have good colour, flavor
and keeping properties. In addition, the quality in palm oil can be defined as the extent
which properties of the oil meet consumer requirements.

For quality control purposes it is obvious that regular samples of the oil as
produced and sent to the storage tanks from the factory must be taken and analyzed
and that, further samples of each batch of oil despatched from the mill after storage in
these tanks must be examined.

In addition representatives’ samples of kernel as bagged must be examined and

if appreciable delay occurs before these kernels leave the mill it may be also desirable
to sample and analyze the kernels as despatched.

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For process control, it is necessary to sample the waste product discharged for
evaluation of oil and kernel losses and sludge. The percentage of oil loss is defined at
sludge mixture raw material, sludge of condensate and sludge of trap. The sample is
taken at light particle transport system, fibre cyclone and wet shell for calculating the
percentage of kernel loss. The other analysis is mass passing to digester (MPD)
analysis. MPD analysis is very important to ensure the quality of fruit have been
thrashed out of sterilized bunches is controlled.

5.2 Palm Oil Analysis

5.2.1 Free Fatty Acid (FFA)

Free fatty acids are formed by splitting of the fatty acids from triglycerides and
FFA tests assess the degree of this acid formation. FFA has been principal criterion of
palm oil quality. An upper limit of 5% FFA at port is imposed by consumers and oil
with FFA at higher than 5% is considered inferior and a discount is levied because of
greater loss of oil during refining. Procedures of oil about 3% FFA at mill end and 2%
for acid increase during storage and transit must be achieved for keeping within 5%
which is standard percentage of FFA meet consumers requirement.

FFA is determined by direct titration with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) using

N = normality of sodium hydroxide
W = weight of oil used

5.2.2 Volatile Matter (VM)

Volatile matter in palm oil is given by the mass lost on heating in oven at 105 ±
20C, expressed as percentage of the mass of the oil.

It is possible to produce oils with extremely low moisture contents, but values
in the range 0.07- 0.13% are preferred in Malaysia because it has been found that
lower moisture contents can results in rapid increase in FFA of oil and reduce

5.2.3 Dirt

The insoluble impurities are determined by filtration through glass fibre filter
and calculated as weight percentage of the oil. The maximum dirt content allowed has
been 0.01% and dirt content higher than this encourage the growth of lipolytic micro-
organisms which is responsible for the increasing of FFA, by acting as a source of
nutrients for the lipolytic micro-organisms.

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5.2.4 Deterioration of Bleacheability Index (DOBI)

Deterioration of Bleacheability Index (DOBI) is a ratio of absorbance at

wavelength, λ maximum and minimum equal to 446 nm and 269 respectively. A UV-
visible system of slits focuses the desired wavelength on the palm oil sample cell. In a
this typical double beams instrument, the light emanating from the light source is split
into two beams, which are the sample beams, which are the sample beam (mixture of
palm oil and hexane) and the reference beam (hexane only). When there is no sample
in the reference beam, the detected light is taken into be equal to the intensity of light
entering the sample. (IO)

5.3 Kernel Analysis

5.3.1 Free Fatty Acid (FFA)

For determination of FFA in kernel, method and calculation are difference than
in palm oil. 50 mL of denaturned alcohol and 4 drops of phenolphthalein are added
into 250 mL Erlenmeyer flask 0.1 N potassium hydroxide solution is dropped until the
solution retains a faint pink colour. The volume of potassium hydroxide used in the
E = weight of extraction flask + oil

5.3.2 Determination of Moisture Content

The method involves drying the kernel at 1030C and as such does not
differentiate between moisture and other volatile matter driven off under the conditions
of the test. The slices from about 50 kernels are cut using a sharp knife. The thickness
of the slices should be less than 1 mm and the total weight of the slices should be 10 to
12 g. The slices kernel is weighted on an analytical balance. The dish is placed in an
oven is maintained at 103 ± 20C and dried for 4 hours. Then the dish is placed in
desiccators and allowed to cool and after that the dish and its contents are weighted

The percentage calculation of moisture:-

% = 100

Where A = weight of empty dish

B = weight of dish + kernel slices before drying
C = weight of dish + kernel slices after drying

5.3.3 Determination of Shell and Dirt (Total Dirt) in Palm Kernels

1 0 kg of the kernel sample is weighted and spread on the clean surface. The
sample is separated kernel, half cracked, uncracked nut, loose shell and dirt (fibre and
other foreign matter). The shell is removed from the half cracked and uncracked nuts

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and added to the loose shell and dirt. The shell and dirt are weighted together to the
nearest 0.5 g.

Formula in calculating dirt in palm kernel:-

% ℎ ( )=

Where A = weight of shell and dirt in the sample (g)

B = weight of sample taken for analysis (g)

5.4 Losses Analysis in Palm Oil Mill

5.4.1 Oil Loss

The oil loss in the sterilizer condensate is excluded from the list of
measurement losses used to calculate the efficiency. Oil loss is expressed as the
amount of oil per dry matter (ODM). The amounts of oil on this extraction are given as
percentage. The oil can be obtained by calculating the amount of loss, while the dry
matter can be measured by subtracting 100 with the volatile moisture (VM). Notice
that the values of VM are from the deviation between sludge and crucible before and
after heating.

According to Figure 5.0, the sample is taken and weighted using an analytical
balance. Then the sample is put into oven at 1050C for 16 hours. The dry sample is
weighted on an analytical balance before extracted.

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The percentage of kernel loss is determined in light particle transport system
(LPTS), fibre cyclone and wet shell. 1 kg of sample is taken from LPTS, fibre cyclone
and wet shell. In LPTS, factors that can cause the kernel loss are high percentage of

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broken nuts in cracked mixture. Besides, when the amount of cracked mixture entering
LPTS is high, it also can cause the kernel loss. The limit percentage of LPTS on
sample should be lower than 2%. For determination of kernel loss in LPTS, the
sample was separated into 2 parts according to its broken kernel and free shell. The
mass of broken kernel is weighted. The formula in calculating kernel loss in LPTS:-

% = 100

For the case of fibre cyclone, the low efficiency of hydrocyclone is one of the
factor for kernel loss. Moreover, the kernel loss is high when FFB are not well-treated
during sterilization. The percentage of kernel loss in fibre cyclone should not higher
than 2%. For determination of kernel loss in fibre cyclone, the sample was separated
into broken kernels, half nuts and uncracked nuts. The mass of each is weighted. The
percentage of kernel loss in fibre cyclone is calculated as follows:-

Let, Mass of broken nuts =a

Mass of half nuts =b
Mass of uncracked nuts =c
In preventing the kernel loss, nut cacker should be well-function. The position
of damper in LPTS part should be checked. Besides, the air suction should be
maximized in fibre cyclone to reduce the fibre into nut cracker. The last suggestion to
prevent the kernel loss is controlled the cone level adjustment in hyrocyclone and the
vortex finder.

5.5 Mass Passing to Digester (MPD) Analysis

MPD is total fruit, calyx leaves, spikelets and undeveloped fruit that have been
thrashed out or sterilized bunches i.e. the total sterilized fruit without the empty bunch.
The sample of MPD analysis is taken at the thresher conveyor before the fruit elevator
in 1 kg. Each sample should be analyzed for percentage by weight of whole fruit with

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nuts and nuts. For whole fruit with nut, mesocarp is squeezed out from each fruit.
While for the nuts, there are separated normal parthenocarps (undeveloped fruit and
non-oil bearing), abnormal parthenocarps (normal whole fruit without nut and oil
bearing) and calyx leaves and spikelets. (Example of report at Appendix)

5.6 Boiler Water Test

The boiler and softener water must be tested twice a day, once in the morning
and the other one in the evening. The hardness of the water after softener must be
checked daily to make sure that it is below than 5 ppm, and then the softeners must be
regenerated either by the laboratory or the boiler water chargeman.

The water hardness is defined by the capacity of water to precipitate soap. The
ionic species in the water causing the precipitation was later found to be primarily
calcium and magnesium. Certain other ions species that were found to contribute to the
water hardness are iron, zinc and manganese. The measure and control of water
hardness is essential to prevent scaling and clogging in boiler.

The hardness level as ppm calcium carbonate, CaCO3 is determining by

titration with EDTA. The solution is first added to buffer solution to meet the pH
requirement which is 10. The indicator chelates with the metal ions such as magnesium
or calcium to form a red colour solution. The metal ions complex with EDTA as it was
added. After all free metal have been complexed with the indicator to form a blue
colour solution. The colour changed from red to blue is the end point of the titration.

A sulphite concentration must be maintained from 30 to 50 ppm. The value

must be in range to prevent pitting and oxidation of metal components as in the boiler
water. High level of sulphite made the pH is lower which an acidic and promote the

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corrosion. In determination of sulphite ions, iodometric method is used. Iodide ions
will react with iodate ions in the present of sulphuric acid to form iodine. The sulphite
presents in the water sample reduce the iodine to iodate. Exceed of iodate, ions will
generate additional iodine, which to form a blue complex with starch. The end point of
titration is determined by changing of colour.

Caustic alkalinity can be measured as phenolphthalein alkalinity and total

alkalinity. This is determining by neutralizing the sample to a pH 8.3 using a dilute
acid solution and a phenolphthalein as an indicator. This process converts hydroxide
ions to water and carbonate ions to bicarbonate ions.

Since bicarbonate ions can be converted to carbonic acid with additional

hydrochloric acid, the caustic alkalinity measures total hydroxide ions but only half of
the bicarbonate contribution. The completely convert the carbonate ions, hydrochloric
acid is added until the ph of the sample is 4.5.

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6.1 Conclusion

Mempaga Palm Oil Mill one of the branch in Felda Palm Industries Sdn. Bhd.
Felda is one of the biggest corporate company in Malaysia. By training under Felda’s
scheme, a lot of knowledge and experience can be gained and built. Moreover
Mempaga Palm Oil Mill is suitable for the future engineer especially from Universiti
Malaysia Pahang to choose as place for industrial training. From this industrial
training, student can learn the process of palm oil production. The daily analysis is
done to monitor and determine the quality of palm oil processes in this mill. Besides,
the laboratory attendances also analyzed the boiler feed water and softener water to
make sure that the steam generated has sufficient chemical. Student also is exposed on
how to treat the waste product to produce beneficial things.

In addition, the knowledge can be gained for the mill maintenance example in
controlling the losses from mixed raw material and sludge condensate. Besides, I also
learned how to overcome the problem example to transfer the storage oil either bulk
storage 1, 2 or 3. This is one of the important things as engineer in palm oil mill to
decide which bulk storage tank needed to be transferred.

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6.2 Recommendations

Based on experience for a few months in Mempaga Palm Oil Mill, these
recommendations can be taken into consideration to upgrade future practical training
in this mill:-

i. Student should be given a task related to the process in palm oil mill which is
appropriate with the course taken.
ii. Student also should be involved directly for the responsibility as engineer.

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Buku Rekod Analisa BST (2008). Mempaga Palm Oil Mill

Buku Rekod Analisa DOBI (2008). Mempaga Palm Oil Mill

Buku Rekod Analisa Kernel (2008). Mempaga Palm Oil Mill

Cara Memproses Buah Sawit (2001). Mempaga Palm Oil Mill

Chemical Safety Data Sheet (2001); AMT Technologies Sdn.Bhd

Manual Operasi (Effluent Management System), Felda Palm Industries Sdn.Bhd

Manual Operasi (Makmal), Felda Palm Industries Sdn.Bhd

M.I Thani, R Hussin, W.R.Wan Ibrahim, M.S.Sulaiman (1999) Industrial Processes &

The Environment 3rd Edition. Department of Environment, Ministry of Science,

Technology and The Environment, Malaysia.

Palm Oil Research Institute Malaysia (1983), Test Method for Palm Oil and Palm Oil

Products Ministry of Primary Industries Malaysia.

Quality Control Instructions Manual, Volume 1(1983), Perbadanan Kilang Felda

Retrieved on JULY 16, 2008, from

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