Processing Project of Jatropha oil

Innovative extraction of Jatropha-oil successfully tested!

The project tested the proces chain of an innovative extraction of jatropha-oil from jatropha kernels at industrial level. The extraction method was developped and implement by GEA-Westfalia, the preparation methods (cleaning, de-shelling and hydrothermal treatment) have been done in cooperation with Mühle Ebert (MED) in Dielheim.

Cleaning and De-shelling of Jatropha curcas

First step of the processing chain is cleaning of seeds (elimination dust, metallic particles and others). Traditionally available systems could be used in Dielheim (MED), we tested 36 big bags efficiently.

The seeds of Jatropha have been de-shelled with a Probat FBR 63, normally used for cacao-nuts. The de-shelling machine has a capacity of 2000kg/h and 5 sieve levels. Modifications are possible: inflow (amount & speed), gap width and speed of crushing rolls, vibration & angles of sieves as well as pressure of vacuum pump.

The highest efficiency of the first processing series was nearly 82 % (measured after Beerens-Method). Higher efficiency is possible by simply regulation of factors like: pre-drying and fractioning of seeds or installation of a cascade system (inflow).

Hydrothermal Treatment

For reduction of antinutrients in the kernel fraction of Jatropha a hydro-thermal processing system of MED was used (locally installed for soy and pea treatment). The hydro-thermal processing system has variable parameters in humidity (additional agents), temperature, post-reaction vessel as well as drying and cooling.

Pictures will come soon...

Moisture content influences the friction and transportation behavior, screw system has to be adapted and modified and shell-fraction has to be reduced. In addition, the effect of temperature has to be improved.

Aqueous extraction of Jatropha oil

The aqueous oil extraction was tested in Jan – October 2016 in 6 trials. De-shelled kernels were grinded in a splitting mill. The technically most demanding step of extracting the oil is based on adding water and small amounts of hydrochloric acid, heating them in two extruders and finally using a centrifuge to separate oil from water and solid matter. The end product is high-quality oil plus a mixture of kernel meal and water (slurry). All objectives of the projects tasks have been achieved in alt least one series of tests.

The involved parties are now looking forward to refine and optimize the process in order to demonstrate a best practice for the production of high-quality Jatropha oil and of high valuable kernel meal that contains a lot of proteins.