Aqueous extraction of Jatropha oil
Phase 1 of our trial operation with GEA Westfalia has been successfully executed. The preparative steps like the initial sieve cleaning of the Jatropha seeds by Mühle Ebert as well as husking with a cocoa husking machine provided by Probat and grinding the seeds with a splitting mill from Bauermeister work as expected. Also, the oil extraction based on adding water and small amounts of hydrochloric acid, with subsequent heating and centrifuging, show the anticipated results. All involved parties are now looking forward to refining and optimising the process in order to demonstrate a best practice for the production of high-quality Jatropha oil and of the so-called slurry (mixture of kernel meal and water) as a by-product.
JatroSolutions performs a six-month trial in cooperation with GEA Westfalia. The target is to gain experience in the operation and application of processes and prototype machines in order to dry and grind Jatropha seeds, extract oil from them and process the kernel meal as animal feedstuff. The initial cleaning of the Jatropha seeds is realized by Mühle Ebert by means of sieves, compressed air and magnetic separators. The husking of the cleaned seeds is done with a cocoa husking machine from Probat. In order to de-bitter and dry the de-husked seeds, they are conveyed through a heated pipe system and soaked in a tank in order to destroy chemical inhibitors. Grinding and thus preparing the oil extraction is accomplished by 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).
Mechanical oil pressing is the most common way to extract oil from all kind of oil seeds or fruits. However, chemical ways of oil axtraction seem to be promising as well.
Hence we initialising a joint venture project with out industry partner GEA Group to improve the aqueous oil extraction method developed by GEA Group. Other topics are improvement of Jatropha kernel meal detoxification process, optimisation of dehusking and optimisaiton of pelletisation.