Uses of Palm Kernel Oil and Extraction of Palm Kernel Oil
Palm Kernel Oil is used to make so many of everyday house-hold products that includes Cosmetics, Food, Medicine, Fuel, and Industrial Products. While it's Interesting to realise that your Super Glue might have been a product of Palm Kernel Oil, it is it's military application to explosives that is most Fascinating!
Bottle of Vegetable Oil
Uses of Palm Kernel Oil
• Weapons and Warfare - Palm kernel oil was instrumental in making weapons during the second World War. The Palmitic Acid component was one of the two most important Ingredients of the Anti-personnel Weapon popularly known as Napalm. The name is a combination of Naphthenic Acid and Palmitic Acid.
• Food and Bakery - Palm Kernel Oil is known to confer special attractive physical features and Aroma to baked Bread. It is also used for making other baked Products like Cakes and Biscuits. Palm Kernel oil is semi-solid at room temperature, hence it is suitable for making Margarine, Chocolate and some other related food products. Palm Kernel oil is further used at home for frying and cooking different types of food like Plantain Chips, Potatoe, Stew, Fried Fish, Akara, Moin Moin, etc.
• Fuel and Biodiesel - Local Africans use palm kernel oil to fuel Native Lamps for lighting in rural communities that are not connected to Electricity. Palm Kernel oil can also be directly combined with Petro-diesel or used in making Biodiesel for diesel Engines.
• Cosmetics - Palm Kernel oil is a major Ingredient for large-scale production of various types of Soap, Detergents, Hair Creams, Body Creams, and all sort of Body cream and Pomades.
• Industrial Materials - So many industrially produced common house-hold materials are made with palm Kernel oil. Some of the Products includes: Candle, Glue, Printing Inks, Grease, Rub, Washing Powder, Pharmaceutical Products, and Rubber.
Extraction of Palm Kernel Oil
The following general Procedures are essential to obtaining Palm Kernel Oil (PKO): Cracking the Kernel, Separating out the Nuts, and extracting the Oil.
The story of the various applications of Palm Kernel Oil today, are somehow linked to it's early use by local African People. Small wonder, it is fair to also explain how they obtain the Oil from the Kernel.
Local African Palm Kernel Extraction - The entire process is manual. De-hulling is done by cracking the Kernel with Stones. Each Kernel is placed on a Stone while a smaller stone is used to hit it against the bigger stone. Once the Kernel is cracked, the Nut is picked up into a Bowl, the Stone is cleaned, and another Kernel is introduced for cracking.
Next the Kernel is place inside a Pot, Covered, and heated with fire made from firewood. Heating is followed by a dense fume with characteristic Aroma that usually spread to very far places. The heat allows the oil to drain out of the Nuts leaving a black fragile charcoal-like Mass. The dense black oil is separated and stored in small containers like Bottles. Palm Kernel Oil made in this way is used by local African people for Pomade and Medicine. .
Mechanical Extraction - This could be used for Small-scale or Large-scale extraction of Palm Kernel Oil. Palm Kernels are pre-treated by Magnetic Separators that removed metallic debris that might destroy the Device. Then the Kernels are sieved to remove sands, Stones and other Impurities before cracking with inbuilt swinging Hammers. The Nuts are separated from the shells after cracking and prepared by heating before squeezing with a Srew-Press (Ram-press). The Nut are screwed through a Metallic Path (with Pores) that decreases in Diameter to the exit so that the Oil is forced out of the side while the cake is collected at the Tip of the Screw.
Finally. PKO obtained via Mechanical means are usually filled with impurities that must be removed by further processing.
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