Separation of Suspended Solids in Coconut Oil

Author : Lorena, Maria Cristina Salazar
Major Adviser : Lozada, Ernesto P.
Committee Members : Acda, Reynaldo I.; Valencia, Sixto A.
Year : 1993
Month : April
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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Crude coconut oil samples with different suspended solids concentration were used in the laboratory gravitational settling. An inverse relationship exist between the settling velocity and concentration of suspended solids in coconut oil. Coconut oil with suspended solid concentration of 59.50, 60.30, 62.30, 65.50, 74.15, 74.40,76.60, 90.20 and 105.05 g/L, have settling velocity of 10.04, 8.10, 7.90, 7.83, 7.39, 6.57, 6.23, 5.20 and 4.60 mm/hr respectively.

Treatments in the study were the concentration of sodium hydroxide solution added to the crude coconut oil. Temperature of the emulsion was raised to 65 °C to permit soap to separate and settle quickly. Crude coconut oil treated with 2% NaOH solution showed to have fast settling compared to the oil treated with 1% and 3% NaOH solution Oil samples gathered from treatment of 2% NaOH gave the highest percent transmittance. Maximum percent transmittance was attained in an average time of 2.83, 1.33 and 2.17 hours from oil treated with 1%, 2% and 3% NaOH solution respectively.

Separation of oil and water with the soap and solids was indicated by the reduction of percent volume of water present in samples gathered. After 1.5,0.5 and 1.0 hours, a distinct interface between water and oil was not evident in samples gathered from sampling tap 1 with treatments of 1%, 2% and 3% NaOH solution while in sampling tap 2, after 2.5 and 3.5 hours, the same was observed from oil treated with 2% and 3% NaOH solution. Traces of water was still observed in samples from treatment of 1% NaOH obtained from tap 2.

The addition of right concentration of NaOH in crude coconut oil enhance settling of suspended solids. Gravitational settling of solids in crude coconut oil usually takes on the average 2 days, due to slow settling velocity, while oil treated with NaOH only takes 2 hours for the soap formed with the solids to settle.

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