Testing and Evaluation of a Bench-scale Packed Column for Coconut Oil Drying

Author : Alvarez, Jonathan Devanadera
Major Adviser : Lozada, Ernesto P.
Committee Members : Arquiza, Apollo C.; Manoto, Russel D.
Year : 1994
Month : April
Type : Thesis
Degree: BS
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A packed column with a length and width of 8 inches and a height of 21 inches was used for drying coconut oil. Spherical packing material with a total surface area of 3888 cm was used for easy absorption of moisture from the oil in contact with ambient air introduced countercurrently.

The product and feed samples were analyzed for moisture content, free fatty acid, peroxide values and olfactory ratings.

Oil feed temperature of 100, 115 and 130 °C with an average initial moisture content of 1.969, 1.979 and 0.896% were reduced to 0.388, 0.259 and 0.069% respectively; and resulted to 22.30, 37.89 and 38.53 peroxide value respectively for an average initial value of 14.97. The olfactory ratings did not correlate well with free fatty acid content but the flowrates 12 and 22 mL/s for the three operating feed temperatures gave a comparable odor to that of the commercial oil. It was observed that the greater the feed flowrate. The greater is the reduction in moisture and free fatty acid and also the greater is the increase in the peroxide value. Also, results showed that a higher feed oil temperature gave higher reduction in moisture content and at the same time a higher increase in peroxide value. Results also showed that as the packed bed height decreases. the rate of moisture removal also decreases.

The feed oil temperature 130 °C at flowrate of 22 mL/s and a packed bed height of 1.5 inch gave a favorable results in terms of moisture reduction, and odor which comparable to the commercial oil. Thiscondition was then used for the calculation of the moss transfer coefficient which resulted to a value of 0.1733 g water /(hr cm2 (g water/g dry air) ).

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