Fractionation Plant

Mecpro online crystallization and fractionation is a new concept that has been patented, and it is the best fractionation technology for fat modification for various applications.

The flow of oil is continuous through the crystallizers and the crystals are formed during the flow stage itself.

The sandy crystals are formed in a drafted strength control and minimize the entrainment of olein into the stearine part; hence recovery of olein will be better than any conventional process.

Since it is a continuous flow process there is no need for storage of refined oil or for pre-heating of the oil. There is a lower requirement of manpower for operation as well as power or chilled water. There is higher olein recovery, elimination of oxidization of oil, lower CP in single stage up to 6 IV with loss of only 10% of the production capacity as compared to 50% reduction in the conventional process adopted across the globe.

Additional advantages are that the oil is filtered by the force of gravity and pumps will be operated only in the final stage to compress the stearine, which is less than 5% of the filtration time. Due to gravitational filtration the clarity and transparency of the oil are much better than in any other process adopted.

The Mecpro fractionation plant can produce different IV required by the processor without consuming additional heat energy up to 65 IV.

Count on producing stable and filterable crystals giving you a product to fit your standard and quality requirements.

Our process technology is based on a fully continuous and automatic fractionation of palm oil, keeping in view the requirement of product quality. Moreover, production of lower Cloud Point of 6 will not reduce the production capacity by more than 10% as compared to a more than 50% reduction in the conversional design.

The novelty and innovation of our technology lies in the fact that oil from the outlet of the deodorizer at 65oC is connected online to crystallizers for continuous flow. The end crystallizer discharge to the membrane filter is by gravity, thereby reducing the process cost and required manpower significantly.

In our process there is no need for frequent circulation of hot water, thus reducing the steam consumption by 60%. Moreover, most of the cooling is done by natural water as compared to other methods, thereby reducing the requirement of chilled water.

A unique technique of gravitational membrane filtration is adopted in palm oil fractionation that helps in better olein recovery on a sustained basis. Besides, a higher recovery by 1% to 8% is possible depending upon the cloud point from 10 to 6.

The process of fractionation can be applied to:

  • Cotton seed oil
  • Shea butter
  • Sal fat
  • Mango kernel oil
  • Palm oil
  • Rice bran oil
  • Palm kernel
  • Sunflower oil


The palm oil fractionation process is designed to separate palm oil into two fractions, Olein and Stearine without the addition of any chemical or solvent. Mecpro fractionation plants can be counted upon to produce stable and filterable crystals giving you a product that fits your standard and quality requirements.

Mecpro crystallizers used for fractionation have a cooling coil with a unique design that provides a large cooling surface area. It helps in the formation of better crystal nuclei on which crystals are grown. The slow agitation and agitator configuration keeps the oil mass moving without stagnation even when close to cooling. The crystals developed during the process are separated out by using a membrane filter press. This allows the squeezing out of the stearine cake to get as much liquid olein as possible.

Composition of Palm Oil

The various fatty acids found in palm oil are tabulated below.

Fatty Acid % Carbon Position
Lauric 0.06 C12
Myristic 0.95 C14
Palmitic 42 – 48 C16
Palmitoleic 0.2 C16:1
Stearic 4.58 C18
Oleic 44 – 45 C18:1
Linoleic 10.41 C16:2
Linolenic 0.26 C16:3
Arachitic 0.55 C20


The process consists of the five steps listed below:

  • Heating the feed oil
  • Formation of crystals by controlled cooling
  • Crystal growth
  • Maturation of crystals
  • Filtration to separate Olein and Stearine

Generally R.B.D. Palm oil is used for fractionation. For getting R.B.D. Palm oil, crude palm oil is refined, bleached and deodorized.

After getting the desired quality of R.B.D. Palm oil, it is pre-heated up to 70oC to give a homogeneous mass with no solid portion. Mecpro has provided a PHE using which the oil temperature can be maintained as desired.

Oil is fed continuously and the flow rate is controlled with the help of an oil flow control valve. In the 1st and 2nd crystallizers cooling is done by ordinary water, which is available directly from the cooling tower at a temperature of 32°C.

Cooling in the 3rd and 4th crystallizers is done by chilled water which is available from the vapor absorption chiller at 7oC.

During the cooling sequence, samples were taken at regular intervals from the crystallizer and analyzed for their physical behavior. The physical properties of the olein and stearin fractions, such as cloud point, slip melting point and solid fat content, were found to be dependent on the crystallization temperature.

On flow crystallization method will ensure the cooling and crystal formation has been attained in all the crystallizers and continuing the flow through compensator to the filter by gravity.  

Oil from the compensator is first filled in the membrane filter by gravity and after attaining a pressure of 1.5 – 2 kg/cm2 the filter pump is started. For filtering the olein from the filter press all operations such as opening, closing, squeezing and washing and discharge of the stearine to the stearine melting tank are automated and computerised.

Main Features and Advantages of Fractionation

Combines all operations, and monitors from is fully computerized. which includes

  • a fully automated centralized control station.
  • Easy to operate, requires little supervision
  • Good flexibility with wide range of possible process applications
  • Low operating costs
    • Low utility consumption
    • Low maintenance cost
    • No oil losses
    • No pollution problem
  • Good product quality
    • Good crystallization repeatability, yielding consistent product quality
    • High olein yield
    • Low olein cloud point, with improved cold stability


  Fatty Acid % Carbon Position
RBD PO 51.8 36.2 34.2 52.8 78 ± 3 22 ± 3
RBD PO (PROLONGED HOLDING) 51.8 36.2 38.2 50.7 60 ± 5 40 ± 5
RBD POL (24/14oC) 56.5 21.0 47.4 27.4 55 ± 5 45 ± 5
RBD POL (24/14oC) 56.5 21.0 49.1 26.5 48 ± 5 52 ± 5
RBD PO/POL (20:80) (PROLONGED HOLDING) 55.2   45.0 33.0 50 ± 5 50 ± 5