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Latin American applied research

Print version ISSN 0327-0793


PRAMPARO, M. C.; MARTINELLO, M. A.; CASTILLO, M. E.  and  MATTEA, M. A.. Study of operative variable influence on the vegetable oil extraction process. Lat. Am. appl. res. [online]. 2003, vol.33, n.3, pp.235-239. ISSN 0327-0793.

In the vegetable oil extraction process it is possible to identify a sequence of process units that deal with solids: extractor, desolventizer and meal drier, the so-called ¨solid line¨. Such unit operations are rarely included in available commercial process simulators, so it was necessary to develop a simulation tool for this particular application. The model obtained by using mass and energy conservation equations is represented by a differential equation system. In each process unit, heat and mass transfer flows were written in terms of lumped parameter constitutive equations. Industrial data were collected in a soybean extraction facility and the parameters of the model were estimated by using the Marquardt method. This simulation tool allows to analyze the influence of operative variables on solid line performance. It was found that the main variables that affect extraction efficiency are operation temperature, solid material preparation characteristics and residence time. In the desolventizer, the direct steam flow and the amount of indirect heat affect final meal solvent and moisture content. Inlet air flow, temperature and humidity have an important effect on the degree of meal moisture elimination in the drier. Effects of changes in the amount of solid material treated in the extractor is shown in this work.

Keywords : Extraction; Modeling; Simulation.

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