Earn extra with Alfa Laval D3 PRO 3-phase oil recovery process

Alfa Laval D3 PRO 3-phase oil recovery process: how much extra would you earn if you can recover additional 0.1 per cent oil to FFB?

Most plant managers today are calling for a more sustainable crude palm oil process that can recover more oil, minimize costs and optimize yield. It may sound improbable, but it is possible to achieve all that with the Alfa Laval D3PRO system. The potential is to recover an additional 0.1% to FFB from conventional process.

The Alfa Laval D3 PRO process is a design that tackles all the existing challenges and brings performances beyond current practice. Needless to say, success does not come naturally. After years of engagements with plant managers, operators and consultants, and listening to their demands and hope, Alfa Laval is now in a position to offer a process system that is less costly, higher oil yield and with less effluent.

Maximum oil recovery, higher profit

The D3 PRO improves your process and saves cost from the start. That is because Alfa Laval system requires no dilution water and no big clarification tank for settling. The separation takes place in an Alfa Laval 3-phase decanter which is designed with a patented feed zone that can separate undiluted crude oil, even at high capacity. The light phase requires no further purification and is ready to go. This represents significant savings in time, energy consumption, water usage and labour.

Unlike the traditional way of milling, D3 PRO can cut down oil loss by using high speed separator as the final recovery. It is estimated that the average plant loses 0.40% of oil to FFB in the separation process. With the D3 PRO, however, the heavy phase is sent to our high speed, disk stack centrifuge where oil is further recovered and returned in the system. In many plants that are using D3 PRO, the oil loss is able to be reduced by up to 0.1%.

This step in the process can amount to significant increases in yield and profit. For instance, if a plant processes 250,000 tons/year and recovers an additional 0.1% to FFB, the amount of recovered oil will be 250 metric ton. If one metric ton of oil is valued at USD 850, this represents additional revenue of USD 212,500 per year.

D3 PRO: realization of an ideal model

Sengfook Liew, Separation Manager, SEA Competency Centre, and his team who initiated the D3 PRO, had an ideal oil clarification room in his mind back then.

“An effective oil clarification room should be able to achieve maximum oil recovery, meaning that there shall be lowest oil loss, be simple to operate, give consistent results and minimize effluent discharge. This is the basic requirement for a good oil recovery system.”

“In the palm oil mills’ environment, any system introduced must be easy to operate and not require highly skilled personnel. The remoteness of most mills and the difficulty of acquiring skilled workers is constantly a problem.”

“Furthermore,” said Liew, “the system must also be able to tolerate the fluctuation of the composition of the press liquor. The composition varies depending on the fruit type, seasonal changes and upstream processing conditions e.g temperature, water addition etc. So it is imperative that any clarification system introduced must be able to cater for these fluctuations and still be able to produce consistently low oil losses and high quality oil.”

Liew had later realized his vision on D3 PRO, which adopts a totally different concept from its counterparts, and has started to set a new trend for palm oil milling industry.

Minimum effluent

The handling and treatment of effluent discharge is important to the business. It posed one of the biggest challenges to the industry. With a concerted push by environmental regulating agencies, mills have to ensure that the effluent from the mills are properly controlled and treated. If the amount of effluent can be minimized it will go a long way to mitigate this problem.

According to Liew, the Alfa Laval’s new D3 PRO clarification system is designed with the above points in mind.

“We are concerned not only about the efficiency, but also the impact on the environment from the palm oil industry.”

The D3 PRO has been tested and operated for more than 5 years in many mills and the results have been most promising.

“We are glad that the results pay off well. D3 PRO can fulfill all these demanding requirements for palm oil milling. We are proud to say that it is one of its kinds in the market.”

About D3 PRO

The D3 PRO process offers numerous advantages over traditional 3-phase systems. It is available with different capacity from 30 to 90 tons fresh fruit bunches (FFB)/hour.

The main workhorse of this process is our 3-phase decanter, capable of high capacity separation with no need for dilution water. This means considerably less effluent for smaller, more manageable ponds. It helps to reduce water consumption and effluent loading by up to 30%.

The process produces a light phase that is “ready-to-go” with no need for further purification. At the same time, the heavy phase can be further separated to recover oil and a cake that can be used for additional sources of income.

D3 PRO can be designed to be a self-automated system capable of operating 24 hours a day, with minimal maintenance or supervisory requirements

It all adds up to a system that can make your plant more profitable and manageable in today’s competitive palm oil industry.

The D3 PRO allows you to:

  • Recover lost oil for higher yields and profit
  • Separate without dilution water
  • Reduce effluent by up to 30%
  • Create a light phase with no need for additional purification
  • Operate at high capacity
  • Create cake for other income sources such as fertilizer
  • Save space and money by eliminating a continuous vertical settling tank from your process.
  • Reduce water, energy and labour costs
  • Minimize maintenance and man-hours
  • Separate crude palm oil 24 h/d
  • Consistent separation and oil quality
  • No unnecessarily long holding time and exposure to oxidation.

For more information, please contact:

Sengfook Liew
Regional Separation Manager, Food Segment APAC
Southeast Asia Competency Centre
Mobile No.: +6019 3811199

Zay Aw, Communications Manager, Southeast Asia
Mobile No.: +60 17 3699 628

Daphney Tai, Communications Executive, Southeast Asia
Mobile No.: +60 17 795 1015


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