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Dry Separation of Palm Kernel and Palm Shell Using a Novel Five-Stage Winnowing Column System

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Milling & Processing Unit, Engineering & Processing Research Division, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Ministry of Plantation Industries & Commodities, 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Biomass Technology Unit, Engineering & Processing Research Division, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Ministry of Plantation Industries & Commodities, 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Director General’s Office, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Ministry of Plantation Industries & Commodities, 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Energy & Environment Unit, Engineering & Processing Research Division, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Ministry of Plantation Industries & Commodities, 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi, 43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Manoj Gupta
Technologies 2016, 4(2), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies4020013
Received: 26 February 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
The conventional separation system for the recovery of palm kernel from its palm shell–kernel mixture using water as process media generates a considerable amount of waste effluent that harms the environment. The aim of this study is to develop a dry separation process for the recovery of palm kernel by using winnowing columns. A commercial system consisting of a series of five winnowing columns was developed and installed at a local palm oil mill. The system parameters, including column height, blower capacity, airflow rate and mesh screen size for shell removal, were studied and optimized to ensure good separation of kernel and shell in the column to enable collection of different sizes of kernel and shell at each column outlet. The performance of the separation process was evaluated in terms of its kernel losses, dirt content and kernel recovery rate. The average kernel losses based on oil palm fresh fruit bunches processed were found to vary from 0.11 to 0.30 wt %, with most of the values obtained being below the targeted limit of 0.30 wt %. The dirt content was in the range 4.56–6.03 wt %, which was mostly below the targeted limit of 5.5 wt %. The kernel recovery rate was in the range 5.69–6.89 wt %, with most of the values achieving the minimum targeted limit of 6.00 wt %. The system operates under completely dry conditions and, therefore, produces zero waste effluent. View Full-Text
Keywords: dry separation system; winnowing column; kernel recovery; palm kernel; palm shell; palm oil mill dry separation system; winnowing column; kernel recovery; palm kernel; palm shell; palm oil mill
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Mohamed Halim, R.; Ramli, R.; Che Mat, C.R.; Yuen May, C.; Abu Bakar, N.; Abdul Hadi, N. Dry Separation of Palm Kernel and Palm Shell Using a Novel Five-Stage Winnowing Column System. Technologies 2016, 4, 13.

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