Integrated Oil Palm Fruit Digester-Separator-Screw Press Machine
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An integrated digester-separator-screw press machine for digesting sterilized palm fruit, separating the digested mash into nuts and pulp before pressing only the digested pulp for palm oil extraction was developed and evaluated. This machine, designed based on the modified palm oil and nut extraction process and fabricated using locally sourced standard materials, eliminated drudgery in the loading and discharging of intermediate materials among the digestion, nut-pulp separation and pressing operations in the new process. The major components of this machine include an electric motor, feed hopper, horizontal digesting unit, cake breaking unit, auger separating unit, screw press and discharging outlets for palm nut, palm oil and pressed fibre. Performance test analysis revealed nut breakage index, average throughput and palm oil extraction efficiency of this machine as zero, 204.51kg/h and 97.44% respectively. Thus, the integrated machine constitutes a veritable option for quality palm oil and nuts production boost in small and medium scale palm fruit processing.
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