EVALUATION OFAMATHEMATICAL MODEL FOR OIL EXTRACTION FROM OLEAGINOUS SEEDS
AbstractMechanical extraction from seeds represents an important process in the production of vegetable oils. The efficiency of this step can have an effect on the economic convenience of the entire production chain of vegetable oils. However, the mechanical presses used for extraction are designed following criteria based more on the experience and intuition of the operators than on rigorous analyses of the physical principles involved in the process. In this study we have tested the possibility of applying a mathematical model that reproduces oil extraction from seeds, on a laboratory type of continuous press. In other words, we have compared the results of our mathematical model with those obtained from real extractions with mechanical presses on sunflower seeds. Our model is based on determining the main operating parameters of mechanical extraction, such as temperature, pressure and compression time, and on the knowledge of some physical characteristics of the solid matrix of the seeds. The results obtained are interesting because they include the role of operating parameters involved in extraction while the application of the mathematical model studied here allows, although with potential for improvement, a mathematical instrument to be developed for optimising the sizing and the operating conditions of mechanical presses.
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