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Fatty Acid Hydrogenation
   

To Produce Hydrogenated Fat or Fatty Acid

Chemistry
Hydrogenation is a reaction of hydrogen addition at double bonds in the fatty acid chain.
The degree of hydrogenation is directly related to the Iodine Value (IV) of fatty acid product.
Hydrogenation Process

For hydrogenation reaction to take place, fatty acid (liquid), hydrogen (gas) and the nickel catalyst (solid) must be effectively in contact at a suitable reaction temperature.

In the hydrogenation reactor, the reaction mixture is a well-mixed slurry with the suspended catalyst and fatty acids and con-currently flowing hydrogen gas.

The rate of hydrogenation reaction depends on :-
• Mixing efficiency of reaction mixture involving gas, liquid and solid phases
• Reaction temperature
• Catalyst activity and its concentration
• Purity of hydrogen gas



Process Description
Fatty acid hydrogenation plant is designed for converting the unsaturated crude or distilled fatty acid into fully hydrogenated fatty acids under continuous mode.

a) Drying
Fatty acid is first heated and deaerated under vacuum to remove water and other undissolved gasses before entering subsequent high temperature reaction section.

b) Reaction
Dried fatty acid is then mixed with catalyst. The slurry mixture together with recycle hydrogen is fed into the reactor in which hydrogenation reaction takes place.

In the reactor, reaction mixture flow concurrently from bottom to top of the reactor. Fatty acid will be completely hydrogenated when reaches top of the reactor column. Unreacted hydrogen will be separated from the fatty acid in the gas separator.





c) Filtration
Hydrogenated fatty acid will be cooled down in a series of heat exchangers and filtered for removal of catalyst.

d) Hydrogen Gas Cycle
Hydrogen cycling is maintained by a Gas Compressor. The volume of hydrogen gas required to obtain the desired degree of hydrogenation is topup into the hydrogen gas cycle.
Process Features:

o Continuous process with maximum heat recovery

o Ability to obtain low iodine value product with consistent quality

o Low catalyst and low hydrogen gas consumption

o Maintenance-free reactor with no rotating or moving parts

o Designed to handle fatty acid and pretreated oils and fats

 



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