A SUITABILITY ASSESSMENT OF ALKALI ACTIVATED CLAY FOR APPLICATION IN VEGETABLE OIL REFINING

Abstract

Production of acid activated clay and its application in vegetable oil refining has reached its limit of optimization. Most acid activated clay often increases the acid value of refined bleached and deodorized (RBD) oil and hence requires further treatment to get the desired quality. In addition, the waste effluent from the treated clay is hazardous to the environment and as a result, this study aimed at investigating the potential application of alkali activated clay for Shea butter bleaching. Nigeria local clay was obtained and activated using sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide solutions at varying concentrations. The effectiveness of those clays was measured by determining the percentage color reduction and the final free fatty acid of the RBD Shea oil. The adsorption of colored impurities from the Shea butter was favored by low concentration (0.5m/dm3) for sodium hydroxide activated clays and higher concentration (5m/dm3) for potassium hydroxide activated clays. The percentage free fatty acid of the Shea butter was reduced from 6.836 to 2.74 and 3.2 for potassium hydroxide activated clay and sodium hydroxide activated clays respectively. The XRD patterns of the activated clays revealed that the clay sample consists of mixed layered minerals whose morphology has been changed as a result of the modification. The results of this work will address most shortcomings associated with acid activated clay and hence make alkali activated clay a good candidate for bleaching vegetable oil even at the level of the grass root

Keywords: Alkali Activated Clay, Suitability Assessment, Vegetable Oil Refining


Article Review Status: Published

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