The cold pressing of vegetable oil has been proven in several countries as a viable small industry for the individual entrepreneur or company wishing to add value through vertical integration within its production or distribution chain and especially when targeting niche products. Specialty oils with high value low volume operations are especially viable for small operations due in part to the lack of interest by the large scale industry.
That is not to say that plants in the capacity range of 1 to 5 tons per hour where mechanical expelling or pressing is used, is not viable in the case of the commercial seeds such as sunflower and soy beans where for instance low fat oil cake is required for the processing of animal feed or human foodstuffs. With high quality equipment and the correct pre-processing, viable yields can be obtained.
The Expeltec oil expelling system is presented as a complete turnkey project in terms of plant and equipment supplied, installed and commissioned. Components may also be purchased separately so as to enable the industrialist to make up his own plant.? The plant in standard execution provides for extraction of oil from groundnuts and sunflower seeds, soy beans and virtually all oil bearing seeds such as jojoba, apricot kernels, peach kernels, pumpkin seeds, cotton seeds, copra, tomato seeds, castor seeds, almonds, walnuts, macadamia, pecan and virtually all seeds with relatively high oil content are possible feedstocks. The final use of such oil and the required refining to get it to a specification, are of course all individual considerations. Usually in the case of high value oils, no refining other than filtration is required by the end user or oil traders as the oil’s attraction usually lies in its natural smell and taste that is concentrated when the oil is pressed.
With the widespread use of biodiesel, various oils may be used that are of low value otherwise, but that may be viable for fuel. Seeds with aflatoxins that are poisonous for human and animal consumption can for instance be used for biofuel very effectively as it has no other commercial value. As such quantities are normally not that big, it can easily be mechanically pressed when the opportunity arises.
The commercial growing of jatropha for biodiesel purposes requires chemical extraction to be viable in the quantities upon which these projects are based.