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» SOYABEAN OIL REFINING TECHNOLOGY (PLANT)
Description and Characteristics
The production of soycake meal also yields a dark-coloured soybean oil as a by-product. In order to increase income levels of small scale producers, a process technology for refining the oil has been developed. The designed pilot plant can refine crude soybean oil to edible soybean oil.  

How the Technology works
The conventional refining process, consist of degumming, neutralization, bleaching and de-colouration of the crude soybean oil. The plant is constructed with stainless steel. Crude soybean oil is pumped into a degumming tank, the oil is heated, phosphoric acid added, and the oil is cooled and washed with water. The mixture is allowed to settle and settled gums are run off into a waste thank. The degummed oil is taken through a neutralization processes and later pumped into a bleaching thank and heated under vacuum. In the neutralization process, the soap stock is run off before washing is done with water. The slurry is filtered hot through a filter press and sent into a storage tank. Filtration is repeated until the oil becomes clear and the bleached oil is now pumped into deodorizer and heated under vacuum. The oil is now dried under vacuum and cooled before pumping into a storage tank and taken through a demoralization process to obtain refined edible soybean oil that is within Ghana Standard Authority specifications.  

Market Potential
About 50% of soybeans produced in Ghana is processed into soycake meal for poultry and animal feed by small scale enterprises. This plant refined oil yield of 86% on crude soyacake oil. Soybean cake enterprises can generate extra revenue from the crude oil which is like a waste product for these enterprises.

Challenges and Opportunities

The major challenge is the investment capital for the construction of the soybean crude oil processing units and required equipment. Soybean cake processing enterprises, soymilk drink processing factories and entrepreneurs have shown keen interest in the technology. 

Collaboration and funding
Fabrication and installation of the refining plant is done in collaboration with FATECO LTD., a private company into soybean cake for poultry and animal feed.
Dissemination strategies and Diffusion
The diffusion of the technology has been done through training workers of soybean cake companies. The technology has been presented at several conferences, exhibitions and seminars in the country. The technology has been published in a Journal of Applied Science and Technology (JAST).
 
Users of the Technology
  • Soycake processing industries
  • Soybean drink processing industries
  • Entrepreneurs
  • NGO’s into soybean farming