Deacidification of soybean oil by membrane technology

L. P. Raman, M. Cheryan, N. Rajagopalan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


After extracting free fatty acids (FFA) from a model crude vegetable oil with methanol, FFA were separated from methanol by nanofiltration. Of the several commercially available membranes that were evaluated, the best resulted in FFA rejection of >90% and flux of >25 Lm-2 h-1. A combination of high-rejection and low-rejection membranes resulted in a retentate stream of 35% FFA and a permeate stream with less than 0.04% FFA, which can be recycled to the extractor. No alkali is required, no soapstock is formed, and almost all streams within the membrane process are recycled with little discharged as effluent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-224
Number of pages6
JournalJAOCS, Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • Free fatty acids
  • Membrane technology
  • Methanol
  • Refining
  • Vegetable oils

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Organic Chemistry

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