Oil Processing


PQ has several synthetic amorphous silica products that serve the Oil Processing market.  SORBSIL® silicas can be used as a replacement for bleaching earths in the processing of oils.  SORBSIL® silicas show superior adsorption capacity for contaminant soaps, phospholipids, and trace metals and can allow modifications to the oil refining process, such as elimination of washing stages in caustic refining, thereby reducing cost and waste. 

In Biodiesel production, SORBSIL® silicas offer several advantages in feedstock processing.  Pretreatment with SORBSIL® silicas allows the use of a wide variety of cheaper feedstock oils and fats with simplified processing.  SORBSIL® silicas effectively remove soaps, phospholipids, and trace metals in the feedstock oil.  Likewise, the produced FAME (fatty acid methyl esters) biodiesel must be purified to remove soap contaminants and other trace contaminants.  SORBSIL® silica products can be used effectively to refine the FAME Biodiesel oil. 

PQ also manufactures BRITESORB® silicas to serve as oil purifiers in the frying cooking oil market.  BRITESORB® oil treatment products adsorb or prevent the buildup of oil degradation products such as polar materials, color bodies, free-fatty acids, soaps, and polymers.  The result is a frying oil of better appearance and taste, reduced toxicity, reducing foaming and smoking, and better heat transfer from the fryer to the food. 

PQ SORBSIL® and BRITESORB® oil purifier silicas are manufactured in PQ’s state-of-the-art production facilities to meet all regulatory requirements for food-grade silica.
How It Works
Silica gels are amorphous free-flowing inorganic polymer powders.  Silica gels are characterized by particle size, porosity, and surface chemistry.  In particular, the porosity of PQ’s silica gel provides for a large surface area in the pore structure to provide high capacity to adsorb contaminants from oil.  PQ silica gel surface chemistry is based on silanols (Si-OH), which provide polar and ionic sites for adsorption of polar contaminants such as soaps, free-fatty acids, and phospholipids from the oil.  Likewise, trace metals can ion-exchange onto the silica gel surface so as to be removed from the oil.  Silica gels are easily filtered from purified oil and so provide a cost-effective and environmentally sound alternative to the use of caustic-washing and water-washing.  Via quality manufacturing, PQ tightly controls the silica gel product properties for best performance in oil processing. 
Applications
Oil Processing
Health, Safety &
Environment
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