This work describes the conceptual development of a new process for palm oil refining using supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) technology. The first step was to model the phase equilibrium behavior of a crude palm oil (CPO)-supercritical CO2 mixture. Next, a new flowsheet structure was synthesized to recover high- purity palm oil and its minor components. The new SFE process was finally simulated using Aspen Plus commercial process simulator version 10.2.1 based on the Redlich-Kwong-Aspen (RKA) thermodynamic model. The results obtained were in good agreement with the pilot plant data reported in the literature. It is envisioned that the development of a new, intensified palm oil refining process that is based on SFE technology can make the refining process drastically simpler and overcome the limitations of the existing technology for palm oil refining.
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