OLEON’s base oleochemical production uses two processes to split the raw materials: hydrolysis and methanolysis.
In a hydrolysis tower, water, at a pressure of 55bar and a temperature of 250 °C, ensures that the raw material is split into crude fatty acids and glycerine. The crude fatty acids are later purified by distillation. Further possible treatment include hydrogenation, which is saturation by using hydrogen; crystallisation, which is the separation into solid (stearic-fraction); and liquid (oleic-fraction) fatty acids, or topping which is the separation of the shorter from the longer chain fatty acids.
Methanolysis is a process comparable to hydrolysis, but in which water is replaced by methanol. The methyl esters obtained are converted into fatty alcohols, or sold as such in the market.
Our derivatives production uses to a great extent the base oleochemicals produced in our different plants for the conversion into natural esters. Esters are compounds of acids and alcohols, which can be produced through two processes: direct and trans-esterification. OLEON’s fatty acids, fatty alcohols and glycerine are the most important raw materials for over 200 natural esters which are produced in accordance to highly application-orientated standards. They are delivered to the customer either in liquid form in drums, tankers or ships, or in solid form as powder or flakes in bags.