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Natural Oil Refining

Natural Oil Refining

Removing impurities from crude oils and fats

Natural Oil Refining covers a range of processes to produce pretreated and/or refined oils and fats from crude oils and animal fats. Depending on the feedstock and the desired final product, customers may want to remove impurities such as free fatty acids, phospholipids or odors. With over 400 plants delivered around the world, Air Liquide Engineering & Construction has considerable experience in this field.

Refining and pre-treatment

The impurities contained in crude oils and animal fats can be treated through a number of different processes. If the end product is intended for food purposes, it must reach refined, bleached, deodorised (RBD) oil quality – which requires the removal of all contaminants through refining. If the product is intended for further processing, as in biodiesel production or oil splitting, it must be pre-treated.

Refining processes offered by Air Liquide Engineering & Construction include the separation of waxes through winterization, the removal of color and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons through bleaching, and the extraction of free fatty acids (FFA) – either chemically by neutralization or thermally by deacidification. Odors and pesticides can also be removed through deodorization, with the possibility of generating vitamin E as a by-product.

Through its technology, Air Liquide Engineering & Construction also offers solutions for modifying fats through processes such as hydrogenation (saturation of double bonds), interesterification (adjustment of the melting point) or fractionation (separation according to chain length). Soapstock splitting, gum drying and other side processes may also be provided.


  • Technology offers a wide range of refining processes
  • Products meet RBD oil quality

Key figures

  • Capacity: 100 tons per day to 2 800 tons per day

Natural Oil Refining