The effluent stream (Glycerine Lye) generated from chemical splitting of castor oil was having a lot of nuisance value, till Process System Engineers started research in the subject. The waste stream adds not only pollution problem but also to the cost for treating the stream. The main polluting constituents are glycerine and sodium sulfate. Recovering glycerine and sodium sulfate from glycerine lye was always challenge for the technocrats. Number of workers made attempts to recover glycerine and sodium sulfate. However, only Process-System Engineers could commercialize the technology to produce glycerine and sodium sulfate that fetched a good commercial value.


This plant is specially designed to process Glycerine Lye (LYE) obtained from chemical splitting of castor oil. The major components of the raw material are water, sodium sulfate and glycerine. General composition of the raw material is in following range.
Glycerol 5 - 8% (w/w)
Sodium sulfate 15 - 18% (w/w)
Sulfuric Acid 1.5 - 2.5 % (w/w)

Glycerine and Sodium Sulfate are the two products recovered from this plant. The characteristics of the products are as follows:

Glycerine :
  The Concentration of glycerine is 99% (w/w) minimum confirming to various grades such as CP, IW, IP, etc.
Sodium Sulfate :
  Free flowing sodium sulfate will have concentration of minimum 98% (w/w).
The main plant consists of three different units. They are :
Treatment Unit
Recovery Unit
Distillation Unit
Crude glycerine is further processed in Distillation Unit for obtaining distilled & refined glycerine.

(Refer to the block flow diagram) The acidic LYE is neutralized in the Treatment Unit. LYE is received at the Recovery Plant from the Castor oil fatty acids plant. The LYE received in offsite tanks is a clear, colorless liquid and is free from any organic matter such as oil or fatty acid. The facility provided for treatment operates in batch mode and is capable of employing two steps of treatment.

Recovery unit is specially designed for concentrating crude glycerine to 84 - 86% by evaporation of wate and simultaneously crystallizing sodium sulfate salt. PSE India Pvt.Ltd.'s multiple effect separation system consists of a number of sub-systems including evaporator system, Classifier system, entrainment arrester, circulator etc. The concentrated glycerine (crude glycerine) is transferred to offsite crude glycerine storage tank. Salt system comprise of number of salt groups and accessories. The salt is passed through a series of recovery, purification and drying operation to obtain white free flowing salt powder.
Distillation Unit is broadly divided into three main sections. Viz. Deaeration section, Distillation section and Bleaching section. The distillation section is composed of various zones such as vaporization, stripping, rectification, pump-around and scrubbing. Bleaching section composed of two fixed beds of activated carbon. Distilled glycerine is cooled to bleaching temperature and then passed through the bleachers. The bleached glycerine is filtered and then finally cooled down to storage temperature before discharging to the battery limits.

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Optimum energy utilization
Enhancement in plant capacity
Fully automatic operation