Carbon 101Oil Purification

Activated carbon proves to be up to the challenge of the removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAH’s) in edible oils.

Activated Carbon is widely used in the purification of edible oils from a variety of raw materials, including palm, olive, coconut and rape seed sources.  One reason for the use of activated carbon is principally in the removal of toxins naturally present, or entrained as part of the extraction or refining process. Of concern are contaminants grouped together and referred to as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), with main consideration of the compound Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P).

To evaluate various carbon types for this application, research work was conducted at an independent French Institute (ITERG,, who have specialized knowledge of the evaluation of trace contaminants in fats and oils.  In this study, a rapeseed oil was doped with 10 µg/Kg of B[a]P, the oil was heated to a temperature of 75-80°C.  This sample was dosed with 0.04% activated carbon, then the oil was filtered.  Five different carbons were studied (four Jacobi products and a competitor material).  The highest performing product was ColorSorbTM XFP21, with 98% removal of B[a]P.  

Following this laboratory work, a trial was held with a major European edible oil refinery, dosing three different carbons (two Jacobi products and one competitor product) into a oil at a constant 95°C and providing using a contact time of 30 minutes.  Under these conditions, the best performing product again is:  ColorSorbTM XFP21.

These results demonstrated that a product with a blend controlled distribution of tighter micropores and larger mesopores such as ColorSorbTM XFP21 provides the best overall performance in edible oil treatment.  Utilizing this grade of carbon allowed lower dosage levels to be used, lowering cost of treatment and reducing waste disposal of spent filter cake.

To review the results of these studies and to learn more about the use of ColorSorbTM XFP21 for edible oil purification, please utilise our contact us form to request additional information.


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