The Continuous Sterilization system is an initiative jointly pioneered by Malaysian Palm Oil Board and us, with both parties as joint patent holders.
i. FFB Conditioning
FFB is first put through a bunch conditioner for conditioning purposes. Subsequent to this, the FFB is then fed into the Continuous Sterilizer via a sealed scrapper bar type feeding conveyor. This conveyor is designed to take the advantage of excess steam from the Continuous Sterilizer to pre-heat as well as to evacuate the air from the conditioned FFB. In doing so, it contains and controls the excessive steam from leaking into the atmosphere and to pre-heat the conditioned FFB at the same time.
ii. FFB Sterilization
The Continuous Sterilizer is a long rectangular non-pressurized chamber fitted with steam injection nozzles strategically distributed along its whole length and is constructed from stainless steel plate. The reason for using a non-pressurized chamber is because steam at atmospheric pressure suffices in order to cook the FFB. The arrangement of the nozzles in the Continuous Sterilizer is to ensure and facilitate even distribution of steam to all the FFB inside it. This will promote proper cooking of the FFB.
The whole length of the Continuous Sterilizer is properly insulated to prevent heat loss. At the same time, for ease of maintenance and routine checking, removable covers and manholes are provided throughout the Continuous Sterilizer.
Traditionally, due to the presence of pressure, blowing off of steam and condensate at the end of a conventional sterilization process poses a messy and hazardous problem. However, using the Continuous Sterilization process, the abovementioned problem is completely resolved and eliminated. There is no more blowing off of steam and condensate under pressure. Instead, the bottom of the Continuous Sterilizer is fitted with a series of condensate drain for draining off all the condensate continuously.
The Continuous Sterilizer operates under steam of atmospheric pressure. Conditioned FFB is fed into the Continuous Sterilizer via a mechanical flap door which acts as a steam lock. The FFB is moved through the whole length of the Continuous Sterilizer by a chain type conveyor driven by a high torque geared motor. As the FFB moves along the Continuous Sterilizer, it is cooked by the steam. The time of cooking varies is between 80 minutes to 90 minutes. At the end of the cooking cycle, the FFB is sufficiently sterilized and is ready for feeding into the threshing drum via another mechanical flap door.
Due to the design of the Continuous Sterilization system, the sterilized FFB is evenly and continuously fed into the Thresher Drum. This will, in turn, ensure even and continuous threshing of the FFB, hence ensuring palm oil fruits are successfully stripped from its bunches, and resulting in very negligible unstripped bunches.