Optimization of the bleaching process of red oil using acid activated Major Porta adsorbent (M1) was presented in this study. Through a series of batch experiments, several samples of palm oil were bleached at various temperatures, times, and adsorbent dosage using M1 and Fuller’s earth, a commercial bleaching agent (CBE). The optical absorbance of the oil samples (raw and bleached) were measured at 450nm wavelength with UV Spectrophotometer and petroleum ether was used as reference. Bleaching performances of M1 and CBE were calculated and physico-chemical properties of raw and bleached oil were determined using standard methods for the purpose of comparison. Bleaching performance of M1 was found to compare well with that of CBE under optimum conditions. The optimum condition for the bleaching process was found to be: contact time (10 minutes), temperature (1000C) and adsorbent to oil ratio (1g: 30g). At optimum conditions M1 and CBE had bleaching performance (BP) of 90.466% and 95.673% respectively. Physico-chemical properties of the M1—bleached oil showed considerable improvement compared with the properties of the raw oil. Thus, activated Major Porta clay is a viable source of adsorbent for the bleaching of palm oil.
Key Words: Adsorbent, adsorptive bleaching, optimization, Red oil.