How is Palm Oil Made into Oleochemicals?
Oleochemicals are chemical compounds derived from natural oils such as palm oil and palm kernel oil. Examples of such derivatives include fatty acids, fatty alcohols, glycerine, and fatty methyl esters. These compounds are then used in the production of lots of things around us, from cosmetics to industrial lubricants, and even concrete additives. From a tropical fruit, how does palm oil end up in these products?
Once milled into Crude Palm Oil and Palm Kernel Oil, these oils are eventually split into Glycerine and Fatty Acids. A parallel process is Trans-esterification to produce Fatty Alcohols. These derivatives then go towards the production of such products as cosmetics, detergents, and even concrete additives.
This flowchart below aims to simplify this process, and illustrate what products use palm oil oleochemicals.