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Background: Sunflower dewaxing with Winwax filters was developed by Desmet as a solution which offers an automated and hermetic operation of Sunflower dewaxing without filter aid to achieve superior cold test of more than 0 deg C, 24 hrs.

Status : Two plants are in commercial operation. The third plant is expected to start production soon.

Principle of Sunflower oil dewaxing with Winwax filter.

The Winwax process is a combination of good crystallization in a set of specially designed crystallizers + maturators followed by filtration in a specially designed Winwax filter.

Bleached sunflower oil is cooled by outgoing dewaxed oil and then by cooling water to 45 deg C. The oil is then passed through a series of specially designed crystallizers and maturators to permit the desired residence time. The crystallizers
/ maturators have a special compartmental design combined with specially designed agitators. This ensures a systematic cooling of oil as per desired pattern as the oil flows through the crystallizers / maturators resulting in crystallization of the waxes.

The crystals formed are homogenous and have a good filterability. This ensures a good cold stability of the dewaxed oil, larger wax loads in the Winwax filter and low oil content in the wax.

The oil is then filtered in Winwax filters to separate the waxes. The filtered oil is then heated with incoming bleached oil and then passes to the deodorization section. The entire plant operation is automated by PLC.

Principle of Winwax filters:

  1. Winwax filters are horizontal pressure leaf filters with each filter leaf having a fabric filter element and heating and cooling facility.
  2. The oil with crystallized waxes is pumped to the filter using a progressive cavity pump. The filtered oil exits through two manifolds. The clarity of the filtered oil is monitored by sight glasses on each manifold outlet pipeline.
  3. After the filter is saturated with wax, the same is emptied and blown with air. Further the shell is retracted and the waxes are molten by heating the filter leaves with low pressure steam. The molten wax accumulates in the wax hopper below the Winwax filter. No manual intervention is required to clean the filter leaves of wax.
  4. The filter is then cooled with cooling water and the shell is closed and the filter operation resumes.
  5. Entire operation of the filter press is automatic with sequences controlled by PLC.