fatty-acid-hydrogenation CMBernardini

Vegetable Oil & Fatty acids hydrogenation: advantages of semicontinuous technology by CMBernardini

The vegetable oil & fatty acids hydrogenation is a fundamental process for a multitude of activities in the oleochemical and oils & fats sectors. It is a process that is constantly evolving at CMB, in order to respond successfully to the ever-changing demands of the market, which tends to provide increasingly stringent parameters.

Hydrogenation process is directly linked to the evolution of both Green Chemistry and the Food Industry. Two areas in which this process has a decisive influence on the quality of the final product and, therefore, needs to be constantly improved, with cutting-edge technologies and solutions that are inextricably linked to the continuous scientific and technological progress of the food and chemical industries.

Most of the vegetable oil & fatty acids hydrogenation units are batch both for reason of capacity and because they must process different products that may require operating conditions  which changes according to the different feedstocks..

From an operative point of view it is typical for the plant operators to take samples till the product characteristics are achieved.

Batch plants have nevertheless a negative point: hydrogenation is a high temperature process but in batch operation most of the heat is wasted and, especially for medium to high capacity units, this becomes an important cost.

On the contrary, the use of continuous units is limited to plants that hydrogenate always the same products and of very constant characteristics, but with the possibility to recover the heat produced by the reaction.

The solution proposed by CMBernardini to his Clients is a semicontinuous plant, to have the advantages of both configurations: feed and discharge are continuous and then a feed/product heat exchanger gives a very high heat recovery rate, while buffer tanks allows to have a batch hydrogenation inside the CMBer unit.

It has also to be said that, being hydrogenation an exothermic reaction, this heat is recovered generating low pressure steam.


The technology proposed by CMBernardini is then:


  1. Effective on product quality point of view, since the Client can keep under strict control the quality parameters of the final product, to avoid any off-spec production;
  2. Feasible OPEX wise, since the utilities consumption is drastically reduced;
  3. Sustainable environment wise, since the heat is used to produce low pressure steam, to be utilized within the plant and consequently reducing the carbon footprint of the process


A cutting edge technology that targets the highest quality final product with the greatest possible optimization of resources, achieving the best results for Customers in the most sustainable way.

Contact us and find out how CMBernardini can help your business growth in Green Chemistry in a sustainable and profitable way!