Piloting an innovative process for rapeseed processing
The kick-off meeting in September 2017 marked the start of the “EthaNa” project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). Coordinated by Fraunhofer CBP, eleven partners from the industry and research are developing a novel process for the treatment of rapeseed.
In comparison to the established extraction process with hexane solvent, digestion and recovery of the material are carried out with ethanol in the EthaNa project. This makes it possible to significantly improve the quality of the rapeseed oil and rapeseed concentrate products. In addition, the project also aims to isolate novel recoverable substances that previously could not be obtained from rapeseed, such as secondary plant constituents or protein fractions.
The aim of the three-year project is to set up a pilot plant at Fraunhofer CBP and to demonstrate the entire process from the peeling of rapeseed and the subsequent digestion to obtaining the oil from the rapeseed kernels. The first process units are scheduled to start operating in autumn 2018. The generation of product samples of rapeseed oil and rapeseed concentrate is planned for the end of 2019. Sample quantities (of 100 kilograms to tons) will initially be used for further investigations and the assessment of the product share in the food and feed industry.