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close this bookHow to Make? An Improved Soap .. Not just for more Foam (GTZ, 1993, 71 p.)
close this folderC. Saponification of simple fats
View the documentC.I. Peanut oil
View the documentC.II. Copra oil
View the documentC.III. Cotton oil
View the documentC.IV. Shea butter
View the documentC.V. Palm oil
View the documentC.VI. Palmkernel oil
View the documentC.VII. Tallows (cow and mutton)
View the documentC.VIII. Fat (pork)
View the documentC.IX. Neem oil
View the documentC.X. Pourghere oil
View the documentC.XI. Castor oil
View the documentC.XII. Sesame oil

C.VI. Palmkernel oil

It is extracted from the seeds of oilpalm fruit (Elais sp.).

Physical and chemical characteristics:

Density at 15 °C:

0,925 - 0,935

Solidification point:

19 to 30 °C

Iodine number:

14 - 20

Saponification value:

242 - 254

INS Factor:

222 - 240

Intake in insaponifiable:

0,2 - 0,8%

Intake of alkaline solution indicated for saponification (refined oil):

26 to 40 °Be.

The soda soap is very hard and has a yellow-cream color. After graining out, it can even become breakable. The washing power is very good (even in cold water) and foaming appears quickly, but the foam is less stable. Stable at stockage, it develops unfortunately a harsh effect on the skin.

Soap preparation

Palm kernel (palmist) oil has a white yellow color. It's soaping characteristics are similar to those of copra oil. As the latter it is easily saponifiable.


The pre-treatment necessary to the saponification of palmist oil consists in the purification of raw oil. This can be achieved by washing it in boiling salted water (see detailed description in the chapter "peanut-oil").



100 Kg of purified oil;
19,94 Kg of caustic potassium solution at 15°Be;
38 Kg of soda solution at 40 °Be;
5 Kg of salt.


The palmist oil is well appropriate for saponification at cold. In this purpose you can use two alkaline solutions of different concentration.

How to conduct the operations

- Weight the necessary quantity of purified oil and heat it in the boiler at 35 - 40 °C;
- Add slowly and in small portions (by stirring) the alkaline solution of weak concentration);
- After the appearance of a good emulsion, add the concentrated alkaline solution by stirring intensively;
- Go on mixing it until the mass of soap gets a high stickiness;
- Then add the auxiliaries and keep stirring in order to warrant their incorporation;
- Pour the hot mass into big moulds (immediately covered in order to keep in the heat of the reaction);
- When the blocks of soap get cold and hard take them at the moulds and cut into bars (and eventually into pieces).