Industrial Separation Research a) Identify a mixture that is separated industrially: Olive oil b) Identify which ‘sphere’ it is obtained from: Biosphere c) Identify the industrial separation processes used on this mixture: Crushing/grinding: The olive fruit is crushed and ground by a metal hammer in a mill to make a paste. Beating: The olive fruit paste is added to water is additionally beaten to extract more oil from the olive cells. Salt can be used to assist osmotic breakdown [of the cells] and release oil Centrifuging: The mixture is poured into a horizontal centrifuge and continuously spun at high speed. The light oil forms in the upper, inner layer, and the remaining water and heavier fruit pieces form the outer layers. The light floating oil layer constantly overflows a weir and is collected through a separate area. The water is eliminated by rotating internal scrolls through another exit. The pulp phase is discharged using spinning inner tubes. d) Identify the properties of the mixture used in its separation: Olive oil is less dense than and insoluble in water which means it can be separated by centrifugation and/or decanting. e) Identify the products of the separation and their uses: Olive oil is used primarily in food preparation as an alternative form of cooking oil. f) Discuss issues associated with wastes from the processes used: The pulp waste is about 6% oil; however, specialised plants can use solvent extraction to obtain some of this oil. Some countries use the dried pulp waste as home fuel, mulch, fertiliser or food for animals.
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