The Institute of Industrial Research (IIR) is one of the leading 13 Research Institutes of Ghana’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the main Science and Technology Research and Development Institution of Ghana. The CSIR-IIR is Ghana’s foremost industrial research and development organization.


CSIR-IIR Projects

Mechanized Palm nuts Cracker and Kernel-Shell Separator Project

Principal Investigator: Joseph Yao Amoah:
Members: Mawuena Aggey, Dr. Gabriel Nii-Laryea, Pax Dzamboe and Saviour Cudjoe.
Sponsors: CSIR-TDTC (under COTVET GSTDP-COMPONENT 2 Project)

Palm kernel oil has many uses in and outside the country as edible oil, and by hydrogenation to make margarine and cooking fats. Other uses are for producing glycerin, cosmetics, soap, detergents, industrial chemicals for textile processing and as medicinal cream at home. In Ghana, traditional and indigenous oil processing techniques have been generally reported as wasteful and unprofitable. The most difficult of the operations required in palm kernel oil production is the separation of the kernels from the shells after cracking the nuts. At the moment, the conventional clay bath technique is most often employed in separating the kernels from the shells. This involves the use of clay mixed with water to obtain clay bath slurry, which is mixed thoroughly with the material to be separated. This method is very slow, tedious and requires a lot of experience especially in the preparation of the slurry. Thus, one woman can separate only 60 kilograms of cracked mixture in one day. Besides, the kernels so separated are dirty and require washing and drying before processing to produce palm kernel oil. The value of the shells use as raw materials for activated carbon in reduced.

CSIR-IIR Intervention
CSIR-IIR has design and manufactured Mechanized Palm nuts Cracker and Kernel-Shell Separator. It is design to separate cracked palm nuts into various components. Its design combines two distinct separation techniques into a compact single unit. These units are a rotary screen cylinder and an inclined belt conveyor. The mechanized Palm kernel-shell Separator has three major component unit of equipment namely; a rotary screen, an inclined belt conveyor, and an air separator unit. Cracked mixture to be cleaned and separated is fed through a hopper and separate outlets are provided for the following five components: Clean round shaped whole kernels; clean flat shaped and broken pieces of kernel; mixture of debris and shells; sorted oversize from the rotary screen; and clean shells. The efficiency of separation ranges between 90 and 95% depending on the cracking efficiency, and the capacity is 500 kg/hr. The Kernel Shell separation system combines both the winnowing and separation activities at a go thereby saving the processor over 28 man-hours per ton of processed kernels. This saves a lot of man-hours and reducing cost of production and high value by products.


Two levels of beneficiaries are targeted. The first is agro-industrial machinery fabricators who can be trained to fabricate the equipment for sale to palm kernel oil producers and also the numerous women and women groups scattered all over the country and nearby countries who are involved in palm kernel oil production.


A mechanized palm kernel shell separator has been design, fabricated, tested and installed at Kusi- Kade in the Eastern Region of Ghana to serve Kusi and its environs. Training is yet to be done for women kernel processors.



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