Analysis of total hydrogen content in palm oil and palm kernel oil using thermal neutron moderation method

  • E. H.K. Akaho
  • S.A. Jonah
  • C.P.R. Dagadu
  • B.T. Maakuu
  • S. Anim-Sampong
  • A. W.K. Kyere


A fast and non-destructive technique based on thermal neutron moderation has been used for determining the total hydrogen content in two types of red palm oil (dzomi and amidze) and palm kernel oil produced by traditio-nal methods in Ghana. An equipment consisting of an 241Am-Be neutron source and 3He neutron detector was used in the investigation. The equipment was originally designed for detection of liquid levels in petrochemical and other process industries. Standards in the form of liquid hydrocarbons were used to obtain calibration lines for thermal neutron reflection parameter as a function of hydrogen content. Measured reflection parameters wi-th respective hydrogen content with or without heat treatment of the three edible palm oils available on the mar-ket were compared with a brand cooking oil (frytol). The average total hydrogen content in the local oil samples prior to heating was measured to be 11.62 w% which compares well with acceptable value of 12 w % for palm oils in the sub-region. After heat treatment, the frytol oil (produced through bleaching process) had the least lo-ss of hydrogen content of 0.26 % in comparison with palm kernel oil of 0.44 %, followed by dzomi of 1.96 % and by amidze of 3.22 %.

(Journal of Applied Science and Technology: 2001 6(1-2): 21-25)

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