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Extracting/Distilling essential oils

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:48 pm
by Harry
This is a sister process to our alcohol distillation. Some of you may be interested. There's a handbook, available for download here... ... naloil.pdf

Here's an extract (pun intended).
The vast majority of essential oils are produced from plant material in which they occur by different kinds of distillation or by cold pressing in the case of the peel oils from citrus fruits. In water- or hydrodistillation, the chopped plant material is submerged and in direct contact with boiling water. In steam distillation, the steam is produced in a boiler separate of the still and blown through a pipe into the bottom of the still, where the plant material rests on a perforated tray or in a basket for quick removal after exhaustive extraction. In addition to the aforementioned distillation at atmospheric pressure, high-pressure steam distillation is most often applied in European and American field stills and the applied increased temperature significantly reduces the time of distilla-
tion. The high-pressure steam-type distillation is often applied for peppermint, spearmint, lavandin, and the like. The condensed distillate, consisting of a mixture of water and oil, is usually separated in a so-called Florentine flask, a glass jar, or more recently in a receptacle made of stainless steel with one outlet near the base and another near the top. There the distillate separates into two layers from which the oil and the water can be separately withdrawn. Generally, the process of steam distil-
lation is the most widely accepted method for the production of essential oils on a large scale.
Expression or cold pressing is a process in which the oil glands within the peels of citrus fruits are mechanically crushed to release their content. There are several different processes used for the isolation of citrus oils; however, there are four major currently used processes. Those are Pellatrice and Sfumatrice—most often used in Italy—and the Brown Peel Shaver as well as the FMC extrac-
tor, which are used predominantly in North and South America. For more details see for example Lawrence 1995. All these processes lead to products that are not entirely volatile because they may contain coumarins, plant pigments, and so on; however, they are nevertheless acknowledged as essential oils by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the different pharma-
copoeias, and so on.
In contrast, extracts obtained by solvent extraction with different organic solvents, with liquid carbon dioxide or by supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) may not be considered as true essential oils;
however, they possess most often aroma profiles that are almost identical to the raw material from which they have been extracted. They are therefore often used in the flavor and fragrance industry and in addition in food industry, if the chosen solvents are acceptable for food and do not leave any harmful residue in food products.

Re: Extracting/Distilling essential oils

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:29 pm
by Harry

The German pharmacopoeia “Deutsches Arzneibuch 6” (DAB 6) issued in 1926 and later supplements (1947, 1959) listed together 26 essential oils, and by this it has become obvious that essential oils have a long history in pharmaceutical practice due to their pharmacological activities. The European Pharmacopoeia 6th edition issued in 2007 lists 28 essential oils. Among them are 20 oils already present in DAB 6 (anise, bitter fennel, caraway, cassia, cinnamon bark, citronella, clove, coriander, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender,
lemon, matricaria, neroli, peppermint, pine needle, pumilio pine, rosemary, thyme, and turpentine), three oils have been previously listed in the British Pharmacopoeia in the year 1993 (dementholized mint, nutmeg, and sweet orange), one in the French Pharmacopoeia X (star anise), and five oils were added later (cinnamon leaf, clary sage, mandarin, star anise, and tea tree).

Source: Handbook of ESSENTIAL OILS Science, Technology, and Applications pp353 (366 of 994)
Edited by K. Hüsnü Can Baser, Gerhard Buchbauer

Re: Extracting/Distilling essential oils

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:45 pm
by zedzedtop
I've done it a couple of times. Didn't really have a large enough botanicals container, and didn't have the proper equipment for separating the oils. Tried fir, lavender, and something else. They all smelled slightly cooked/stewed. Not close enough to the fresh, real product imo. I have smelled many EOs of the same ingredients that were better than mine however.

Re: Extracting/Distilling essential oils

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:07 am
by Bushman
Decided to give this a go over the winter as a fun experiment. The following is my plan:

I found a 5 gallon (in excellent shape) stainless steel milker.
image.jpeg (24.21 KiB) Viewed 7008 times

My plan is to do steam distillation so I bought a stainless steamer and plan on hanging it just below the lid by attaching a stainless bolt from the bottom of the lid and replacing the center handle of the steamer. See photo:
image.jpeg (25.93 KiB) Viewed 7008 times

Below is a prototype of the lid I plan on building as soon as I find a piece of copper large enough and thick enough to hold the pot still with Liebig condenser.
image.jpeg (22.83 KiB) Viewed 7008 times

Re: Extracting/Distilling essential oils

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:16 am
by zedzedtop
What are you going to use as a separator?

Re: Extracting/Distilling essential oils

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:41 pm
by Bushman
I have a book on essential oils and depending on what you distill the oils will either be at the top or the bottom. One method they suggested and probably one I will try first is a syringe.