Monday, July 18, 2011

How to make essential oils

This post describes how to make essential oils from certain part of aromatic plants. Extraction of essential oils can be done in three ways: (a) distillation, (b) pressing (expression), (c) by using the solvent extraction (solvent extraction), and (d) adsorption by the solid fat (enfleurage). Among the four modes which are widely used by the essential oil industries are the the first and third way.
Distillation is the oldest method of the essential oils production. This method is suitable to produce volatile compounds that are not easily damaged by heat, such as clove oil, patchouli, citronella scented, nutmeg, vetiver and ginger.
Pressing is done by putting pressure on the material using a device called a hydraulic or expeller pressing. Several types that can be separated by pressing are the oil of almond, lemon, orange peel, and other types.
Using solvent extraction is suitable to produce flower oils which is less stable and can be damaged by heat. Solvents which can be used for this purposes, among others, chloroform, alcohol, acetone, ether, and fats. While enfleurage used specifically to separate the oil of flowers, to make essential oils with high quality and oil yield.
Distillation is a process of physical separation of a mixture of two or more products that have different boiling points by first boiling component having a low boiling point separated from the mixture. To simplify that process, the raw materials can be treated firstly (materials handling) by some means such as drying, washing and sliced.
Drying can accelerate the extraction process and improve the quality of the essential oils, but during the drying some of the oil might be lost due to evaporation and oxidation by air. Several types of raw materials do not need to be dried, such as ginger, and other materials that are refined in a fresh condition to prevent loss of aroma which is desired.
Washing is usually done to materials derived from the soil such as fragrant roots, and rhizomes. The goal is to clean the material from dirt, preventing the oil so as not to dirty, and the efficiency of loading of materials in the kettle flute.
Slicing will facilitate the evaporation of essential oils from the material, expand the flute surface properties of materials and reducing the Kamba. In general, slicing performed on the size of 20-30 cm.
In the essential oil industry, it is known about three kinds of distillation methods to make essential oils : (1)distillation with water (water distillation), (2)with water-vapor (water and steam distillation), (3) direct steam distillation.
In the distillation, pressure, temperature, and flow rate depend on how old is the distillery and type of commodity. Old distillery varies from 3-5 hours to citronella scented, 5-8 hours for patchouli and clove oil, 10 - 14 hours to nutmeg oil, and 10-16 hours for vetiver oil depends on the type of raw material (wet / dry ), the use of pressure and temperature. High vapor pressures can cause decomposition of the oil, therefore it is better refining begins with low pressure, then increased gradually until the end of the process.
During the distillation process, vapor condensed and fell to the bottom of the boiler must be removed periodically through the disposal to prevent the porous submerged steam pipes, as this can impede the flow of steam from the boiler to the boiler flute.
In the cooling process, the temperature of cooling water into the tube or the ideal cooling pond about 25-30 degrees C, and the maximum temperature of the water out 40-50 degrees C. Outgoing water temperature can be regulated with the zoom in / out discharge cooling water into the tube / cooling pond.
Separation of oil from the separator tube should "not arrested" (taken with a scoop), because it will cause the oil separated from the water will re-dispersed in water and difficult to separate again, thus resulting in loss (loses).
The result still looks cloudy because small amount of water and dirt are dispersed in oil. They can be separated by filtering the oil using Teflon fabric / silk screening. That separation can also be done by adding a water-binding substances in the form of Sodium Sulfate Anhydrous (Na2SO4) by 1% then stirred and filtered. This is also the important step of process to make essential oils.

You might also like:
Solvent extraction of essential oils
Indonesia jasmine oils
Organic pesticides from essential oils in Indonesia
Export and import trend of essential oil in Indonesia
What is essential oils?


  1. Hi! My name is Lim from Myanmar. I've been doing some readings on jasmine oil processing. I need some help. Is there any companies provide this kind of machinery in Indonesia?

  2. I'm not sure about that. But probably you can contact Agrinusa at to ask that.