Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Retort for essential oil distillation

Retort for essential oil distillation is often referred as tanks. It is a vessel where the contact between the plant substances with steam takes place and then it vaporizes the volatile compounds. Its simple form is a cylindrical with a diameter equal to its height or slightly smaller, and equipped with a lid that can be raised and can be attached with a clamp on the cylindrical body.
The lid should be attached strong and tight enough with vessel so that no moisture can loose during the refining process takes place. At the top of cylinder was placed a kind of swan neck that can flow the vapor to the condenser. In the water distillation method (WD), liquid H2O and plant material is filled into the retort, and then heated. The steam along with essential oil will evaporate together, then head to the goose neck and condense.
In the water and steam distillation method (WSD), an open container is stationed in the form of plates with holes (can also be a coarse sieve from metal) on the bottom inside the retort for essential oil distillation, which is used to hold plant material above the water surface.
During the processing of seed (whole or have been grinded), this container should be covered with cloth or others so that the seed do not pass down. This container must be sufficiently far above the bottom so that the liquid H2O can be filled pretty much into the vessel without any contact with the material and drought does not occur during the processing. As an illustration, for the retort which has 60 cm height, the container should be 20 cm above the bottom.
In WD method, the tank should be wider so that the raw plant parts can be submerged in liquid H2O. It will produce more yield and better quality. Height and diameter of the tank on the WSD are approximately equal. If you have more quantity of the material, so the tank height must be adjusted. All you need to know is it must be maintained so that it is not too dense to allow the steam move freely toward the top through them. In addition, it should also be made an instrument that can detect the water level in the vessel to avoid drought during the processing. To prevent heat lost, it would be good if the entire surface of the retort for essential oil distillation is coated with heat-resistant layer, such as asbestos.

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