Methods of Extraction

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Methods of Extraction

Methods of Extraction

There are several ways that essential oils are produced. Below is a list with brief description of each method currently in use today:

 

  • Hydro Distillation

 

Process of combining the plant material with water kept in the distillation unit. The unit is heated and essential oil is released into steam droplets that rise and are captured and bottled. This method of distillation is a more watered down method of distillation than steam distillation.

 

  • Steam Distillation

 

Here, the plant material is stored in a separate compartment away from the tank of water. As the steam is produced in a boiler it is passed through the plant stored outside the tank. Water vapor comes off the plant and carries the essential oil which is caught, cooled and bottled.

 

  • Solvent Extraction (also known as Absolutes)

 

Plant material is soaked in a solvent (organic chemical like hexane). The mixture of plant material and solvent is called a concrete. Later, the oil is separated from the concrete by using alcohol. This method is often used by perfumeries. The essential oil of Jasmine, Rose and Mimosa is created by this method.

  • Cold Press Extraction

 

This method is the most popular in obtaining citrus oils and are obtained from the rind or peel. This process is also known as scarification. You can accomplish this yourself by placing the plant material between two sheets of glass and placing it out in the hot sun. Droplets of oil with form on the glass-this is the essential oil.

 

  • Carbon Dioxide Extraction

 

This is a relatively new method of extracting essential oils where CO2 is used to extract the essential oil. This is a very expensive method and is often used to create essential oils of frankincense and myrrh.