Essential Oil Extraction Methods

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best essential oilsEssential oils, extracted from various plants, including citrus, herbals, grasss, spices and more, are concentrated hydrophobic liquid that features volatile aroma. Essential oils, also called volatile oils, aetherolea, or plant oils, are widely used in perfumes, soaps and cosmetic manufacturing industry. Besides, it is also favorable additives for food and drinks. Choosing a suitable extraction method and technique would be the first key step for your essential oils production. So, how to choose the best method for essential oil extraction? ABC Machinery will offer your the best answer! (Are you interested in learning more about Herbal Oil Extractor>>)

Different Essential Oil Extraction Methods

There are various essential oil extraction methods, with some dating to thousands of years ago, while others are newly developed, including enfleurage, fractional distillation, phytonic process and percolation, expression, steam distillation, supercritical CO2 extraction, solvent extraction, and the Low Temperature Sub-critical Biological Solvent Extraction provided by ABC Machinery. Since the first three are rarely used, here we just give some brief introduction about the main extraction methods for essential oils. 
Expression (Cold) - This essential oil extraction method is cold, since no heat or solvents are involved. Most citrus oils are extracted with this method. However, the oils are not considered as essential oils in technical terms.
Steam Distillation - For therapeutic functions of essential oils, the best way is steam distillation. Steam distillation utilizes steam for rapturing the membrane of the oil in the plant and henceforth release the oil. In the end, the water and oils are separated, then the essential oils are obtained.
Carbon Dioxide Extraction (Supercritical CO2 Extraction) - This essential oil extraction method utilizes carbon dioxide in the process of extraction at high pressure.This procedure is expensive because of costly equipment.
Solvent Extraction - This method is commonly used by the perfume industries because it is less time consuming and cheap. When the essential oil has dissolved, the solvent is separated, making it easy to contain pure essential oils.
Low Temperature Extraction - It makes use of subcritical solvent fluids, such as R134a, butane, to extract oils from plants without destroying any of its active ingredients. The extraction process is simple and requires less investment cost. It's suitable for various essential oils extraction, including plants, grass, herbals, citrus, flowers, spices and more. Find more about Herbal Extractor Machine>>

Best Essential Oil Extraction Method - Low Temperature & Low Investment

5L essential oil extraction machine

The new low temperature extraction method for essential oils uses sub-critical fluid as the main solvent. The primary extraction process, leaching, happens in an airtight container, which is oxidant free and operates at low temperature condition. The extraction process takes advantage of the principle of  the miscibility of the organic matter. In the airtight container, the extraction solvent and the material are soaked together. During molecular diffusion process, the soluble components of the material for essentail oils transfer to the liquid extraction solvent. And then through vacuum evaporation, the target essential oil is separated with the extraction solvent. As shown in the above picture is 5 Liter Low Temperature Essential Oil Extraction Machine.

The special properties of solvent (subcritical solvent fluid) for subcritical extraction technology creates the possibility of low temperature extraction for essential oils. When the material for essentail oils is leached with the subcritical fluid solvent, there are many factors that can influence the extraction efficiency and results, including ratio of the material dissolved, the extraction time, extraction temperature, the extraction pressure, the extraction agent, entrainer and ultrasonic, etc. Low temperature extraction is the best essentail oil extraction methods. It separates the essentail oils from raw material with ease and prevents the active ingredient within the essentail oils from damage since the main extraction process is totoally completed under a low temperature condition. This low temperature extraction process poses no damages to the active ingredients and is safe and easy to operate.

low temperature essential oil extraction process flow chart

Low Temperature Essential Oil Extraction Process Flow Chart

Advantages of Low Temperature Essential Oil Solvent Extraction Method

The low temperature subcritical oil extraction for essential oils comes with many benefits
  • The low temperature extraction process is non-toxic in nature, ensures environmental protection, which allows no pollution and is basically harmless. This is as a result of the heat free way of extracting the oils.
  • The active ingredients of the essental oils are protected from damages due to the low temperature extraction process. The essentail oils, therefore, do not lose any ingredient and of premium quality.
  • The extraction process can be used for both large scale production and small scale production for essentail oils.
  • The energy saving, simple separation process and the low running costs makes it the most preferable extraction method for essentail oils.
  • It is easy to maintain and operate and likely to operate harmlessly.
  • The extracted essential oils are free from the solvents and are alos in therapeutic grade, which are totally different from the traditional solvent extraction of essentail oils.

In summary, the efficiency of the low temperature essentail oil extraction process is the ideal choice for production of essential oils. The process is harmless and simple, safe and suitable for both small scale and large scale extraction of essentail oils. It ensures the quality of the extracts as all the active ingredients are protected from damages. If you are not sure whether your material is suitable for essential oil extraction, or if you have any questions about our low temperature solvent essential oil extraction method and machinery, please contact us, we are always at your sides!

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