Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 10:26:47 UTC
From: suleyman <SAYDIN.VM.BAUM.ANADOLU.EDU.TR>
Subject: on distillation
>I am trying to steam distill oil from various plants and flowers. I am having difficulty. If some kind soul could please send me detailed directions on how to do this, I would be so grateful. I spent hours researching on the Internet with no success.
I saw a good reply containing lots of references by D. B. Dwyer, another suggestion may be a simple one, which I wrote in detail and sent to the Journal of Ethnopharmacology (not published yet).
Simply, you get a big pot and place another small (second)one inside it Then place your aromatic herb in the big pot (note that the small one will be empty, it means that your herb will surround the small pot)
Pour enough clean (drinkable) water onto the your herb and cover them by a big tray (NOTE: all the pots and tray also are all in the normal position, not upside down... it means that you can put something else into the tray while it is on your apparatus/pots)
Well, really put something into your tray, just pour cold water into your tray..
And heat your pot by any heating system...
By the time, the water in the tray will get warm. replace the warm water (and use it for some purpose, be environmental) by cold water so that distillation can continue...
Now, what's happening?
by the help of fire (heat) you evaporate the water inside the big pot which covers your herb. While evaporating, it carries essential/volatile oil also. It hits the tray and condenses because the tray is full of cold water, and (since all the traditional tray are convex downwards) condensed water+oil travels along the convex bottom of the tray and drops down back... But in the middle of the big pot, there is a small one replaced empty.. So the drops are filling it (the small pot) drop by drop..
Since the oil and water are not miscible, at the end you get oil floatin over the water....
You get it, and use as you wish..
So, here is a simple, clean but reliable distillation system that can be done even in a poor house...
Its being done since antiquity at Western Anatolia including my grandma (Zeus used it, probably/perhaps..but the people of Troia certainly did) hope this is helpful ...