Essential oil/Alchohol/Solvent purification and separation

I have a lot of impure essential oil that has a lot of water in it and was thinking about ways to get some of the water out. Would salting out with Epsom salts work? I've seen an Instructable where a nonpolar solvent is used to extract nepecatalone would one be able to use a solvent that is immiscible (I swear that's a word) in water to get the constituents that are not water soluble out of the water?

Also can common solvents (I'm thinking alcohol, acetone, and toulene) be salted out to increase the concentration? Would this work with dilute hydrochloric acid?


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your going to need a "still" to do that.
fearofsquirrels (author)  thematthatter8 years ago
The problem with using a still and essential oils is that some essential oils boil at above water temperature and some boil below, so one would need to distill each constituent separately. -mitch
Freeze the water? L
fearofsquirrels (author)  lemonie8 years ago
This might work, however I've read that there are problems encountered when using it (for alcohol distillation) because the Ice freezes around the oil (or alcohol) trapping it and making it impossible to get out without melting the ice, which would defeat the purpose of freezing it. -mitch
Yes but you could just thaw it out again - easy to try, nothing lost. L
fearofsquirrels (author)  lemonie8 years ago
True, I'll stick some in the freezer and see what happens
you can use a fractional still and each distillation would be an almost separate item. Make sure your thermometer is in the right spot and its accurate and you can toss out the water once you get to it.
fearofsquirrels (author)  thematthatter8 years ago
I might try that if I can get the right equipment.
There is plenty of diagrams on line, they mostly use an "organic chemistry distillation kit" Very expensive to buy and maintain (cheapest piece is about 20 bucks). If your resourceful you can build one pretty easily out of plumbing parts, same rule about the thermometer, you dont want to toss the good stuff because your thermometer is in the wrong spot.
The still isn't going to be much use as these oils were extracted with steam in the first place. L
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