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Author: Subject: Steam distillation of mint - not working?
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Registered: 27-8-2019
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[*] posted on 14-3-2021 at 10:50

Again the same procedure. 1 kg of dry mentha piperita herb from my garden was hydrodistilled. It had to be divided it into 2 halves as it was possible to pack only half a kilo of dry herb into 15 L still. No extra energy wasted for heating as I put the still onto my stove where I burn wood from my forest during winter. 400 ml of distillate collected each distillation. Distillates merged and these 800 ml were distilled from 1 L flask (lazy simple distillation without separate steam source), adding a little of sand to prevent bumping. Now 100 ml of distillate collected (approximately 10% product + 90% water). Mentha oil separated as upper layer. Stored in vial. Yield 8,8 g.
The first distillation requires to collect a lot of distillate as the oil is inside herb cells. The second distillation of the mixture of water+oil requires much less of distillate to collect. Performing the second distillation increases yield slightly by reducing the small amount of oil dissolved in water. No need to mess the oil with any organic solvent by performing an extraction of water phase.

Solubility of (-)-menthol in water 0,46 g/L at 25 C

Solubility of menthone in water 0,497 g/L at 25 C

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If there is a heaven, it seems not to be materially based. Does chemistry exist there and if yes, how does it look like? Are there good souls well supplied with laboratory equipment, glass, chemicals and information?
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