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Author: Subject: Would this work to extract theobromine?
Mr. Rik

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Registered: 1-8-2018
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[*] posted on 3-5-2021 at 18:10
Would this work to extract theobromine?

Hello, we grow cocoa trees so we have plenty of cocoa. Recently I was reading about the theobromine content in dried cocoa husks and decided to try and give it a go as my first attept to make an actual extraction.

Some days ago I pressed a batch of dried cocoa beans that were left in the rain during fermentation so they have little value as a source of actual chocolate, and since I already extracted the oil they are practically "useless". I am sure that the hot pressing machine leaves some of the good stuff behind. I did take general chemistry in college but not organic chemistry so bear with me. This is my plan, suggestions are appreciated.

Im still trying to grasp Pka, pH and solubility, and what I have at hand is, alcohol 95% made with a condensation column, a product labeled "bencina" which seems to be calle petroleum ether in english and according to wikipedia it is compossed mostly of pentane, hexane and heptane, and ammonia, paint thinner and gasoline. Those last 2 are for fragmenting but I need to be sure I dont blow up, I have no electricity where we are. Also I am at about 2000' above sea level, I dont know how that affects any of the above.

Step 1.

Dissolve the ground cocoa powder in a slightly acidic solution perhaps of x?ml of vinegar in distilled cold water and the "bencina" of pent-hex-heptane mix to defat. This fat/solvent solution is a product on itself, cocoa absolute?

From what I have gathered so far theobromine should be slightly soluble in distilled water, with solubility increasing as pH increases, so I am supposing a slighly acid solution will make it less soluble still?

Step 2. Separate the organic solution with the fats and the aqueous solution with the impurities filter the cocoa powder. I am confused as to weather the theobromine should be present still in the cocoa mass or in the organic solution, I believe theobromine is insoluble in organic solvents but in any case

Step 3. Mix the filtered cocoa mass with a 70% ethanol solution at 50*C (thats what the internet says gets the most theobromine out) for some time or maybe put it in the soxhlet.

Step 4. Evaporate the acohol and the throbromine should precipitate?

Does this make any sense?

[Edited on 4-5-2021 by Mr. Rik]

[Edited on 4-5-2021 by Mr. Rik]
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International Hazard

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Registered: 27-8-2019
Location: Czechoslovakia
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[*] posted on 3-5-2021 at 23:25

Hi Mr. Rik, here some small scale extraction. Maybe you can use CaO / Ca(OH)2 instead of MgO? And also ethanol instead of methanol? And maybe also mixture of pentanes+hexanes+heptanes instead of dichloromethane? They used quite big Soxhlet extractor, maybe you can just reflux and filter? They started from cocoa and also wrote that the extracted fat did not contain significant amount of theobromine so theobromine after fat extraction was left behind in the material from which it was then extracted. They used diethyl ether to separate theobromine from impurities.
It's cool that you can use material which is waste/useless instead of precious cocoa powder!
In the above link the amount of theobromine extracted is not too high...
You can certainly find more extraction methods, just search for theobromine extraction.
here also a video of extraction theobromine from cocoa powder at small scale:

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