DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF A COTTAGE LEVEL STEAM DISTILLATION EQUIPMENT FOR THE PRODUCTION OF ESSENTIAL OILS

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DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF A COTTAGE LEVEL STEAM DISTILLATION EQUIPMENT FOR THE PRODUCTION OF ESSENTIAL OILS

 

ABSTRACT

 

In the world today, there are various plant which are known to have various uses to man. The usefulness of these plants stem from their “essence”. The essence of this plants could be extracted as volatile oils. This oils are popularly referred to as essential oils.

 

Various methods exist through which these essential oils could be extracted. Some of these methods include solvent extraction, effleurage, supercritical extraction etc. Of these methods, hydro-distillation seems to be the most popular and cost effective method for small scale production thus making it more attractive to those with low capital.

 

In this project, a cottage level distillation equipment for the extraction of essential oil using lemon grass as a case study was designed and fabricated.

 

This was achieved by performing preliminary studies using two (2) table-top steam distillation apparatus to gain better understanding of the system process. From the preliminary studies carried out, parameters to be used in the fabrication of the distillation equipment and the extraction of essential oil (e.g. residence time) were determined.

 

From the extraction carried out in the cottage level equipment using a heating duty of 751.28 kJ/kg.hr, about 10cl of oil was extracted. This being about 50% less than the expected value (assuming 1-2% oil in leaves) could be attributed to inefficiency of the oil separator and incomplete drying of the leaves.

 

Performing a one-year financial evaluation of the extraction process gives a pay-back period of one (1) year on an investment of ₦ 2,701,800 with a profit of ₦ 2,504,200 after pay-back. Thus making the production process a viable one.

 

The equipment design and specifications put forward by this research work could be scaled to fit various production capacities, hence serving as an existing design for the steam distillation equipment.

 

TABLE OF CONTENT

 

CERTIFICATION
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL …………………………………………………………………………………iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ………………………………………………………………………………………….v
ABSTRACT……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..vi
TABLE OF CONTENT ……………………………………………………………………………………………vii
TABLE OF FIGURES ……………………………………………………………………………………………….x
TABLE OF TABLES ………………………………………………………………………………………………..xi
CHAPTER 1 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………12
INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………………………………12
1.1INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………………………12
1.2MOTIVATION …………………………………………………………………………………………..13
1.3RESARCH OBJECTIVE ……………………………………………………………………………14
1.3.1AIM …………………………………………………………………………………………………….14
1.3.2OBJECTIVE ……………………………………………………………………………………….14
1.4SCOPE OF STUDY ……………………………………………………………………………………14
1.5OUTLINE OF THESIS ………………………………………………………………………………15
CHAPTER 2 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………17
THEORY AND LITERATURE REVIEW ……………………………………………………………….17
2.1ESSENTIAL OILS …………………………………………………………………………………….17
2.1.1HISTORY OF ESSENTIAL OILS ……………………………………………………….17
2.1.2USEFULNESS OF ESSENTIAL OILS. ………………………………………………..17
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2.2LEMON GRASS ESSENTIAL OIL …………………………………………………………….18
2.2.2COMPOSITION OF LEMON GRASS ESSENTIAL OIL …………………….20
2.3METHODS OF EXTRACTING ESSENTIAL OILS ……………………………………23
2.3.1SOLVENT EXTRACTION METHOD …………………………………………………23
2.3.2SUPERCRITICAL FLUID EXTRACTION ………………………………………….24
2.3.3ENFLEURAGE ……………………………………………………………………………………26
2.3.4MACERATION …………………………………………………………………………………..28
2.3.5COLD-PRESSED EXPRESSION …………………………………………………………28
2.3.6HYDRO-DISTILLATION ……………………………………………………………………29
2.3.7MICROWAVE ASSISTED EXTRACTION …………………………………………30
2.4A CLOSER LOOK AT THE HYDRO-DISTILATION PROCESS ………………32
2.4.1BASIC PRINCIPLE IN HYDRO-DISTILLATION ………………………………33
2.4.2TECHNIQUES OF HYDRO-DISTILLATION ……………………………………..33
2.5THE EFFECTS ACCOMPANYING HYDRO-DISTILLATION ………………….37
2.5.1HYDRODIFFUSION ……………………………………………………………………………38
2.5.2HYDROLYSIS …………………………………………………………………………………….38
2.5.4THE EFFECT OF TEMPERATURE ……………………………………………………39
2.6FACTORS AFFECTING YIELD AND QUALITY OF ESSENTIALOILS .. 40
2.7DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS ……………………………………………………………………40
2.8STORAGE OF ESSENTIAL OILS ……………………………………………………………..41
2.9ANALYSIS OF RESULT ……………………………………………………………………………42
CHAPTER 3 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………44
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MATERIALS AND METHOD………………………………………………………………………………. 44

 

3.1     INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………………………………….. 44

 

3.2     COLLECTION OF SAMPLE……………………………………………………………………. 44

 

3.2.1      PREPARATION OF SAMPLE…………………………………………………………… 44

 

3.3     EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE……………………………………………………………. 44

 

3.4     FABRICATION OF EQUIPMENT…………………………………………………………… 45

 

3.4.1      A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FABRICATED EQUIPMENTS….. 47

 

3.5     DATA ANALYSIS……………………………………………………………………………………. 51

 

CHAPTER 4………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 52

 

RESULT AND DISCUSSION………………………………………………………………………………… 52

 

4.1     FIRST EXPERIMENTAL SETUP……………………………………………………………. 52

 

4.2     SECOND EXPERIMENTAL SETUP……………………………………………………….. 53

 

4.3     THIRD EXPERIMENTAL SETUP (Cottage level equipment)……………………. 54

 

4.3.1      TRIAL RUN FOR THE 3RD EXPERIMENTAL SETUP……………………. 60

 

4.3.2      ACTUAL EXPERIMENTAL RUN FOR THE 3RD EXPERIMENTAL

 

STAGE

 

4.4     FINANCIAL ANALYSIS OF THE ESSENTIAL OIL PRODUCTION

 

PROCESS………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 64

 

CHAPTER 5………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 68

 

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION……………………………………………………….. 68

 

REFERENCES……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 69

 

 

 

 

 

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TABLE OF FIGURES

 

Figure 3.1: A schematic representation the steam distillation equipment used……………….46

 

 

Figure 3.2: Cottage level experimental setup……………….…………………………….….50

 

 

Figure 4.1: Graph of water level decrease against time in 3rd stage experimental setup……..57

 

 

Figure 4.2: Graph of temperature increase against time in the distillation still……………….59

 

 

Figure 4.3: Essential oil extracted from the cottage level equipment………………….….…64

 

 

 

TABLE OF TABLES

 

Table 2.1: Chemical composition of cymbopogon citratus…………………………….……20

 

 

Table 4.1: Water level decrease in the distillation still with time……………………………56

 

 

Table 4.2: Showing the temperature rise against time in the distillation still…………………57

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1       INTRODUCTION

 

Essential oils can be said to be concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. They are simply known as the oil of the plant from which they are extracted. An oil is “essential” in the sense that it contains the “essence” of the plants fragrance. Essential oil are widely used in our society today for things such as in the production of soaps, toilet products, cosmetics, perfumes and Pharmaceuticals, confectionary food products, distilled alcoholic beverages and insecticides (Sukhdev, et al., 2008).

 

As already established, plants contain essential oils. These oils are generally derived from one or more plant parts. Such as flowers. leaves, stems and leaves, bark, wood, roots, seeds, rhizomes etc. (Sukhdev, et al., 2008).

 

Lemon Grass is a plant which is widely known due to its domestic and medicinal uses. There are various species of the lemon grass plant (all belonging to Cymbopogon Genus) the most widely recognized is the Cymbopogon citratus as it is used in various areas such as in medicine as an antifungal agent, in aromatherapy, in cosmetics for producing creams, lotions and facial cleansers, in pharmacology as muscle relaxers and anxiolytics. It is also used by bee keepers to attract swarms in swarm traps.

There are various methods which could be used for the extraction of essential oils from plant. The method used in extraction of an oil from its plants depend on the type of botanical material that make up the plant and also, the method of extraction affects the quality of oil being extracted.

 

Some methods used in the extraction of essential oils from plants include 1

 

  1. Distillation; Water distillation, steam distillation, and water and steam distillation.
  2. Expression; Sponge expression, and machine abrasion.
  3. Solvent extraction; Maceration, Enfleurage, supercritical extraction.

Currently the most popular method of extraction is steam distillation, though more efficient and economical methods are being developed for large scale production. These include methods such as solvent extraction, supercritical fluid extraction, cold pressing, and microwave extraction (Kabuba & Robert, 2009). The suitability of extraction method varies from plant to plant and there are significant differences in the capital and operational costs associated (Sheridan, 2000). In steam extraction, there is a dearth of information regarding the effect of temperature on diffusion coefficients, and this is needed in the design and operation of extraction units

The distillation method of extraction is the most used method of extraction of essential oil from plants. Despite its short comings (energy and time). Its popularity is highly due to its flexibility in design constraints, thus making it possible for the design to be scaled to fit the capital available

 

1.2       MOTIVATION

The Global Essential Oil market was estimated at USD 5.51 billion in 2014, and it has also been predicted to increase (Anon., 2015). As the usefulness of Essential Oils is visible in both the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food and beverage industries, as well as in other miscellaneous activities (spa and relaxation), the profitability of its production is apparent.

The production of essential oils in Nigeria today is virtually unheard of. Thus making it one with huge potential as the profitability of the product is evident from preliminary research carried out.

Therefore, this project seeks to serve as a seed in providing a substitute to the importation of essential oils by putting forward a scalable design of a steam distillation equipment that can be used by small and medium scale enterprises.

 

1.3       RESARCH OBJECTIVE

 

1.3.1  AIM

To design and fabricate a Cottage scale equipment to extract Essential Oil from plants by Water and steam distillation.

 

1.3.2  OBJECTIVE

 

The aim of the purposed research is to be achieved by

 

  1. Designing of a water and steam distillation equipment based on empirical studies and experimental setups in literature.

 

  1. Fabrication of the designed water and steam distillation setup.

 

  1. Test the fabricated setup to see its efficiency for use in extraction of oil from plants.

 

1.4       SCOPE OF STUDY

 

This research project entails the design, fabrication and testing of a water and steam distillation equipment for the extraction of essential oil from plants.

For investigative purposes Lemon grass leaves would be made use off. We seek to achieve a working model with well-defined parameters.

 

1.5       OUTLINE OF THESIS

 

In this research work, which looks to design, fabricate and test a steam distillation equipment for the extraction of essential oil from plants, the following were discussed in the chapters of the project.

 

Chapter One: (Introduction) Here a brief overview of the topic at hand is given. The reason for the selection of the research topic was stated. Also, the aim and scope of the project outlined.

 

Chapter Two: (Literature Review) A succinct history of essential oils and its usefulness was given. Also discussed was the lemon grass essential oil, its uses, composition and various factors which could affect the quality and yield of oil gotten from the plant. A brief overview of the various extraction processes and their limitations are discussed with a focus on extraction by the hydro-distillation process in detail, its types, advantages and various factors which could affect the yield and quality of the oil extracted with the use of this method.

To conclude, a list of various factors to be considered when designing an equipment to be used in a manufacturing process.

Chapter Three; (Materials and Method) In this chapter, the procedure taken in coming up with the final design for the Essential oil extraction equipment, the reason the choice of equipment, the method used in preparing the material (lemon grass leaves) from which the essential oil is extracted, and the procedure followed in the extraction of oil from the Lemon grass plant are discussed. Also discussed is the method used in analysing the results to determine the optimum parameters for extraction process.

 

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Chapter Four; (Results and Discussion) In this chapter, the problems encountered during the design and fabrication of the steam distillation equipment were outlined, also the result gotten from the extraction runs carried out with the Lemon grass plant cited.

Chapter Five; (Conclusion) Here inference was made based on the results gotten from the use of the fabricated equipment for extraction of oil.

Chapter Six; (References)

 

 

DESIGN AND FABRICATION OF A COTTAGE LEVEL STEAM DISTILLATION EQUIPMENT FOR THE PRODUCTION OF ESSENTIAL OILS

 

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