Steam distillation is the separation of organic compounds at low temperatures by boiling water. It is widely used for essential oils and terpenes because it does not degrade the organic material as a traditional fractional distillation does. Alternatively, steam distillation can extract a diverse array of immiscible substances. You can use steam distillation for “steam stripping” in petroleum refineries and separate commercially important organic compounds, including fatty acids.
Our system is composed of a 6-piece glass distillation set up paired with a separatory funnel. Simply fill the boiling flask with water and the material flask with your organic material, then use the heating mantle to boil the water and pass the steam through the material flask. There is a port above the material flask on the U-Tube to insert a thermometer to more closely monitor the process. The steam passing around the material will lower the boiling point on the surface of the plant material and cause the terpenes to boil off at low temperatures. After moving through the U-Tube the steam and terpenes will condense in the graham condenser and drain into the flask below. After filling the flask, simply swap it and drain the contents into the separatory funnel to remove all water.
Steam Distillation is beneficial due to the lower boiling point being able to reduce the decomposition of temperature-sensitive compounds. Here’s a look at the key benefits of steam distillation.
Key Benefits of Steam Distillation:
- Streamlined method produces organic solvent-free products
- Possesses large capacity for processing at the industrial scale
- Requires no subsequent separation steps
- Requires less fuel for the steam boiler for extraction of oils
- Due to its wide application and inexpensive equipment, steam distillation can be a cost-effective investment
- 2L Analog Mantle
- 2L Boiling Flask
- 2L Material Flask
- 24/40 Thermometer Adapter
- 24/40 Male Stopper
- Graham Condenser
- 500ml Flask
- 500ml Separatory Funnel
- BVV™ Lab Stand
- Three Finger Clamp
- Boss Head
Please Note: for any replacement parts, please contact us.
- 2L Dual Neck Flask (SKU: STEAM-01-2000ml)
- 2L Material Flask (SKU: STEAM-02)
- U-Tube (SKU: STEAM-03)
- Graham Condenser (SKU: STEAM-04)