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1.

0 INTRODUCTION

There are several different ways to obtain the essential oils from plants. The method used

will depend on the plant material and the most effective way of obtaining the essential oils from

that plant. There are many delicate plant that will be destroyed by water or steam distillation.

However, their volatile oil can also be obtained by other method such as solvent extraction such

as soxhlet extraction. According to Cambridge dictionary 2016, extraction is

define as the process of removing something, especially by force. In principle

of chemistry, extraction is a way to separate a desired substance when it is

mixed with others. Basically, extraction is the withdrawing of an active agent

or a waste substance from a solid or liquid mixture with a liquid solvent

(Gamse, 2016). Gamse (2016) also reported that the solvent is not or only

partial miscible with the solid or the liquid, by intensive contact the active

agent transfers from the solid or liquid mixture (also called as raffinate) into

the solvent, which is extract. After mixing the two phases are separated

which happens either by gravity or centrifugal forces (Gamse, 2016).


Figure 1.0: Soxhlet extraction apparatus (Shiksha, 2013).

For this laboratory work, soxhlet extraction was used (as shown in

Figure 1). Soxhlet extraction is a continuous process of extraction with a hot

solvent (Nanjwade, 2015) and a laboratory apparatus invented by Franz Von

Soxhlet in 1879 (Kumar, 2013). Basically, soxhlet extractor is employed for

the extraction of compunds with limited solubility in a solvent, and the

impurity is insoluble in that solvent. If the taken compound has a significant

solubility in water, then simple water (aqueous) can be used to separate the

compound from the insoluble substances.

Nanjwade (2015) reported that the soxhlet extraction is the extractor

that used siphoning system. Siphoning system refer to a wide variety of


devices that involve the flow of liquids through tubes (Smith, 1914). The

mechanism how the soxhlet extraction works is, first, the sample for

example; powdered plant material is packed in a thimble and the solvent is

then boiled in a flask. After that, the solvent that is evaporated will pass

through the side tube of the extractor and condensed in the condenser, and

then fitted at the top of the extractor. The hot solvent that condensed is then

runs into the thimble and soak the material and extract the constituents.

When the chamber holding the thimble becomes full the solvent siphons

down to the flask and the process is continuously repeated till extraction is

complete (Nanjwade, 2015).


2.0 OBJECTIVES

The objectives of this experiment is to obtain the yield and perform the extraction of

essential oil. Besides, this experiment is to compare the essential oil produced by different

samples and different solvents


3.0 METHODOLOGY

The dried sample was cut into small pieces and placed in the extraction thimble and was

weight and labelled. There are two samples were used which is lemongrass and pomegranate

peels. Then, the round-bottom flask was poured with the solvents about half of the flask. There

were two different solvents used such as ethanol and hexane. The thimble was placed into the

extractor and the apparatus was assembled. Therefore, the heater was turned on until the solvent

condenses and drops into the extraction thimble. The sample was refluxed about 3 to 4 hours.

After 4 hours, the samples was distilled by using rotary evaporator and any oil produced was

collected and the Refractive Index (RI) value was determined by using refractometer.
4.0 RESULTS

Sample A: Pomegranate + Ethanol

Table 4.0: The data obtained for sample pomegranate extracted with ethanol.

Weight of thimble (g) 24.48

Weight of thimble with sample (g) 50.70

Weight of sample (g) 26.22

% volatile oil 0.69

Refractive Index (RI) 1.397

Colour Brown

Yield (oil produced) 0.23 ml

Sample B: Lemongrass + Ethanol

Table 4.1: The data obtained for sample lemongrasss extracted with ethanol.

Weight of thimble (g) 45.62

Weight of thimble with sample (g) 71.84

Weight of sample (g) 26.21

% volatile oil 7.54

Refractive Index (RI) 1.938

Colour Yellowish

Yield (oil produced) 2.5 ml

Sample C: Pomegranate + Hexane


Table 4.2: The data obtained for sample pomegranate extracted with hexane.

Weight of thimble (g) 45.11

Weight of thimble with sample (g) 71.33

Weight of sample (g) 26.22

% volatile oil 1.00

Refractive Index (RI) 1.331

Colour Brownish

Yield (oil produced) 0.4 ml

Sample D: Lemongrass + Hexane

Table 4.3: The data obtained for sample lemongrass extracted with hexane.

Weight of thimble (g) 24.95

Weight of thimble with sample (g) 51.16

Weight of sample (g) 26.21

% volatile oil 5.01

Refractive Index (RI) 1.333

Colour Pale yellow

Yield (oil produced) 2.0 ml

Sample E: Lemongrass + Pomegranate + Hexane


Table 4.4: The data obtained for mixed sample extracted with hexane.

Weight of thimble (g) 45.92

Weight of thimble with sample (g) 72.13

Weight of sample (g) 26.21

% volatile oil 5.51

Refractive Index (RI) 1.396

Colour Green

Yield (oil produced) 2.2 ml


5.0 DISCUSSION

Refractive index test was used to determine the identity of the compound and to assess its

purity. Besides that, refractive index was also used as comparison with other value of the same

sample based on literature (B. Edlen., 1966). Normally, a laboratory scale refractometer able to

identify the refractive index of samples to a precision of 0.0002. For this experiment, soxhlet

extraction method was introduced to extract the lipid from the solid samples which are lemon

grass and pomegranate by using two types of solvents, hexane and ethanol. Soxhlet extraction is

one of the solvent extraction method where it transfer the partially soluble components of a solid

to the liquid phase (MDL De Castro, 1998).

Before proceeding to the extraction, both plant materials lemongrass and pomegranate

were chopped into small pieces in order to increase the surface area for extraction. Besides, there

is a different solvents used such as ethanol and hexane. Based on the literature, ethanol was

commonly used solvent for herbal or plant extraction because many secondary metabolites of

plants are soluble in this solvent and it is non-toxic to the secondary metabolites compound.

Besides that, ethanol also have high evaporation rate which means it is easy to evaporate and for

quick and easy availability. Besides, for this solvent extraction, the ethanol and hexane which are

the solvent was heated up and as the ethanol and hexane boils to its boiling point, the condenser

returns it to drip steadily into the thimble. This will allows the soluble components of the

pomegranate and lemongrass to be extracted. The solvents will also pull out the chlorophyll and

other plant tissue which resulting in a highly colored or viscous extract. When the solvents fills

the reservoir, it also rises up in the siphon arm until overflows. The siphon arm drawing the

ethanol and the samples oil will go down to the bottom. The first product is known as a concrete
which was then mixed with alcohol. The extraction reservoir was then kept warm by placing it

directly above the heated solvent flask to enhancing the effectiveness and the final product

obtained is known as an absolute.

By referring to the results obtained, the highest % volatile oil was obtained from

lemongrass extracted with ethanol which is 7.54% while the lowest volatile oil was obtained

from pomegranate extracted with ethanol which is 0.69%. Besides, the highest refractive index

of a sample obtained was for lemongrass extracted with ethanol, 1.938 while the lowest

refractive index was for sample pomegranate extracted with hexane, 1.331. Determination of the

RI value of all samples were crucial in order to compare the value with actual oil refractive

index, thus the closest RI value of a sample to the oil RI value means that the extraction of that

sample achieved high conversion.

The RI result was compared to the actual lemongrass oil refractive index which is 1.483-

1.488 (M. Murkovic, 2004). Thus, by comparing to the results achieved, the most nearest

refractive index of samples with actual lemongrass oil refractive index was pomegranate with

hexane as solvent which is the refractive index value was 1.397. This means that the extraction

of pomegranate by using ethanol was achieved highest conversion and succeeded comparing to

other samples. Besides, there were a product which the RI value was closer to the RI value of

water which is 1.333, such as sample C and sample D which extracted with hexane. This can be

concluded that both product obtained contain a mixture of pomegranate oil with water as well as

lemongrass oil with water and thus, the RI value of the product shows the reading closer to the

RI of the water.
6.0 CONCLUSION

Pomegranate oil and lemongrass oil was extracted via solvent extraction (soxhlet

extraction) which presented the most effective method of extraction of essential due to it produce

more yield. The highest % volatile oil was obtained from lemongrass extracted with ethanol

which is 7.54% while the lowest volatile oil was obtained from pomegranate extracted with

ethanol which is 0.69%. Besides, the extraction of pomegranate by using ethanol was achieved

highest conversion and succeeded comparing to other samples because it is nearest to the

refractive index of actual lemongrass oil which is the refractive index value was 1.397.

Unfortunately, there were a product which the RI value was closer to the RI value of water such

as sample C and sample D which extracted with hexane. This can be concluded that both product

obtained contain a mixture of pomegranate oil with water as well as lemongrass oil with water.
7.0 REFERENCES

B. Edlen. 1966. The refractive index of air. Journal of Metrologia. Vol. 2(2)

Gamse, T. (2016). Extraction. [Online]. [Accessed 20-12-2016]. Available from world wide web:

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-

8#q=Gamse+thomas+extraction

Kumar, M. (2013). Introduction to soxhlet extraction. [Online]. [Accessed 20-12-2016].

Available from world wide web: http://mkshelford.blogspot.my/2013/03/soxhlet-extraction-

introduction.html

MDL De Castro, Le Garcia Ayuso. 1998. Soxhlet extraction of solid materials. Journal of

Analytica Chimica Acta. Vol.369(1)

M. Murkovic, S. Lechner. 2004. Analysis of minor components in olive oil. Journal of

Biochemical and Biophysical Methods. Vol.61(1)

Nanjwade, B. (2015). Extraction principle. [Online]. [Accessed 20-12-2016]. Available from

world wide web: http://www.slideshare.net/bknanjwade/extraction-53262904


Shiksha, K. (2013). Proximate analysis of food products. [Online]. [Accessed 20-12-2016].

Available from world wide web: http://ecoursesonline.iasri.res.in/mod/page/view.php?

id=124081

Smith, R. (1914). Would a siphon flow in a vacuum. School Sci. & Math. 14, 152-153
8.0 APPENDIX

Calculation for the % of volatile oil:

ml oil specific gravity of oil


% volatile oil = 100
weight of sample

0.23ml 0.790 g/ml


= 100
26.22 g

= 0.69 %