Extraction chillers are used to extract oils from various plants for dietary, cosmetic, and medical use, which has earned them the name of botanical extraction chillers. They create a controlled environment at temperatures of – 40o C to 25o C. During the extraction process, liquids are cycled through the fibers of a plant at subzero temperatures. A critical aspect of the botanical extraction chiller extraction process is the maintaining of controlled temperatures since temperature variation can destroy the process or damage the plants.
The extraction process is used by the botanical oil extraction industry to collect fluids from plants. The three forms of botanical extraction chillers are carbon dioxide, ethanol, or solvent. All three processes begin with leaves or stems from a plant.
Each of the different method used by botanical extraction chillers requires precision control of temperature, which is critical to its success. Extraction is a separation process where a set of molecules contained in a solid or liquid are removed. In the case of botanical extraction chillers, the needed molecules are removed from parts of plants.
Many of the medicines, supplements, and powders we use are taken from plants by extraction. Alkaloids, bitters, cardiac glycosides, cyanogenic glycosides, flavonoids, minerals, vitamins, and phenols are extracted from plants for medical use and food production.
Carbon dioxide extraction involves the use of temperature and pressure to create phases changes in the carbon dioxide. As a tunable solvent, cardon dioxide can extract many types of substance by being manipulated to cause unique components to separate from the plant material.
Ethanol has been growing in popularity as an extraction solvent because it is safe and provides excellent results. The ethanol extraction process begins with completely submerging the plant material in ethanol and blending the material and ethanol. The mixture is left in the extraction chiller at an extremely low temperature overnight. As the mixture mixes and blends, separation occurs extracting the desired component.
Solvent extraction is similar to ethanol extraction, where other solvents, other than ethanol, are used to remove the key element. As with ethanol extraction, the plant material is soaked in petroleum ether, methanol, or hexane to separate the botanical oils.
The components and chemicals extracted from plants are an essential part of the pharmaceutical, fragrance, food, and medical industries. It is an ancient process that goes back thousands of years, which has been enhanced by the controlled environments created by extraction chillers.