The steam distillation process

Steam distillation is one of the oldest extraction methods, invented by the Arabs in the ninth century.

In the case of essential oils, the procedure consists of passing water vapour at a low-pressure through a tank (called alembic) filled with aromatic plants. The steam naturally captures the volatile molecules that are contained in the plant, who then travel through a cold-water refrigerated serpentine and condense themselves into a liquid. Upon exit, elements of different densities are separated with the help of an “Essencier” and essential oil and floral water (also called "hydrolat") are obtained. The following diagram summarises the process:

Description of the steam distillation process

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