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Specialty Chemistry Forums => Chemical Engineering Forum => Topic started by: Gorm on March 11, 2006, 07:22:01 PM

Title: simple destillation of copaiba resin?
Post by: Gorm on March 11, 2006, 07:22:01 PM
Dear board,

In evaluating an organic chemistry business case of the production of essential oil of copaifera off. (copaiba), based here in Santarem, Para, Brazil (rural Amazonas rainforest). I need an intelligent opinion on the following question:

Do I need to make any modifications to a simpel distillation of the copaiba resin to produce essential oil of copaiba?

Since copaene has a boiling point of 124 degrees celsius and caryophyllene at 264 degrees, what is the right temperature for me to distill the essential oil of copaiba? duration?

The essential oil of copaiba needs to have a minimum content of 60% caryophyllene.

--- We believe the best way to preserve and strengthen the Amazon rainforest is to let the local population earn a decent living by selling natural Amazon products that do no harm or interference in the ecology. The resin of Copaiba is such a product. Your assistance in this case may actually do a small difference here in the Amazon! ---

Thank you in advance,

Title: Re:simple destillation of copaiba resin?
Post by: pantone159 on March 11, 2006, 11:12:01 PM
I don't know anything specifically about copaiba, but I think that essential oils can be prepared by steam distillation.  You put your stuff in a flask with water, and distill at 100 C.  (This works even though your compounds boil at higher temperatures.)  You keep distilling, adding water as necessary, until nothing comes off that is insoluble in water.  To check this, you can collect some of the distillate, add saturated NaCl solution, and see if you get two layers.  (One being the salt water, the other being the oil.  The NaCl helps force the oil into a separate layer.)  If you see two layers, you are still getting oil and keep distilling.
Title: Re:simple destillation of copaiba resin?
Post by: billnotgatez on March 12, 2006, 12:28:31 AM

Title: Re:simple destillation of copaiba resin?
Post by: Donaldson Tan on March 12, 2006, 01:06:21 PM
The optimum feed temperature is a function of the feed entry point into the distillation column, the height of the column, the reflux ratio and the reboiler duty.

The attached diagram is the schematics for an industrial distillation unit.

With reference to the diagram below, the material balance between the distillate, bottom product and the feed stream will determine the mass flowrate of the distillate and the bottom product according to their desired mass composition.

You only need need enough heat to evaporate enough copaene such that the mass composition of the bottom product meets the required 60%. The feed temperature can be less than 124C, because you don't require all the copaene to be completely seperated from caryophyllene. Moreover, there is a reboiler in the distillation column that provides additional heat into the column to ensure sufficient copanene will be removed.

The mass fraction of the bottom product is determined by the height column. The taller the column, the more copaene will be removed.
Title: Re:simple destillation of copaiba resin?
Post by: Gorm on March 14, 2006, 06:07:04 PM
Thank you, geodome,  for a most valuable posting.

Just for me, neither an engineer nor a chemist, to understand, the height of the distillation column assist in the success of separation of volatile oils from non-volatile? and the distillation column does not need to receive any direct heating?

Can I use stainless steel, aluminium and or glass for this construction? How about the joints, needs to be welded or does rubber insulation work?


Title: Re:simple destillation of copaiba resin?
Post by: Donaldson Tan on March 15, 2006, 07:37:07 PM

you intend to construct the distillation column on your own..

as a chemical engineer, i can calulate the number of plates you need and the height of your column, and determine your entry point and feed conditions, but i lack the physical data to do the calculations.

However, actual construction require the expertise of a mechanical engineer. the chemical engineer comes out with the design specification, whereas the mechanical engineer actually construct the device.