Our Eucalyptus season has begun and Larry’s newly engineered still is proving to be an impressive time saver! The process has changed a little bit but the overall concept remains the same which is Steam Distillation. Check out this quick video to give you an idea!
HOW HE BUILT IT BELOW
The process is now as follows below:
- Larry collects the Kangaroo Island Narrow Leaf Mallee leaf using his mechanical harvester, which cuts the trees at the front and the leaf goes up the shoot then into a pot on the back which now holds 1 ton of leaf. You can view the harvesting process here.
- The pot of leaf has a mesh lid put on top and then this pot is turned over and put on top of another pot, the original still which is filled with water.
- Underneath the water pot a fire is lit and this begins to boil the water which then turns into steam.
- The steam rises into the next pot which has the leaves. The steam goes through the leaves and ruptures the oil cell which then turn into vapour.
- Both steam and vapour rise up and out through a pipe into the new condenser. The steam and vapour go through small pipes and cold water circulates the pipes. Cooling and condensing the steam and vapour into water and oil.
- The water and oil run down into a tank where there is a simple separator. The oil is lighter than water so this sits on top and flows off through a copper pipe and then out into a drum.
- And that is how the oil made.
Now with Larry’s new still he only has to do one distillation as the oil comes out clean and refined the first time. This makes it much easier and quicker for Larry to produce the oil. One process can take 2-3 hours and we get about 15-20 litres of Eucalyptus oil from 1 ton of leaf.
Emu Ridge manufacturing Eucalyptus oil on Kangaroo Island since 1991