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Terpene Extraction Methods

Hydro distillation (Steam Distillation) / Vacuum Distillation

Hydro distillation, or steam distillation, is often used to extract volatile compounds. Hydro distillation uses steam that permeates the plant containing the desired terpenes. After the steam passes through the plant bringing along the terpenes, the steam is then condensed, creating a water and terpene distillate mixture. The water is then drained, only leaving the terpene distillate.

Vacuum distillation is an offshoot of Hydro distillation but offers a much more sensitive extraction method. Vacuum distillation lowers the boiling point of the water used in steam distillation by sucking out part of the atmosphere in the distillation setup. This maintains lower pressure and provides a more pure, less warped terpene.

Steam dist
Solid phase Micro extraction

Solid-phase Microextraction (SPME)

Solid-phase microextraction is a method of terpene extraction that does not require solvents. A gas or liquid containing the terpenes is placed into a chamber. Then a fiber coated with an extractor pulls the terpenes from the liquid/gas. The fiber with the collected terpenes is then placed in a gas separating instrument, which pulls the terpenes from the fiber and collects them.

Emission Trapping

In a study done by the University of Kentucky, Lexington, researchers explored how to collect terpenes already emitted into the atmosphere by plants. The scientists took a live plant and placed it into a gas chamber. They let the airflow into the chamber and a vacuum line extracting gasses from the chamber. The outgoing gasses were passed through a tenax resin-packed pipette to trap the terpenes The pipettes were changed every couple of hours and the terpenes were then pulled from the resin.
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Partitioning Method

The partitioning method is an extraction process that uses two unmixable liquids to reach an equilibrium. For example, using a methanol extract of cells and cell culture medium with chloroform, researchers at the University of Kentucky, Lexington were able to separate the terpenes from the solvents. The solvents were then dissolved, leaving only the terpenes, which could be seen when they were sprayed with a testing agent and heated.

Solvent Extraction

Solvent extraction has a fitting name because it is done by engulfing plant material in a solvent. Typically, the solvents ethanol, methanol, or hexane are used. As the plant material sits in the solvent, the terpenes are extracted. After soaking for about 1-2 days the plant material is removed and the solvent is evaporated, leaving behind the isolated terpenes.
laboratory equipment

Making the Right Choice

Rare Terpenes is committed to bring our customers the highest-grade terpenes available. We continuously strive to be the best in class for quality, efficacy, safety, and ethics. Your satisfaction is at the forefront of what we do. We know your product will have better flavor, and many other numerous benefits with Rare Terpenes.