What is plant solvent extraction?

What is plant solvent extraction?

Plant extracts and oils are used around the world, for medicinal, cosmetic, or aromatic purposes. Most people don’t question how their plant products are extracted from the plant, and the answer is through plant solvent extraction. Products like hemp oil, CBD oil, or seed oils are commonly extracted through this method.  

The process of plant solvent extraction 

  • The process begins with a plant product being ground into a powder-like substance 
  • A solvent, usually an organic solvent, is added to the plant substance to soak and allow it seep to through, stripping the desired components from the plant matter.  
  • The solution is then agitated or stirred to ensure a higher yield of the desired components, then heated to evaporate the solvent.  
  • This leaves the desired product behind, which can be added to another oil to enhance it or dilute it.  

There are other techniques that can be utilized to isolate a plant substance such as CO2 extraction, however, solvent extraction with ethanol remains the preferred method because it is inexpensive and has a high product yield. The CO2 extraction method can be expensive and slower than ethanol extraction.  

What kind of solvents are used? 

There are a variety of solvents available for solvent extraction, organic solvents with low polarity are ideal for the process. Common solvents utilized for solvent extraction include: 

  • Ethanol 
  • Methanol 
  • 1-butanol 
  • 2-propanol 
  • Acetone 
  • Heptane 
  • Dichloromethane 
  • Diethyl ether 
  • N-hexane 

Ethanol, Hexane, and Diethyl Ether remain popular choices for oil extraction from plant seeds.  

Are you interested in high-quality extraction solvents?  

Whether you’re looking to extract edible oil or CBD oil, Extraction Grade Solvents provides solvents for your extraction needs. You can check out our high-quality industrial solvents here, or reach out to the specialized staff here for help finding the best product for your business needs.