What Are Vegetable Oil Solvents?

What Are Vegetable Oil Solvents?

Definition of Vegetable Oil Solvents 

There are a variety of methods that are used to extract vegetable oils from their constituent nuts and seeds, one of which is solvent extraction. Insolvent extraction, a solvent is mixed with the plant material to facilitate the extraction of the oil and then is removed to leave the vegetable oil behind. This is a popular extraction technique due to its relatively low cost.  

The solvents that are employed during this process of isolating edible oils are sometimes referred to as vegetable oil solvents. However, not all vegetable oil solvents are created equal. This blog post will discuss several of these solvents and their potential advantages and disadvantages for consumers.   

Examples of Vegetable Oil Solvents 

  • Acetone 

Acetone is one example of a solvent that can be used to extract vegetable oils. It is quite inexpensive, which is a useful trait for any solvent to have. Furthermore, acetone is classified as a Class 3 solvent by the FDA. This means it does not pose any known hazards to human health.  

  • 1-Butanol  

Next up on the list of vegetable oil solvents is 1-butanol, also called n-butanol. 1-butanol, like acetone, is a Class 3 solvent and thus is generally regarded as safe. Additionally, one study found bio-derived 1-butanol to be an extremely effective solvent for essential oil extraction, which is not a characteristic that all vegetable oil solvents possess.  

  • Hexane 

Perhaps one of the most well-known vegetable oil solvents is hexane. Its low boiling point and high evaporation rate make it a great choice for extractions. However, unlike the above vegetable oil solvents, hexane is a Class 2 solvent. This means it has a certain safety threshold above which it may pose risks to human health.  

  • Toluene  

Finally, toluene is another example of a solvent that may be utilized for vegetable oil extractions. It has the ability to dissolve a variety of organic substances. Unfortunately, like hexane, toluene is a Class 2 solvent. It is also a precursor of benzene, which is a Class 1 solvent. Class 1 solvents can pose serious health risks and should be avoided whenever possible. Thus, toluene is not the best solvent choice, and should not be used when safer alternatives are accessible.     

Interested in Purchasing Oil Solvents?  

Look no further! Here at Extraction Grade Solvents, we offer a number of solvents that can be used for vegetable oil extractions, such as acetone, 1-butanol, and methanol. Plus, our team is available to answer inquiries and help you decide which product to purchase for your needs. Please contact us by emailing us or calling 800-563-1305 today!