Robert Seidel and Dorene Petersen - Distilling in Sarlahi, Nepal
Hi, I'm Robert Seidel and I’m a Winrock International volunteer here in south central Nepal and we’re looking at a distillery where they’re making two different essential oils at the same time. The first one here is palmarosa in this distillation unit. You can see this is a direct fire boiler used to create steam that goes into the distillation unit. If we come over here, we can take a look at the condenser. This is the condenser that has cooling water to cool down the steam that’s coming out of the tub, the distillation tub. And what this does is it turns the steam back into a liquid so that it separates in the receiving can. It’s in my opinion that this may be just a little bit too hot because I can’t keep my hand down here and I see steam coming out there. So, there is the potential that they’re losing some oil.
Now, over here we have another distillation unit. You can see we’re doing eucalyptus leaves. This is a water sealed unit which is quite nice, water sealing. See how it’s sealed there, that keeps the steam from escaping. Down here at the receiving can, and again, that’s cold so, this one is good. The idea here is I can put my hand here like that, it doesn't burn. It doesn’t get hot until I come here. So, to me, that means that the distillate is going to be very good, a very nice temperature. You know, when I distill I generally look for a temperature between 100 and 110 degrees and I spoke to some peppermint guys, they go up to 120 degrees. So this one is operating very well. This one I think is not operating properly because he can’t put his hand on it. That’s still a little bit too hot and I think the oil’s going to be lost in the steam. If you take your picture down there at the receiver where the oil’s coming in, you can see some smoke coming out and that smoke is actually essential oil. So I would recommend that they cool this off even more.
Robert Seidel traveled to Nepal with Dorene Petersen, Founder of The American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) www.achs.edu