Q. 6

The fragrance of flowers is due to the presence of some steam volatile organic compounds called essential oils. These are generally insoluble in water at room temperature but are miscible with water vapour in vapour phase. A suitable method for the extraction of these oils from the flowers is:
A. Distillation

B. Crystallisation

C. Distillation under reduced pressure

D. Steam distillation

Answer :

To extract the essential oils from plants steam distillation is popularly used. It is based on the principle that essential oils are insoluble in water but miscible with water vapour.

Initially they take the parts of the plant from which the oils have to be extracted, in a still. Into this steam at high temperature is passed. The essential oils from plant parts volatilises into steam, which passes through condenser pipe. The cooled vapour separates into oil and water. The floating oil is then separated.

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