What Solvent Is Best For Oil Extraction from Leaves? Isopropyl Alcohol or Ethanol?

Author: Briony Maitland  

When trying to pick which solvent to use for oil extraction we have a few recommendations. We do not know the exact process for the oil extraction itself, but we are able to help you evaluate which solvent is preferred. Please not that all information given regarding this topic is merely a recommendation.

We get quite a few people asking “which is better for oil extraction?” or “will the additive in ethanol impact the oil extraction process?”, so we would like to clarify.

When it comes to oil extraction we have two solvents that customers toss up between and that is Isopropyl Alcohol and Ethanol.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl Alcohol is a petroleum based product that has no additives and is a completely pure solvent. Some customers like to use this solvent as it doesn’t have the bitex component to it but it is a petroleum based product so some do not like that association. Another point is that Isopropyl Alcohol is not recommend to be consumed at all but we have been told by customers that through the process the solvent does get flashed off when performed correctly.

Ethanol

Ethanol, in difference, is known as a “grain alcohol”, which simply means that ethanol is made by the fermentation of grain. This is considered to be a more “natural” alternative to Isopropyl Alcohol. However, our Ethanol is only 99% and has a 1% bitex in it which does make the alcohol bitter so that it is not consumed. To put this into perspective our Ethanol is 99% whereas some vodkas are only 30%, so it is quite strong and very unsafe to consume.

Throughout the process the solvents do flash off, however some customers have found that when they use the ethanol solvent they do need to do extra steps in processing in order to flash off the bitter taste it contains.

Here is a little summary of Which Solvent is Best to Use for Oil Extraction:

Isopropyl Alcohol

Ethanol

Pros:

  • No additives
  • Pure Isopropyl Alcohol

Pros:

  • Grain alcohol
  • Considered to be more “natural”

Cons:

  • Petroleum Based
  • Less “natural”

Cons:

  • Contains bitex known as denaturant
  • Requires extra steps to flash off the bitter taste

 

When it comes down to choosing which one it really depends on what you want to achieve and what formula you are following. We can only provide you with what we know and the information that has been passed on by our customers. Both of the solvents are not safe for consumption. Please continue to do your own research and if there is any clarification that you need please do not hesitate to contact us.



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