Toll Distillation Of Aromatic Raw Materials
Unlike most large distilleries dedicated to processing one particular raw material, the TEXAROME facility lends itself to the simultaneous distillation of several essentials-oil-bearing raw materials on a large scale.
The greater TEXAROME plant consists of two “co-generation” units. One is a continuous distillation plant which processes only very finely ground Texas Cedar, and supplies “free” wood fuel (spent wood) to the boilers for the total steam production.
The other unit is a battery of five conventional batch stills with independent condensers and oil receivers. Each batch still has a useful capacity of 300 cu.ft. (2241 gals) which hold 2 to 4 tons of distillation material, depending on density. The stills are used to distill a variety of aromatic materials. Some of the materials processed in large quantities were:
- Cedarwood Virginiana (regular production)
- Coriander seeds
- Malaleuca leaves
- Juniper leaves
- Vetiver roots
- W.I. Sandalwood (Amyris)
Since the spent material is not needed to fuel the boiler, it remains available for other more lucrative uses. For instance, the spent coriander seeds are an excellent cattle feed with up to 20% protein, 28% fatty oils and digestible fiber. The malaleuca leaves were toll-distilled and the spent leaves shipped back to the customer for use in health food formulations and tablets. Spent Red Cedar is sold to horse stables for bedding, and used in soil mixes etc.
The fee for toll-distillation is discussed with the customer on a case by case basis, and depends on the “cooking time”, the value of the oil, the yield of oil, transportation costs, etc. However, due to the “free steam” and the economy of scale, the final cost of the oil is usually quite lower than market price.