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Solid-liquid or liquid-liquid extraction: what are the differences in these essential oil extraction processes?

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In order to extract the essential oil or any other substance from a base material, several extraction techniques exist. These techniques correspond to different processes. Generally speaking, there are two main types of extraction: solid extraction and liquid extraction. Discover with Tournaire the main principles of solid-liquid, liquid-liquid and liquid-solid extraction and all the advantages and know-how offered by Tournaire, your partner in equipment and packaging.

Overview of solid-liquid extraction

In the essential oil extraction process, the liquid extraction process allows the use of a solvent as an extraction agent. It belongs to the family of liquid extraction processes. With the help of a liquid (which can be heated water, for example), a substance (called the solute) is extracted from the raw material. The name of this technique summarises the process: transferring a substance from a solid to a liquid state. Many well-known techniques use this solution: maceration, decoction, infusion, etc.

What is liquid-liquid extraction?

As the name suggests, this extraction process separates two liquids by bringing a third liquid, called a solvent, into contact with them. This third liquid has special properties, which allow it to extract and ‘capture’ one of the two mixtures in the solution. This third liquid must therefore be immiscible in order to clearly discriminate between the other two liquids. Overall, the separating funnel is the number one tool for implementing liquid-liquid extraction.

Note that use is also made of the liquid-solid extraction process. In this case, the initially solid solute will be converted to a liquid phase.

How does Tournaire support essential oil extraction professionals?

Since 1833, Tournaire has been supporting professionals and industrialists in all areas with its range of extractors. Particularly versatile, our range allows the extraction of a very wide range of raw materials, for many industries: perfumery, foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Tournaire machines are “all-in-one”, i.e. they allow extraction, filtration and final drying of the decoction obtained at the same time.

If you would like to know more about our range of services, please contact us via our website, by email at, or by phone at +33 4 93 09 34 34; we will be happy to answer you in detail.