Plant/Herb Extraction Project

Crown Machinery Co Ltd design and manufacture varieties all kind of centrifuge that apply for pharmaceutical industry, specific in Chinese Traditional herb extraction. Supply all related equipment and machinery with herb extraction, also provide technology consultancy service.

Natural medicines were the only option for the prevention and treatment of human diseases for thousands of years. Natural products are important sources for drug development. The amounts of bioactive natural products in natural medicines are always fairly low. Today, it is very crucial to develop effective and selective methods for the extraction and isolation of those bioactive natural products. This paper intends to provide a comprehensive view of a variety of methods used in the extraction and isolation of natural products. This paper also presents the advantage, disadvantage and practical examples of conventional and modern techniques involved in natural products research.

Extraction is the first step to separate the desired natural products from the raw materials. Extraction methods include solvent extraction, distillation method, pressing and sublimation according to the extraction principle. Solvent extraction is the most widely used method. The extraction of natural products progresses through the following stages: (1) the solvent penetrates into the solid matrix; (2) the solute dissolves in the solvents; (3) the solute is diffused out of the solid matrix; (4) the extracted solutes are collected. Any factor enhancing the diffusivity and solubility in the above steps will facilitate the extraction. The properties of the extraction solvent, the particle size of the raw materials, the solvent-to-solid ration, the extraction temperature and the extraction duration will affect the extraction efficiency.

The selection of the solvent is crucial for solvent extraction. Selectivity, solubility, cost and safety should be considered in selection of solvents. Based on the law of similarity and intermiscibility (like dissolves like), solvents with a polarity value near to the polarity of the solute are likely to perform better and vice versa. Alcohols (EtOH and MeOH) are universal solvents in solvent extraction for phytochemical investigation.

Generally, the finer the particle size is, the better result the extraction achieves. The extraction efficiency will be enhanced by the small particle size due to the enhanced penetration of solvents and diffusion of solutes. Too fine particle size, however, will cost the excessive absorption of solute in solid and difficulty in subsequent filtration.