Isolation of Citral from Lemongrass Oil using Steam Distillation: Statistical Optimization by Response Surface Methodology

Author(s): H. Joga Rao, G. Kalyani and P. King

In this study, citral, a major component of lemongrass oil is isolated using steam distillation. The objectives of the study were to explore the effect of the selected factors, volume ratio and time on the percentage yield for the obtained distillate (citral) and to develop a statistical relationship. The experiments were designed using response surface method (RSM) with percentage yield as the response. The results were analyzed statistically and the optimum conditions are identified as: volume ratio and time were 0.053 and 98.2126 min, respectively. Under the optimum conditions the yield is 85.1416%. A confirmation experiment under the optimum conditions showed a yield of 83.8%. This was only within experimental error range of < 5% from the predicted value. From our study, we found that specific gravity, density, flash point and refractive index of the product are 0.8904, 0.89031 g/cm3, 91oC and 1.488, respectively, which were resembling the characteristics of standard citral.

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