Melaleuca oil is one of the most powerful immune system stimulants, which is capable of quickly eliminating most viral, bacterial, and fungal infections. Melaleuca oil in Vietnam is only produced on a small-scale using outdated technology. In this study, the materials were firstly processed with the steam explosion method before being put into the distillation pot. This pretreatment process helps to break down the structure of the materials and extract the essential oil efficiently. In the scope of this study, many different experiments had been done such as changing of heating time, pressure, and the number of steam explosions. The main purpose of the study is to find parameters suitable for oil dissociation regarding oil color and quantity. Research results show that the essential oil yield depends on explosion pressure, explosion time, and the number of explosions. In the scope of this study, it shows that for every 3 kg of raw melaleuca, about 10.2 ml of essential oil is extracted, which is almost twice as high as traditional methods without steam explosion. This process also saves 60% more time than the traditional method. These preliminary results demonstrate that pretreatment is an important part of improving the efficiency of essential oil extraction both in terms of essential oil yield and energy consumption.
Son, T. T. and P. Q. Tra (2021). Research on melaleuca oil production by steam explosion method. 2020 Applying New Technology in Green Buildings (ATiGB), IEEE.