The Agarwood oil distilling process is important as good quality output is expensive on the back of techniques and individual experiences. However, the general distilling principles involve the boiling of water into steams, which will extract the resinous heartwood into steaming vapors after penetrating into the cell wall of Agarwood tissues. The steaming heartwood vapors then are cooled to form liquid in the condensation process. The Agarwood oil and water can accordingly be found separated into layers convenient for collection.
- There are three popular Agarwood oil distilling processes.
- 1. Water Distillation,
- 2. Steam Distillation, and
- 3. Continuous Steam Distillation.
The grade-4 Agarwood which has few volume of the resinous heartwood is brought into the water distillation process. Most firms use such method as it uses simple local popular
The water distillation procedure uses water to extract the oil. Usually, the raw material is put into the water and then is heated to boil. The resultant resinous heartwood vapors then are converted into liquid as seen in the separated layers of water and Agarwood oil in the condensation process. Such fast process, covering 5 – 10 days per distillation, that requires the smallest amount of investment is highly popular and encompasses the following stages.
1. Resinous heartwood embedded Agarwood of various grades is to be sorted as high quality ones, which are to be sold in pieces at high prices. The wood in such grades will be further processed to leave out only the dark brown or black heartwood. The grade 4 ones, on the other hand, are considered as those of low quality and will be put into the distillation process to produce Agarwood oil.
2. The Agarwood to flow into the distillation process must be chopped into small pieces or thin sheets. They will be dried and dehumidified in sunshine for 2 – 3 days.
3. The small dried pieces of Agarwood will then be crushed finely into the 1-2 mm. grains to increase the surface for oil extracting.
4. The fine Agarwood grains will then be soaked into water for about 7 – 15 days depending upon the customers’ odorous demand. The Agarwood oil scent alters along with the soaking duration.
5. The Agarwood grains will then be taken off the water and put into the distilling pot much as demanded in terms of size and volume, usually, about 10 – 15 kilograms per distilling pot. Water is then put into the pot for about 5-6 inches over the grains. The pot lid then is closed and heating starts.
6. When the distilling pot is heated to above the boiling point, steams with Agarwood oil vapors will come off the pipe. Such aerosol then must be changed into liquid in the condensation process, in which cool water is permitted to run into the outer pipe in the opposing direction with the vapor flows.
7. In the tube, the resultant Agarwood oil will float in a separate layer from the water. Such water will be discharged and only the Agarwood oil, floating upwards, is to be collected. The boiling stage to the distilling stage takes about 4 – 5 hours. The first stream of Agarwood oil is classified as grade A. It is rather dark yellow and has sweet smell. Its scent lasts long, for about 8 hours, if the oil is rubbed onto the skin.
8. Keeping such distilling process to carry on for about 7 whole days will squash the entire Agarwood oil off the wood. Heat then must be put out.
9. The collected oil must be filtered with filter fabric to rid water and dirt. The oil then is put into a bottle and baked with lid opened to allow vaporizing. Then, the high quality Agarwood oil is acquired. The residues from the boiling and distilling process can be dried in sunshine for about 3 days before crushed into powder for scented joss stick production.