GOD (Hive Addict)
10-15-02 19:54
No 368889
      Harvest time! Reminder to sass lovers!  Bookmark   

  Its that time of year folks!  Oil content is highest in the rootbark of sapling sassafras trees.  Maybee this post is a little redundant, but to any bees living in sass country (http://www.forestworld.com/public/silvics/hardwoods/Sassafras/albidum_b4.html for US bees) now might bee a good time to start taking some nature walks out in the woods.  Bring some bright colored yarn or some other form of marker sos you can come back later to harvest.  Heres a thread with pics, links etc Post 307279 (GOD: "How to find local sassafras trees", Chemicals & Equipment).  Wait for it to rain, then go yank some saplings.
  Bubbleplate has some excellent posts on steam distillation, and a sohxlet extraction with acetone is reported to work as well - look for some posts made by half  a pint on how to make a ghetto rig if you dont have the glass.
  Even if yove got a good source, remember, this stuff is on its way out the door.  Self sufficiency is a good thing, and its probably a wise move to think ahead and bee prepared for when it finally becomes near impossible to obtain natural oils.
(Hive Addict)
10-16-02 01:09
No 368995
      harvest  Bookmark   

Yep I remember that thread ' glad to bee reminded 'it's hunting season here so it's easy to grab up some roots while walking around ' think I'll check those threads about getting the oil out.  thanks god for the memeory check.

  "moderators are the best "  

(Hive Addict)
10-16-02 02:52
No 369031
      yes....  Bookmark   

I especially liked that write up in the essential oils book that rhod deja vu'd about how the "old colored" men would steam distill sassy roots. 10 tons of roots for about 10 gallons of oil...

  (having blown stumps with dynamite/anfo for $$ in my teenage years, I gotta say, that's a LOT of wood hacking! )

Infinite Radiant Light - THKRA
(Hive Bee)
10-16-02 03:44
No 369043
      A Ton? of ROOTS?  Bookmark   

Has any bee actually ever done this?  If this statement is true:

10 tons of roots for about 10 gallons of oil...

Then this isn't a very viable option, unless you and your friends are pulling roots 70 hours a week for a few months, to get a gallon or two of oil.

2000 lbs of roots for 1 Gallon? blush  Someone's got some work to do.

"We face daily, a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems."[sic]
(Title on BackOrder)
10-16-02 03:48
No 369044
      root bark  Bookmark   

10 tons of roots sounds about right, when you consider they are peeling off the root bark and chunking the root itself.  Some south american operations distill the oil from the entire root, but most only use the root bark.

All paths are the same: they lead nowhere
10-16-02 05:08
No 369065
      Oh yeah!  Bookmark   

Sassafras Root bark yields 6-9% oil. 6-9% of 10 Tonnes(Metric) = 13227.6 Pounds (Avoir.) - 19841.4 Pounds (Avoir.). 80% Safrole Yield from oil = 10582.08 Pounds (Avoir.) - 15873.12 Pounds (Avoir.)

That's a lot of safrole.

Reference Here:

More "essential" reading:
Distilling Essential oils

A Profile of Sassafras albidum

Comprehensive Info on Safrole from plants

Sassafras Oil info and Alternative Sources of Safrole

Piper hispidinervum: A Sustainable Source of Safrole


shroomanium \shroo-may-ne-um\ (noun): imaginary element found only in dreams.
(Old P2P Cook)
10-16-02 05:48
No 369094
      try again.  Bookmark   

6-9% of 10 Tonnes(Metric) = 13227.6 Pounds (Avoir.) - 19841.4 Pounds (Avoir.). 80% Safrole Yield from oil = 10582.08 Pounds (Avoir.) - 15873.12 Pounds (Avoir.)
There are several things wrong here.

First your arithmetic:
(Hint: perhaps if you would carry your calculations out to only the proper number of significant figues it would help you to see when you make a mistake of an order of magnitude.)
(I will use US tons instead of metric tons, the difference doesn't matter)

10 tons = 20,000 pounds

(9% oil) 0.09 X 20,000 pounds = 1,800 pounds
(80% safrole) 0.8 X 1,800 pounds = 1,400 pounds safrole

Your calculations were for root bark while the other people were talking about root.

Baseline Does Not Exist.
(Hive Addict)
10-16-02 06:40
No 369132
      right on page 145  Bookmark   

(151 on the dejavu sheet)

 "A charge of 10 tons requires about two days to exhaust, and yields about 10 gallons of oil."

Infinite Radiant Light - THKRA
10-16-02 14:46
No 369216
      Ok.  Bookmark   

Yeah, I missed a decimal place in the first %. I used .6-.9 instead of .06-.09. Sorry bout that.

Corrected Calculations, Is 11 Decimal places Enough?

According to http://www.onlineconversion.com
10 Metric tons (tonne) = 22045.85537918871 Pounds (Avoir.)

I could use US Tons but that would bee too easy.

That's 1322.7513227513226 - 1984.1269841269839 Pounds (Avoir.) of Oil.

80% of which, 1058.20105820105808 - 1587.30158730158712 Pounds (Avoir.) of Safrole.

That's Still a lot of Safrole.

I will find what the % is for the whole root later, I am at work now and don't have time.
A Gallon is roughly 8 pounds. I still think you could get more than roughly 80 pounds of Safrole out of 10 tonnes of Sassafras Root.


shroomanium \shroo-may-ne-um\ (noun): imaginary element found only in dreams.
(Old P2P Cook)
10-16-02 16:14
No 369229
      Sigh.  Bookmark   

Corrected Calculations, Is 11 Decimal places Enough?
You truly don't understand?

According to http://www.onlineconversion.com
10 Metric tons (tonne) = 22045.85537918871 Pounds (Avoir.)

I just do the calculations in my head.

Baseline Does Not Exist.
(Hive Addict)
10-16-02 19:20
No 369254
      theoretical vs real world...  Bookmark   

  While we can argue how many angels dance on pinheads... the theoretical amount of oil in the RB/roots and the actual amount you get, are of course, two different things... given the ghetto nature of what bee's might put together to cook up a batch, ( since we don't have a chemical extraction plant at handwink), it's more likely that the yields will run to the primative low tech method numbers, than the high end theoretical yields...

  That's why I like old books, they usually give you the real world numbers..

Infinite Radiant Light - THKRA
(Hive Addict)
10-16-02 20:16
No 369274
      Swim went out for a walk yesterday, went into the ...  Bookmark   

  Swim went out for a walk yesterday, went into the woods, took him about 10 minutes to spot some sassy saplings.  As with most searches out in nature, it may take a while to find what your looking for, but once you see it- its all over the place!
  He took some spray paint and made himself a little map as well, not knowing if he was going to harvest sooner or later (once the leaves fall off, identification will bee a bitch).  Needless to say, it rained today, so swim went back out for a little walk bringing only a screwdriver for digging around roots.
  He pulled a few saplings ~3-6 feet tall.  Just pulling then straight up out of the ground is not advisable, as you will only aquire a few inches of root- those roots are fairly delicate.
  Swim found that by first digging around the base (just his fingers, used the screwdriver if rocks/debris where present), then giving a semi gentle pull straight up on the sapling, he could locate the 'runner' and then carefully follow it.  For most of the saplings he encountered, the runner (main root(s) that radiate from the momma tree from which saplings arise) is usually between 3 and 6 inches underground.
  Swim is going to lazily work on this project and report to this thread.  He also has a batch of store bought sass- gonna do a little experimenting etc using a sohxlet (glass) with acetone vs steam distillation. 
  Maybee eventually a separate thread can bee started- Bubbleplate and others who have harvested their own essential fragrances can compile data, we can figure out the most efficient way to do this, maybee make a write-up start to finish...
10-16-02 21:02
No 369290
      Double Sigh.  Bookmark   

Yes, I truly do understand.
You didn't catch the sarcasm? I'm just yanking your chain.

I could spend the time to learn the conversion factors and do the math in my head but what's the point when I have a utility that will do the calculations for me. If the end of the world comes and all computers are wiped out, I may need your help, until then.


PS. The figures for whole root process follows.

Whole Root contains 1-2% essential oil.
Thats 220.46 - 440.90 Pounds of Oil(I'm Rounding)
Around 176.37 - 352.72 Pounds of Safrole.

Even with a 50% reduction in yield thats more than 10 Gallons per 10 Tons.

Inversely to get 1 Pound of safrole in a worst case 1%  scenario (or 50% best case 2% scenario), you would need to harvest 125 pounds of whole root bark.

I don't think harvesting your own sassafras oil is the wave of the future. In fact, I know no one who ever has or would. I do know suppliers that would mislabel the occasional label if need bee tho. Where there is a will there is a way, money talks and bullshit walks.

shroomanium \shroo-may-ne-um\ (noun): imaginary element found only in dreams.
(Hive Addict)
10-17-02 03:02
No 369394
      Swim spent about 15-20 minutes digging out a ...  Bookmark   

Swim spent about 15-20 minutes digging out a couple of runners, he took them home, rinsed them off in the bathtub, let 'em sit on a towel for about 20 minutes, then he went outside with a plastic bag, layed the roots on 'em and tapped at them with a hammer.  Yeilded ~150g of semi-wet rootbark.
  Sealed the rootbark in a mason jar, threw it in the freezer.
  A few hours later, he assembled his sohxlet apparatus, weighed out 100g of the frozen rootbark and loaded it into a clean sock (doesnt have a thimble).  Currently refluxing/extracting in the sohxlet w/~ 750 mls of acetone.  Swim will run the sohxlet until there is little color coming over in the acetone.  He will then filter, reclaim his solvent and then obtain/weigh the safrole obtained (probably by crystalization, but we'll see what swim is left with first).  After that, swim will perform the same procedure with some dry rootbark that was purchased at a store.  Swim may also experiment with a few other variations like blenderising the wet rootbark before extraction, and also allowing the rb to dry for a bit.  Trials may also bee performed with just root and root+rootbark depending on swims energy.  All trials will bee performed with FRESHLY aquired roots.

Will post results.

BTW, the runners have much thicker root-bark than the little bit that is connected to the sapling.  Go for the runners!  Also, while they are still wet, it is very easy to remove the bark by tapping it with a hammer over a thick plastic sheet.  It took ~5 minutes to liberate ~150grams.
(Hive Addict)
10-17-02 03:15
No 369402
      It is definately the wave of the future!  Bookmark   

With commercial sassafas oil being harder to get and far more watched, oil directly from the bark is definately going to take a larger role in safrole acquistition than it has so far for the independent chemist.

The above post is purely fictional. Any resemblance to "real-life" is purely coincidental.
(Hive Bee)
10-17-02 04:32
No 369438
      I think.  Bookmark   

There are other ways to target molecules. I guess I don't sweat it because I don't produce commercial quantities. There are always several routes to a desired compound and that's part of the fun, for me anyways. Yields may not be the best, but theres almost always ways to improve other existing methods.

From a commercial aspect, I think the clandestine chemist would find it easier to make overseas contacts, or better yet go overseas if seeking elusive quantities.

Unless your just into horticulture for a hobby, is it worth the effort? It could get quite expensive to grow the ammount of Sassifras needed for commercial production of anything. I suppose in some situations where you would have free/low cost access to large ammounts of root/bark it is feasable.



Signature-less, Again.
(Hive Bee)
10-17-02 12:58
No 369571
      Distilling EO  Bookmark   

Not sure if other peple have seen this


EDIT: Oops... me bad it seems all the dope has addled my brain..

I love the smell of Ketone in the morning.
10-17-02 18:44
No 369615
      UKBEE!  Bookmark   

Dude, I just posted that link about 11 messages up. At least read the thread if your gonna contribute.


shroomanium \shroo-may-ne-um\ (noun): imaginary element found only in dreams.
10-18-02 03:13
No 369775
      Don't forget Hexastylis Arifolia  Bookmark   

The Little Brown jug plant is easy to locate and grows in the same zone (US) as does Sassy. This bee knows someone who knows someone whos cousin's brother's favorite aunt Bee collected 2 lbs of this Hexastylis and is thinking of doing the acetone extract with it. Some say it contains 70% favorite Oil in the leaf and 58% in the root. When Aunt Bee gets through and tells the brother what amount she got this bee promises to report back with the news (hope The Mayberry Gazette doesn't scoop the whole story).

Sassy collection on Public Lands. (read that as Forest Service Lands) may be protected by Laws. So Bee careful in your harvest plans. Remember Low profile in all things related to your hobby.

"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." Satchel Paige
(Hive Bee)
10-23-02 04:56
No 371581
      Yes! Bee Not Only Has Done This  Bookmark   

But it worked out very well. Actually, best time(s) of year for roots is SPRING and FALL. Ten tons of bark (peeled) will yield about a ton of oil!
SWIM's first Honey was made from Oil drived from rootbark pulled up from soil!
YES! It can be done done!!! (Check my old posts!)
Pulling Sassy Roots is good exercise and good fun.
Nature Hikes Rule!
The War Is Over!
10-23-02 18:56
No 371800
      *fresh* rootts  Bookmark   

Just wanted to reiterate how important it is to run the extraction on fresh roots.
swim let alot of rootbark sit in an unsealed plastic garbage bag for 2 weeks (while shredding it by hand, getting a 3-stage steam still together).
Yield from approximately 10kg rootbark - 1g safrole (.01 %). Dag-nammit!

The steam still works great though- pressure cooker feeds into the bottom of a large coffee maker through vinyl tubing, mounted on top of the steam chamber is a still head, 3 condensors (may bee overkill), a vacuum adaptor, and addition funnel. the heavy oil collects in the addition funnel, while all the water overflows out the vacuum inlet into a big pot.

Swim thinks the next harvest will bee more rewarding. Say, the leaves never fall deep enough in the south, right?