The industrial scale equipment design of P. cubeba essential oil extraction by microwave assisted hydrodistillation (MAHD), as a relatively new extraction method, requires quantitative description of the mass transfer as well as explorative studies focusing on process optimization. The quantitative modeling was generated by several mathematical diffusion formulas and verified by the experimental mass transfer phenomena, while the optimization of particle-to-water ratio (0.033, 0.05, and 0.067 w/w) and times (0-52 min) was conducted by Response Surface Methodology (RSM). The results showed that the proposed mathematical model based on unsteady-state intra-particle diffusion theories well describes the rate of extraction of P. cubeba essential oil using MAHD method. The particle-to-water ratio as well as the extraction time significantly influences the oil yield. The optimum values obtained were 0.05 w/v and 32 min for particle-to-water ratio and time respectively, while the produced oil yield was theoretically 57.89%.
Keywords: essential oil; mass transfer modeling; microwave assisted hydrodistillation; Piper cubeba; response surface methodology(10.14266/ajoct110-4)