Introducing organic chemistry students to the extraction of natural products found in vegetal species
Guntero, Vanina A.
Kneeteman, María N.
Mancini, Pedro M. E.
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This work constitutes a new strategy for teaching-learning the chemistry of natural products, being the students active participants in the process. Results showed in this activity contributed not only to the understanding of the subject but also turned out to be an important pillar of motivation. An essential oil is any of a class of volatile oils that give plants their characteristic odor. Essential oils are also known as ethereal oil, volatile oil, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they are extracted, such as oil of clove. The oil is “essential” in the sense that it contains the “essence of” vegetal specie fragrance, the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived. These can be extracted from different parts of plants such as stems, leaves and flowers. In this work, two conventional methods (steam distillation and Soxhlet extraction) and one non-conventional method (microwave-assisted extraction), was developed under different conditions from clove. The yield of clove oil and yield of eugenol were obtained; and the concentration of eugenol present was assessed by gas chromatography. The main objective was that the experimental activity with the theoretical foundation will provide to the students of organic chemistry the ability to link concepts and develop skills in the laboratory.
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