For steam distillation of tea tree very simple apparatus can be effective. At present tea tree oil is at a price where use of petroleum oil or gas for raising steam is economically feasible. If the scale of operation is large, a steam boiler or steam generator can be used, as these devices are efficient steam producers and can be automated. If the operation is small, the high capital cost of establishing special steam raising equipment cannot be justified. Therefore raising steam within the still is just as effective and more economical for the small operator, particularly if wood or extracted leaf is the fuel used.
For a simple but effective direct fired still (Plate 16) the equipment consists of:
The firebox or boiler.
The receiver or separator.
The constant level tank.
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