I've steam distilled a couple of different powdered seeds/herbs to obtain the essential oils from them.
Somehow some of the extracts won't separate and stay in an emulsion.
I've seen that some fixed oils that where extracted too are separating in cool conditions, but I can't see any essential oil layer forming. Even when letting the extract (emulsion) sit for 2 weeks.
Can anyone explain why this is happening (or not) and how I could break the emulsion? Acidifying or salting it out?
Since if I would try to boil the water of off the emulsion, its vapors would carry the oils with it, so is there any way to evaporate the water but leaving the oils?
I live in a country where it's hard to obtain some chemicals, so are there any easily obtainable chemicals/solvents to use for further or better processing? I have access to $95~\%$ bio ethanol, $95~\%$ acetone, sodium hydroxide, sodium chloride and I've managed to get some naphtha.
So my possibilities are limited as you can imagine …
I've thought about using a Soxhlet extraction with ethanol or acetone where I could simply distill the extracted and concentrated solution to recover the solvent and be left with the extract (essential oil, fixed oil, etc.).
What can I then do to separate the fixed oils from the essential oils that I want?