Essential Stills Together With Tickbird Opens Essential Oils Factory In Malawi
The Essential Stills attends Tickbird essential oils factory opening in Malawi. The Tickbird essential oils factory will provide a sustainable income for farmers and their families. The factory is expected to create jobs and support 800 farmers who will cultivate vetiver. The formal grand opening was attended by the Malawi Minister of Agriculture, a UN delegation, various dignitaries, a representative 100 or so farmers, a leading solar expert and local media.
SMARDEN, UNITED KINGDOM, July 30, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — June saw the official opening of the essential oils factory in Malawi where we have installed four of our 500L Stills.. It was incredibly rewarding to see the culmination of several years’ hard work, from acquiring the land, designing and building the factory which, uniquely, will run entirely on solar power, through to raising finances via grants and investors. Some 800 farmers were signed up to plant up and grow vetiver, the roots of which would be distilled at the optimum time of around 18 months. The formal grand opening was attended by the Malawi Minister of Agriculture, a UN delegation, various dignitaries, a representative 100 or so farmers, a leading solar expert and local media.
Vetiver grows widely in Malawi, its dense and deeply penetrative roots preserving moisture by binding the soil to prevent erosion by both wind and rain.
Tickbird Director Grieve Massa said, “Working with Essential Stills has been unbelievable. They have been so dedicated in developing this unique off-grid system and the quality of their workmanship is brilliant. This kind of technology can change lives in Africa.”
Vetiver oil is much sought after in perfumery where it is employed as a fixative and present in numerous proprietary perfume brands. Used in aromatherapy as a stress reliever when inhaled, it can also be applied topically to help combat skin conditions such as acne its antibacterial and anti- inflammatory properties are well documented.
It is hoped over the coming years that the essential oil factory will bring a level of prosperity to this particular part of Malawi, a poor country which faces many challenges such as a weak economy, an intermittent electrical supply and inadequate roads, to name just three. There were a number of factors to overcome if these stills were to run on solar power. Not just careful calculation of the vast number of solar panels and batteries that would be required to run the factory for the requisite number of hours per day but also a way of keeping the solar panels clean to protect them from the biblical swarms of small flies that regularly emanate from nearby Lake Malawi, coating all surfaces.
Unlike say lavender, vetiver does not give up its oil willingly. In previous small-scale projects typically with a co-operative, steam distillations would take around 11 hours. To reduce this distillation time within a working factory environment and with a view to increasing yields, it was decided to chop the long and fibrous roots very finely and once the charge was loaded into the vessel to stir the contents at a steady speed. The motor speed was adjusted to increase the agitation to optimum without allowing the roots to clog and slow the stirrer paddle. Trials with laboratory test kit performed prior to full distillations replicated the process allowing us to better determine the methods to be used and the potential yield that could be expected from a representative sample.
There is much work to be done in the coming months and it will be exciting to see the results and to consider adding other plants and herbs to the mix as it progresses.
About Essential Stills
Essential Stills has been manufacturing essential oil equipment since 1995. They now manufacture fully in-house at their factory in the Garden of England, Kent, where their own welding team are on hand to work with you. Founder Bruce Dolby is a highly experienced fragrance and pure research chemist and a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. After many years working in laboratories and patenting bespoke fragrances, he took his formulation knowledge with him to begin his own manufacturing operations.Essential Stills has now proudly supplied customers beyond Britain, including customized stills for European and African businesses. We specialise in tackling more challenging distillations, such as frankincense and myrrh, and ensure our decades of expertise are available to support emerging ventures.
Luke Dolby, Essential Stills, +44 7788 718314, [email protected]
Alex Bartosch, CRAFT INBOUND, +2017937379, [email protected]
SOURCE Essential Stills
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