Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Masters of Science (Research)


Biological and Pharmaceutical Science

First Advisor

Dr James Walsh


Extraction procedures such as steam distillation, solvent and soxhlet extraction have been investigated to determine the most effective method of extracting essential oil from the foliage of a number of species of Eucalyptus cultivated in Co. Kerry. Steam distillation has been found to be the most effective method of extraction. The steam distillation extraction method has been thoroughly studied in order to determine the factors affecting yield and composition of the distillate. Alteration of the distillation time has been found to produce oil high in 1,8-cineole content, a requirement of medicinal quality oil. The choice of individual distillation still used has been found to have a slight affect on oil yield but not on the 1,8-cineole content of the distillate. Characterisation of the terpenoid oil components has been carried out by gas chromatography and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry after development of a suitable analytical method. Qualitative and quantitative analyses show a close correlation of results for locally grown species with those investigated by other workers. The oil extracts have been found to be high in monoterpenoids e.g. 1,8- cineole, a-pinene and limonene. Sesquiterpenoids such as aromadendrene have also been found in the steam distilled leaf oil. Oil was extracted from selected trees of E. glaucescens over a twelve-month period and factors affecting oil yield and composition determined. Variation in yield and quality of oil extracted has been found to be affected by individual tree sampled but not by the time of sampling or to any great extent by meteorological data. Essential oils of locally grown foliage have been compared to commercial oils and locally cultivated E. pulvenilenta oil has been found to compare favourably with a product on the market. Other analytical techniques have been utilised in order to complete a full investigation of other physicochemical parameters of Eucalyptus leaf oil.

Access Level


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Biology Commons