Aligarh : Extraction of the volatile essential-oils is an important and cumbersome aspect in the aromatic industry. To overcome this issue, Prof M Masroor Akhtar Khan (Department of Botany, AMU) has devised a fascinating oil-recovery system that he named ‘Fast Oil-Recovery Technique (FORT)’ as the system is 3-4 times faster and more efficient than the prevalent techniques. Prof. Khan has started the process of filing a patent on this technique to the Intellectual Property Office, New Delhi. One patent has already been credited to him on increasing the essential oil production using silicon nano-particles.
This technique is designed for essential oil extraction from aromatic plants like mint, peppermint, eucalyptus, rose, lavender, lemongrass, basil, chamomile, vetiver, etc.
In this technique, an induction cooker system and a special cooling device has been employed. The technique is useful in three ways ; one it takes about 45 minutes to extract the essential oil of one kg plant biomass, while in traditional techniques, it takes 3 hours , second advantage is that the electricity consumption is reduced by 80% and third the working place is least warmed, indicating towards great eco-friendliness of the method. In this regard, Prof. Khan made unstinted efforts for weeks, applying several hit and trial methods. Ultimately, after testing the feasibility of the device, he achieved the goal. In this process, about 1 kg ice per run of the oil recovery is used, which too is not expensive. Prof Masroor informed that for the project ideas of his two colleagues Dr Muhammad Naeem and Dr Tariq Aftab were also incorporated.
Prof Masroor Khan obtained his PhD from the Botany Department of AMU and Post-doctorate from Ohio State University, USA. He has about forty years of research and teaching experience with 200 research papers of national and international repute to his credit with dozens of books on medicinal and aromatic plants.