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extracting chemicals from plants

K. Wilkinson quill at phloem.win-uk.net
Tue Feb 14 17:25:18 EST 1995

Can anyone help me, please?

I am teaching A-level Chemistry and am teaching some Biologists who
for their projects have chosen to look at extracting chemicals for
medicinal use (eg: asprin from willow/salix). I have no experience
of this field being a chemical engineer! Does anyone have any
experience of this area who could give me any advice or

One of the problems I have found with extracting salicilic acid
from willow bark is the very small quantities extracted (I haven't
yet been able to detect it with Fe(III) ions). Does the presence
of the acid vary with season and with species of willow.

Ideally I would like a quantity of crystals of extract that I could
recrystallize from a suitable solvent, and end up with a pure
substance with a melting point that could be cross-referenced with

Any advice or suggestion would be much appreciated from anyone!

Keith Wilkinson

Keith Wilkinson
11 Woodlands Road
Internet: Quill at phloem.win-net.uk

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