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first-time STB, small yield

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appelseen

Rising Star
My uncle (who lives in a tree) decided to try his hand in extracting mimosa..

Since he had prepowdered bark, he used "revised noman's tek" i.e. higher amount of water and lye.
He used: 50 g MHRB, 1400ml water, about 75g of lye.

He decided to use 2 evaporation trays, 2 small amounts of naphta that were reused two times.
So there were 4 pulls with ~50 ml of naphta (ronsonol) each, followed by freeze precip, 24 hours in -25C.

The first pull was evaporated down a little, freeze precipated, and gave ~110mg of elfdust. Bliss!

However the next pull with new naphta was not evapped and yielded almost nothing, so naphta from pulls #3 and #4 was evaporated with hairdryer to a minuscule puddle that hardly covered the bottom of the dish.

But the yields were just as disappointingly tiny, even though in last pull, my uncle warmed naphta in waterbath (boiling water).
At last he evaporated all the naphta he had, but got only a thin oily layer at the bottom.

Well my uncle is happy with the small amount he has, but suspects that there might be some more left in that jug of bark-lye-mixture. So before he uses it as a drain opener, he might be trying one last pull with xylene (though he's scared of fumes)

He would be interested in knowing whether his naphta to lye/bark-mixture - ratio was just wrong. Should he use more solvent?

Was the hairdryer a bad idea? Can the hot air burn away the magic?
 
maybe do another couple of pulls, but instead of heating the naphtha to water-boiling temperature (100 degrees would vaporize dmt), ou heat up the whole container with hot but not boiling water. This is also more efficient as it aids in the separation, and warms up evenly, instead of the naphtha quickly loosing the heat to the rest. also pre-evaporate a lot, as you did, to a tiny amount.

yes xylene is an option to get rid of possible actives that remained, but it smells very toxic. SWIM would first try another couple of propper naphtha pulls, leaving a while each time, doing the mixing/separating cycle a few times over, with patience. Then if nothing comes out its also possible the mimosa was not so good to begin with.. a 0,2% yield is not so good but not the end of the world either I guess... dont give up, maybe try another supplier next time.
 
Thanks endlessness.. that's pretty much what uncle did with the jugs, turned and tipped them and immersed in warm tap water. Separating the layers was never an issue - it took about twenty seconds to happen even after furious shaking. I think this was because of the high amount of water and lye.

You don't think there was too little solvent? 1,4 liters of solution and 50ml of naphta?
 
VisualDistortion - thanks a lot for that tip. It certainly has the feel of accurate diagnosis. My uncle has begun adding the lye - we'll see if the yield can be improved.
 
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