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Lavender Harvest - Oil Distillation | Valensole - Provence - France large and small scale

Lavender Harvest - Oil Distillation | Valensole - Provence - France large and small scale
The Plateau de Valensole is one of the most famous nature reserves of France and is located in the department Alpes-de-Haute-Provence the area is famous about it's lavender fields. Early in July, during my holiday, I spotted various harvest operations and got invited by some friendly farmers to film the distillation proces also. The Lavender flowers and stems are cut and brought to the distillery in purpose built trailers. In the distillery a lid is lowered onto the trailer and the trailer sealed. Water is heated and made into steam is fed into the trailer through pipes in the floor. The lavender stems, although containing little oil, create a porous structure within the trailer to allow the steam to circulate. This heats the whole trailer load of around five tonnes of material up to 100 degreesC. At this temperature the steam causes the oil glands to erupt, and the oil evaporates into the steam. This steam with the oil now entrained within it, rises through the trailer
The Plateau de Valensole is one of the most famous nature reserves of France and is located in the department Alpes-de-Haute-Provence the area is famous about it's lavender fields. Early in July, during my holiday, I spotted various harvest operations and got invited by some friendly farmers to film the distillation proces also. The Lavender flowers and stems are cut and brought to the distillery in purpose built trailers. In the distillery a lid is lowered onto the trailer and the trailer sealed. Water is heated and made into steam is fed into the trailer through pipes in the floor. The lavender stems, although containing little oil, create a porous structure within the trailer to allow the steam to circulate. This heats the whole trailer load of around five tonnes of material up to 100 degreesC. At this temperature the steam causes the oil glands to erupt, and the oil evaporates into the steam. This steam with the oil now entrained within it, rises through the trailer
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