Extracting nicotine from tobacco

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by MNZ, Jun 27, 2008.

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  1. MNZ

    MNZ NZ Supplier ECF Veteran

    For all his working live my father worked in the tobacco industry, he is an industrial chemist. I'm going to talk with him in depth about e-smoking and about methods of making my own juice.
    I like the ideas other are using now, that is to extract nicotine from ready to smoke product, but I also want to see if it is a viable option to extract nicotine from home grown tobacco plants. If what we are trying obtain is just nicotine, that might very well be an alternative. Flavouring could be simply added by using food flavours, bickfords for example or similar.

    I'll update as I get more information and keep you all informed of any trials I make.

    What I'm hoping will come of this is a relatively straight forward method we can easily make use of

    If what I suspect will happen here in New Zealand does come to pass, that is the anti everythings get their way, it might mean I can no longer import any e-smoking related products at all and will need to become completely independant.

    Maybe the electro techs, engineers etc out there might like to begin thinking about ways of making a home made e-smoker. Realistically they are a fairly simple device, it's a heater coil onto which the juice is deposited and turned into vapour. Without actual knowledge I'd suspect the heater coil is nichrome wire, which isn't hard to get and isn't overly expensive to buy. The complex bits of current e-smokers are the electronics that control the current flow to the coil, but a simple press to use switch could easily replace that as we have already seen being used in the manual versions of the kiss box. The thing is going to be making something that is self contained and readily portable, I very much doubt it's going to end up looking like a cigarette or cigar, but time will tell.
  2. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Excellent. Do keep us posted because our country might not be far behind yours in banning these -- particularly the liquids and cartridges. Independence would be essential.

    Many pipe smokers in America see tobacco becoming unavailable in the not-too-distant future. Many are buying and hoarding huge quantities (probably as good a futures bet as crude oil!). Some are learning to grow their own (this is not very realistic for most).

    And, as for extracting nicotine, a problem will be measuring the strength of the extracted substance. Perhaps your dad knows how that can be done without a Dow Chemical-size laboratory.
  3. dnakr

    dnakr Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    This would be wonderful if we could get an easy recipe to follow.

    I agree with TB:

    Hopefully before this happens we have a way of doing this.
  4. Gunny

    Gunny Senior Member ECF Veteran

    MNZ, What did you find out?
  5. toekuttr

    toekuttr Full Member

    I just noticed this thread. An easy to follow recipe sounds great, some of the methods I've read about are intimidating to say the least. According to some material I've read, solvents might be required to leach out an adequate quantity for effective concentrates. Theres also a variety of tobacco named Rustica or "Indian Tobacco" which is I understand is mostly used for the express purpose of nic extraction (mainly insecticides and Pharmaceuticals) that might be effective for e-concentrates as well. I imagine that would need to be home-grown, at least I can't find any leaf for sale. Definitely some interested parties here MNZ. ;)
  6. MNZ

    MNZ NZ Supplier ECF Veteran

    I haven't been able to talk to him about this yet, but next weekend (26th July) I'll seeing him for his birthday party ... He lives in a different part of NZ to me, that's when I'll be able to talk to him about this in detail.
  7. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    As I popped a portion snus in my mouth this morning, it dawned on me that we home brewers are filtering the tobacco at the wrong stage.

    Duh. Think of it this way:

    What if you put ground-up tea in a pot, covered it with water and cooked out the tea flavor, then strained your stuff through a coffee filter? You'd have the mess we have after cooking tobacco. So an answer, maybe, might be to put tobacco in reusable tea bags (widely sold) and use those just as we would to brew tea. Cover with water and simmer out the goodness!

    I intend to try this next batch.

    Also found out how rose water is made. This could be done to create tobacco water. Just substitute tobacco for rose and see what we get:

    1. In the center of a large pot (the speckled blue canning pots are ideal) with an inverted lid (a rounded lid), place a fireplace brick. On top of the brick place the bowl. Put the roses in the pot; add enough flowers to reach the top of the brick. Pour in just enough water to cover the roses. The water should be just above the top of the brick.

    2. Place the lid upside down on the pot. Turn on the stove and bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower heat to a slow steady simmer. As soon as the water begins to boil, toss two or three trays of ice cubes (or a bag of ice) on top of the lid.

    3. You’ve now created a home still! As the water boils the steam rises, hits the top of the cold lid, and condenses. As it condenses it flows to the center of the lid and drops into the bowl. Every 20 minutes, quickly lift the lid and take out a tablespoon or two of the rose water. It’s time to stop when you have between a pint and a quart of water that smells and tastes strongly like roses.

    Course, this has to be scaled way down for tobacco distillation. Three-inch diameter mini-pot, etc. We want drops, not quarts, of liquid. May try this distillation process if the tea bag idea goes bad.

    My goal is particulate-free tobacco essence fluid.
  8. Nazareth

    Nazareth Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    MNZ- I'll test your prototype atomizers if they will fit a SmartFixx penstyle (it's basically hte same as an NJoy)- gotta make it just like ya said- manual- just drop the 'auto-sensor' completely out of it - go for a design very similar to the loongtotem- that seems to be hte ticket so far

    anyone have al ink to that diagram someone drew up of an atomizer? I can't find hte drawing-
  9. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Wrong thread. We do have an atomizer thread somewhere, though. Lord, we need separate thread for these multiple interests, don't we?
  10. MacFan

    MacFan Senior Member ECF Veteran

    I've heard you refer to snus before...I'm curious, can you tell me what they are?
  11. toekuttr

    toekuttr Full Member

    Great idea TB, and I was thinking along these lines as well. I then read that nicotines boiling point is around 470 F! I started reading about it a while ago when looking at a bottle of Perique liquor, and wondered how they got the nicotine out. It turns out no nicotine makes it through the distillation process at all. Good news is that the Perique liquor is non-habit forming (other than the liquor part). ;)

    Sounds like a good way to get the tobacco juice out relatively mess free though, with the tea bags.
  12. MacFan

    MacFan Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Hi toekuttr,
    There are actually several ways to distill certain kinds of tobacco in which the nicotine not only survives but in some instances can increase :)
  13. toekuttr

    toekuttr Full Member

    Cool MacFan, care to share? I wouldnt so much be worried about the nicotine surviving at all though, just getting into the distillate and not staying in the "mash". I know even solids can be distilled, but in a home environment is the question. Any particular reason why only some types can be distilled, other than the need for a high nic baccy to begin with?
  14. MacFan

    MacFan Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Well, the cool thing is that you don't necessarily need hi-nic to get the kick...depending on how you distill, you can manipulate the nic levels fairy accurately. Anyway, not trying to be evasive (well, I guess actually I am) but I use two of the methods for my e-liquids, so...;)
  15. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    If I don't post tomorrow, I accidentally killed myself.

    I used distillation this afternoon and the little pot of distilled fluid is clear, not the dark brown/black cooked tobacco stuff I began with. Is it virtually no nicotine, or possibly a dangerous level of concentrated nicotine? I'm going to start very easy with using it, maybe a drop in a vial of Bickford/glycerine.
  16. bishybob

    bishybob Senior Member ECF Veteran

    This is probably going to sound crappy... I'm against any animal testing whatsoever.
    But you could put a drop on an ant and see what happens.
    Put him in a jar afterwards and see if he dies. :cry:

    There's also test strips out there that give you a positive/negative for nicotine content.
  17. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    You know, that's good info -- and I was considering catching a spider (plentiful in Florida this time of year) and putting a drop on him.

    But the whole experiment went down the drain. I was distilling away and wasn't checking the result frequently enough. The tobacco liquid turned to pure tar (oh my!) as water evaporated and the distillate hardened to a clear gum. 8-o That's not going near an atomizer!

    No more distillation.

    I want to try brewing with tea bags next. And then I'm done with the whole thing and will buy from Macfan!
  18. toekuttr

    toekuttr Full Member

    I admire your courage TB, but I think you'll be OK. I'm willing to bet you have a cup of distilled water there. Of course, I'm not the one smoking it either ;) Seriously, I don't think you can actually distill nicotine using water or PG, they'll evaporate well before the nics even close to it. But just in case, good luck!
  19. TropicalBob

    TropicalBob Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    I think you're right. If it were easy to get nicotine, the whole world would know how to do it. Instead, distillation needs to be done with chemicals in a lab setup. Not for me.

    BUT .. the gummy stuff I did distill smells great! Just like pipe tobacco. It kept the aroma and probably the taste. But ... it's gum and I can't smoke that.
  20. toekuttr

    toekuttr Full Member

    I bet thats where all the nicotine is too. I agree with the lab scenario, it looks like using toluene and phenylmethane are best left to the chemists, as far as I'm concerned anyways.
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