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The separation and analysis of essential oils from wax flowers

Pardede, Joseph Jupiter (1994) The separation and analysis of essential oils from wax flowers. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

The botanical genus Chamelaucium, commoiily called Geraldton wax, contains a number of species which are highly valued in the cut-flower industry. The coloured flowers and green foliage together with the fragrant odour of cuttings from Chamelaucium shrubs have contributed to the significant growth in demand (both local and export) for attractive flower arrangements. Despite the economic interest in the Chamelaucia there has been little scientific research focused on the members of this genus which is native to a small area within the state of Western Australia. Information about the taxonomy of the entire genus has not been systematically described and there exists no information about the chemical compounds that are produced by members of this genus. This work describes a systematic study of this genus undertaken at Murdoch University.

The focus of this research were the monoterpenoid compounds that are produced by members of the Chamelaucium genus. This aspect was selected because of the availability of vapour phase chromatographic equipment within the department and the prospective importance of the volatile oils that can be obtained from the genus. The establishment of organised plantations of Chamelaucia now provide access to many kilograms of oils from the prunings and off-cuts that are currently burnt or composted.

This study systematically examined the essential oils produced by this genus. Methods for the separation of these oils from the plant material were examined and evaluated. The profiles of monoterpenoid compounds produced by Chamelaucium uncinatum during an annual cycle were observed. The profile of monoterpenoid compounds from all the available members of the genus was examined and subjected to multivariate analysis. The results from this multivariate data analysis were then compared to the taxonomy of this genus as it is currently understood. The methods used in the study for comparing and identifying monoterpenoid components in essential oils were examined and analysed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: repository@murdoch.edu.au. Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Ralph, David
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/51881
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