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  • Citronella oil is one of the essential oils obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of Cymbopogon.
  • Citronella oil is a volatile oil obtained from the leaves and stem of the plant Cymbopogon winteratus or Cymbopogon nardus. The oil contains approximately 30% citronellal and 40% geraniol. 
  • It contains citronellal, geraniol and hydroxy citronellol and other high value perfumery bases obtained on steam distillation of citronella grass.
  • It has a rose like odour and bitter taste

Manufacturing Process

  • The process of distillation consists of the release of oil in the form of vapour from the leaves in contact with steam and considering the mixture of oil vapour and steam to oil and water.
  • The distillation unit consists of two parts- a mild steel still in which the grass is placed and exposed to steam to steam and a condenser which condenses the vapour/ steam mixture to water and oil.
  • Distillation process is commonly used for extracting essential oils, which are steam volatile, stable to action of heat and insoluble in water.
  • Machineries needed include Distillation plant with steam generator, Steam generator, Lid lifting gear, Furnace and accessories, Separator, Centrifugal pump, Chimney, Water storage tank


  • The oil is used extensively as a source of perfumery chemicals such as citronellal, citronellol and geraniol.
  • These chemicals find extensive use in soap, perfumery, cosmetic and flavouring industries throughout the world.
  • The oil is used for perfuming soaps, detergents, cosmetics, agarbattis and for making mosquito repellent creams.


  • The main producers are China and Indonesia - producing 40% of the world's supply. The oil is also produced in Taiwan, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Sri Lanka, India, Argentina, Ecuador, Jamaica, Madagascar, Mexico, and South Africa.
  • The leading exporters in particular order are China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Argentina and Brazil.

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