Publication Date

Fall 2022

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Science


Analytical Chemistry

First Advisor

John R. Sowa

Second Advisor

K. G. Sanjaya Ranmohotti

Third Advisor

Dr. Derick D. Jones, Jr.


The Polyol Induced Extraction (PIE) method is to be used to extract and quantify carvone from the leaves of a spearmint plant. The PIE method uses polyol for the extraction. Polyol is a separating agent used to separate organic solvents from water. Glycerol is used in the PIE method because it binds very tightly to water which allows the organic solvent (acetonitrile in this case) to separate out and form an upper organic phase. This method is a patented extraction technique. It is used for the purpose of separating natural organic compounds from plants such as walnut, Kentucky coffee beans, or, in this case, spearmint. Experiments from other members of the research group have involved extracting and quantifying menthol (1, Figure 1) from spearmint plants (Mentha spicata) using the PIE method. After completing a calibration curve with caffeine (2, Figure 1) to test the PIE method, this research will involve the extraction and quantification of carvone (3, Figure 1) from spearmint. Carvone is considered an essential oil and is the most abundant essential oil found in the spearmint leaves. Due to this abundance, it is predicted that carvone in the spearmint leaves would be found in quantities between 0.82 and 1.34 percent. The research initially involves extracting the carvone from both dry and fresh leaves and running different extraction conditions to determine the best research route. The partition coefficient of carvone using the PIE method is determined using pure carvone and used to determine the effectiveness of the PIE method with carvone. This partition coefficient was found to be 120. By the end of the research, a quantification of carvone in the spearmint is determined. Once the carvone has been extracted, the data revealed a percent yield of 0.0244% in the fresh leaves and the partition coefficient from the fresh leaves could not be determined.