Advice for new small batch closed loop hydrocarbon extractor

BranchEchols

New Member
Calling all extraction Jedi!!!

This is my first post, so forgive my ignorance. My experience has been primarily in cultivation and the only extracting I’ve done is through glass tubes and purged in a vacuum oven.

I am building my first small batch closed loop hydrocarbon extraction system and I am much in need of advice, guidance, and/or mentorship. My intent is to produce derivative/concentrate/extract that is as close to the mythical full spectrum extract (HCFSE & HTFSE) as possible. Extractioneering has and is setting the bar, INMHO.

I am considering using either a butane/propane blend or butane/iso/propane tri-blend as the solvent and experimenting with different ways to saturate the flower with CO2 prior to extraction in order to improve the terpene, cannabinoid, and anything else that contributes to the entourage effect, extraction.

I’ve got a cart full at Best Value Vacs ready to check out and my build currently looks something like this:

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That doesn’t include anything to saturate the flower with CO2 prior to extraction. I’m hoping for some insight and direction from the forum’s extraction Jedi. My plan is to install ball valves on both sides of the 1.5" dewaxing column and a 1/4 ball valve on the outside for CO2 saturation. I am curious on the Jedi thoughts on whether I should saturate under low pressure, high pressure, or maybe try something using liquid.

My current plan, and forgive my ignorance if something doesn’t make any sense, is the following in order from top to bottom:

6" splatter, 6" spool, 6" end cap, 1.5" short sight glass, 1st bottom weld tri-clamp filter plate with 1 micron SS sintered screen, 2nd filter plate with 5 micron SS sintered screen, ball clamp, dewaxer column, ball clamp, end cap w/ 1.4" FNPT, 1/4" ball valve to SS hose to 6" tri-clamp welded bottom base. I’m going to use two of the 1.5" openings on the end cap for sight glass.

Prior to extraction, I plan to pull from a 20lb canister and distill it into the 6" solvent base. I don’t currently have an inline desicant setup for drying, how concerning is that? Again, I’m a novice, so please bear with me.

All thoughts, comments, and ideas are welcome. My need for as close to full spectrum as possible is medical, specifically in regards to individuals that experience deleterious side effects from the combustion of flower, but also experience quality of life-changing relief from the entourage effect.

Any extraction Jedi that are interested in mentoring me, please, please send me a message and pay it forward. I will do the same in the future as well…There is a ton of information on the web these days, much of it junk I know, so help a currently ignorant brother out

:wink:


Thanks in advance.
 

Icemud

Member of the Month: July 2012, July 2014 - Nug of the Month: July 2012
I don't have a background in performing the actual extractions, but I do have experience managing compliance for legal extraction outfits.

The biggest thing I can recommend is focus on safety! professional extractions are done in "intrinsically safe" rooms designed for flammable gas to be present, therefore there are many systems in place to prevent an explosion. Since butane is odorless and colorless, it can be extremely dangerous if you are not in a properly designed area. Generally the rooms are designed with UL certified Class 1 Division 1 electronics only, all electrical wiring is enclosed and separated from the extraction room, gas monitors hooked to giant fans usually monitor the gas levels in the room and if the gas exceeds the LEL (lower explosive limit) alarms go off, huge fans come on to extract the gas, and electricity shuts off in the room.

Obviously PPE is very important. Safety glasses are key in case of a gas rupture as the tempertures of the gas could cause damage to eyes and skin. Its best to make sure the extraction area is not dry and causing static buildup. Its best to make sure you are grounded when working with live gas. Making sure not to wear foot powders, shoes or socks that can build up a static charge is key.

I've seen many many mistakes doing extractions without the right environments, and Ive even seen the leftover extracted biomass with frozen butane in it combust outdoors, so I would say safety safety safety should be #1. Offgassing your biomass after extraction and even offgassing the fresh crude oil can be dangerous if not done in properly ventilated areas.

Other than that, to preserve the most terpenes, its best to flash freeze the cannabis biomass immediately after harvest (to prevent loss of terpenes) and the colder you can perform the extraction at the better the results. So if you can insulate your extraction sleeve, or use coolers like Julabo or similar to lower your extraction temps the better. Cryo freezers are very good for flash freezing and pre extraction storage but they are expensive.

Anyhow, like I said I'm not an extraction tech, so the science and techniques I am not too up on, but the safety aspect is the most important thing to consider. Never do it indoors unless you are in a specially designed room. Butane extraction/propane can deliver some extremely good full spectrum extracts and can be very safe IF DONE CORRECTLY, but can also be extremely hazardous and could even cause death if corners are cut.
 
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