closed loop extractor for cbd oil

Closed loop extractor for cbd oil

When extracting CBD oil using solvent-based extraction methods, safety is paramount. Along with making sure the product itself is safe and contaminant-free, employee safety is an important consideration when one considers the flammable nature of extraction solvents.

Fortunately, as CBD manufacturers have developed new ways to extract their oils more effectively, they’ve developed more ways to do it safely. That is where closed-loop extractors come into play.

What Is a Closed-Loop Extractor?

When one uses the terms “closed-loop” or “open-looped” in extraction, they are referring to whether the solvent and mixtures are being exposed to the open air. Open-looped extractors expose materials to the open air. Closed-loop extractors are completely contained. This offers several benefits for extractors:

  • Contains flammable fumes
  • Allows for higher pressure
  • Higher return of solvent
  • Greater temperature control

Since these benefits lead to cleaner, purer extracts, it’s to a company’s advantage to understand the basics of using a closed-loop extractor.

Using a Closed-Loop Extractor

Step 1: The Solvent

All closed-loop extractions begin with the solvent the operators are using to extract the oil. This can be butane or propane; however, most companies agree that food-grade ethanol is the safest option for extraction. The solvent is chilled in large tanks, then sent through closed tubing into the compartment where the plant matter is being stored.

Step 2: The Centrifuge

This compartment is referred to as the centrifuge or, occasionally, the material column. As the solvent enters the centrifuge, it helps dissolve the plant matter in order to extract the oils from it. Some centrifuges will also spin to help maximize ethanol recovery afterward.

Step 3: Collection and Filtration

From here, the solvent and oils must be pumped into a separate container, again using completely insulated tubing. This leaves you with hemp crude oil that can be used on its own for topicals. However, for those wanting to create tinctures that users can take by mouth, they will need to be pumped directly into a filtration system to filter out remaining plant matter like chlorophyll.

Closed-loop extraction is the preferred method of plant extraction among CBD professionals, and for good reason. It’s safe, efficient, and produces superior oils for users to enjoy. Here at Cedarstone Industry, we have top-quality stainless steel processing equipment to help support the best companies in the industry.

Closed-Loop Extraction

Closed-loop extraction is a form of hydrocarbon extraction wherein the hydrocarbon solvent utilized is kept within a sealed and pressurized system. This “closed” system allows for the recovery and eventual re-use of the solvent in an endless loop of extraction, purging, and recovery. This allows for much lower production costs and safer working conditions.

Both the initial extraction and the purge of remaining solvent from the extract take place within the closed loop system. All of the hydrocarbon solvent utilized can be therefore recovered. As well, the complexity of the closed-loop system itself allows for exact control of temperature and pressure for the creation of butane hash oil (BHO) and live resin.

The closed-loop extraction process is not new and has been used for decades to extract essential oils for things like perfume and food additives. It has only been in recent years that it has become popular in the cannabis industry.

Maximum Yield Explains Closed-Loop Extraction

Closed-loop hydrocarbon extraction utilizes a hydrocarbon solvent such as butane, propane, or hexane to wash the trichomes away from the plant surface, leaving only inert plant material behind. The solvent is then evaporated away from the resulting solution, known as “purging”, leaving only the targeted, psychoactive components of the cannabis. All of this is done under pressure in a sealed system which allows for complete recovery of the solvent.

This resulting extract is called Butane Hash Oil (or BHO) and it is used to create a wide variety of products such as shatter, oil, wax, budder, distillate, and sauces such as terpene sauce, high-cannabinoid full-spectrum extract (HCFSE) and high-terpene full-spectrum extract (HTFSE). Closed loop systems are highly suited to the exacting temperature needs of more exotic new extracts like live resin, which involves flash-frozen-fresh plant material as opposed to the more traditional extraction process utilizing dried-and-cured plant material.

A closed-loop extraction system is comprised of a solvent tank, an attached tube for controlled and contained blasting of the plant material, a recovery tank, a refrigerant pump, a recovery pump, a refrigerant scale that measures the weight of the recovery tank, and a vacuum oven for purging the extract solution.