The extraction equipment is used in the process of selectively separating a component from a mixture like plant materials. With the rapid development of science and technology, the extraction equipment plays an important role in many fields, such as chemical, pharmaceutical and bio-pharmaceutical field, which is usually considered as a tool and carrier to turn materials into valuable products. There are several types of extraction equipment, including the mixer-settler extractors, extraction columns and centrifugal extraction equipment. The must commonly used types are centrifuges and closed loop extractors. The former utilizes the centrifugal force for separation, while the latter transfers a solute substance from one solvent to another by utilizing the difference in solubility or partition coefficient of the substance in two mutually incompatible (or slightly soluble) solvents. There are several common solvents used in the extraction process, including the ethanol, CO2 and butane, which all have pros and cons. Ethanol is cheap and can be separated through evaporation as one of the most common solvents used in the extraction process, especially for cannabis extraction. But ethanol is highly flammable and even a tiny change in temperature can vary properties of products. CO2 can be used as the extraction solvent as well. Maybe it isn’t cheap, but it can be applied when high heat and pressure turn gas supercritical and has a high efficiency. Besides, butane can serve as the extraction solvent as well, which is effective but may contaminate products. The proper solvents can be chosen according to the specific condition.
The cannabidiol (CBD) comes from hemp or cannabis, which contains 0.3% or less of THC. More and more researches have shown that CBD can be used in the pharmaceutical field due to it is capable of reducing anxiety and pressure, relieving pain as well as treating cancer. There are also many other potential medicinal properties and health benefits of CBD. CBD extraction equipment is used to extract CBD from cannabis plant, which can be classified into several types based on the different solvent used in the extraction process, mainly including the ethanol extraction equipment, CO2 extraction equipment and butane extraction equipment. They all have advantages and disadvantages. The ethanol extraction equipment uses ethanol as the solvent to extract CBD. The ethanol is relatively cheap and easy to get, but it’s dangerous because of its high flammability. The CO2 extraction equipment adopts CO2 as the extraction solvent, which is one of the best methods to extract CBD. It can produce a relatively pure and safe CBD, which is effective. But the equipment is expensive and the extraction process requires a much advanced laboratories. The butane extraction equipment use butane as the extraction solvent, which is effective but may contaminate CBD.
The cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two natural compounds coming from cannabis plant. CBD can be extracted from hemp or cannabis. The hemp refers to strains of the cannabis plant that contains 0.3% or less of THC. THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. CBD and THC are molecularly similar, and they can only be identified through the hydrogenation of one double bonds. It can be said that the extraction processes of the two are likewise. Therefore, some people may wonder if CBD can be extracted with same equipment as THC, which will be discussed below.
Research shows that CBD extraction and THC extraction can’t utilize the identical equipment. Specifically speaking, THC extraction requires a hydrocarbon-based process that utilizes both a closed-loop system and residual solvent removal, such as a vacuum drying oven. But CBD extraction needs ethanol-based extraction equipment, such as a centrifuge. For the solvent recovery, some supporting equipment is required as well, such as a falling film evaporator or a rotary evaporator. CBD extraction also need the distillation equipment, such as a short-path distillation kit. To be concluded, CBD shouldn’t be extracted simply with same equipment as THC. The proper equipment are supposed to be selected in terms of the specific material under the specific condition.
Ethanol Extraction Equipment
The ethanol extraction equipment uses ethanol as a extraction solvent. During the extraction process, the plant material is completely soaked in the ethanol. Keep the mixture at a extremely low temperature freezer for 24 hours and then the ethanol will separate the soluble components. Remove all solid materials through filtration and separate the extract from the ethanol through evaporation. The ethanol extraction possesses both pros and cons. The advantages can be concluded that ethanol is relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain, while the disadvantages are that the ethanol is highly flammable and a tiny change in temperature will completely alter the product. The ethanol extraction equipment is one of the most commonly used method for CBD extraction.
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Low cost but high recovery rate of ethanol
CO2 Extraction Equipment
The CO2 Extraction Equipment uses CO2 as a extraction solvent. Generally, the CO2 extraction can be classified into three types, including the supercritical, subcritical and mid-critical extraction. And, the supercritical is the most commonly used one among them. During the extraction process, the pressurized CO2 is used to extract CBD from the cannabis or hemp plant. There are both advantages and disadvantages of this method. On the one hand, CO2 extraction is not only safe and effective, but also can obtain a pure CBD without chlorophyll. On the other hand, it’s relatively expensive and requires an advanced laboratory. But its advantages outweigh its disadvantages. It can be said that the CO2 extraction equipment is considered as the safest and cleanest method for extracting CBD or other cannabis compounds.
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Closed Loop Extractor
The closed loop extractors are known as well-received cannabis extraction equipment widely used in chemical, metallurgical, food and other industries. A closed-loop extractor kit mainly consists of three parts: a solvent tank, a material column and a receiving foundation. Some upgraded versions add a dewaxing column as the fourth part, or equip the material column with a dewaxing structure directly. There are several types of closed loop extractors. In terms of ways of solvent injection, closed loop extractors can be classified into the top filled closed loop extractors and the bi-directional closed loop extractors. In terms of ways of solvent movement, closed loop extractors can be classified into the passive closed loop extractors and the active closed loop extractors. The working process of a closed loop extractor can be described as follows. The materials are put into the material column to get soaked by ethanol or other solvents. In this process, substances get extracted. Then the mixture will be transferred into next column and get separated. The solvents will be transferred into next column and the extract will be saved in the bottom container for users to get. In a closed loop extractor, the solvents can be recycled and used for several times, which is very economical for users and very environmentally friendly for people.
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Essential Oil Extraction and Separation Equipment
What is the best method to extract essential oils from a plant?
There are a great variety of methods to extract essential oils from plant materials, such as expression, steam distillation, solvent extraction, carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction and other methods. Among them, the expression is used to extract essences from the citrus family. The solvent extraction is mainly used for delicate flower oils or plant materials with low amounts of essential oils. But what extracted by a solvent should be called as an absolute rather than an essential oil. The CO2 extraction refers to the extraction of aromatic by carbon dioxide, which is a relatively new extraction method. The CO2 is inert so that it won’t chemically react with the extracts. This method can obtain a pure and high quality essential oil. The steam distillation keeps botanical material be held above water, which is regarded as the most well received method to extract essential oils.