CBD extraction is a complex, multi-stage process that requires precision with each step. This means that every step must utilize high-quality machinery designed to perform its task well. But, selecting machinery for extraction requires an understanding of the machinery itself. This is a guide to extraction equipment and machines.
Ethanol Cooling Tanks
Before CBD can even be placed in cannabis extraction equipment, the ethanol must be cooled to extremely low temperatures. This is done in a pair of insulated cooling tanks. The tanks chill the ethanol using a pair of coil pipes, which bring the ethanol to approximately -50°C.
Once the ethanol has cooled, the biomass can enter the system. After the hemp has gone through a decarboxylation system that converts the naturally occurring cannabidiolic acids into CBD, it can be placed into the centrifuge. This centrifuge consists of a large cylindrical chamber where the biomass is placed. When the machine is turned on, the now chilled ethanol enters the chamber, and the contents go through a spin cycle.
From here, the solution travels through four different tanks, each with its own separate filtration system. This four-step filtration separates the oil from the biomass. The first stage uses a coarser “bag filter” that catches larger pieces of biomass, including plant wax and lipids. The second and third stages both involve a cellulose filter, though the second utilizes diatomite while the third uses active carbon. The final stage uses a cartridge filter.
Falling Film Evaporator
At this point, the solution is ready to be separated from the ethanol. This is done through a falling film evaporator. This machine works by pouring the solution into heated tubes that flow downward, partly evaporating the solution as it goes. This separates the solution into the CBD distillate and the remaining plant matter and ethanol. In the separator, the ethanol is recycled back into the system, and the distillate is removed for further processing.
A CBD business is only as good as its extraction equipment and machines. By understanding the function of each machine and its role in the overall process, facilities can create a higher quality product.