Infinity Supercritical vs Kiinja | Blog | System Review | 20161127

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Infinity Supercritical is now starting a series of extraction system reviews, in comparison to their Supercritical CO2 extraction system. This is the first in the series. The opinions are those from our staff. We suggest you contact the manufacturer direct if you have any questions.

Overall Comments:

They offer 10-20L and 1,000 to 10,000 psi. Company: Relatively new to the Cannabis space. Website: They use WordPress and Yoast SEO plugin.  Infinity maintains a website with additions on a daily basis, and a full publications resource.

System Collection:

They offer only one collection vessel (2L), unsure of capacity to collect or prevent carry- over of oil. Infinity has three at 1.5 L each, and we use electrostatic precipitation and filter to prevent any carry-over. Fractionation can be controlled by Back Pressure Valve(s), chiller temperature, and electrostatic precipitation.

 

Extraction Vessel: Appears as though they offer a 5×5 or 10L and a 10×10 or 20L. The patent-pending innovation is the vessel which can be rotated. Looks like they have some type of electro- mechanical sealing/lid closure (more moving parts = more maintenance and possibility of failure). Infinity System is horizontal, no moving parts, and includes baskets which allow easy loading-unloading. Baskets also allow flash freezing from harvest, which allows extraction of high-value resin.

Collection Vessel Heating:  Unclear how they heat their collection vessels. In general, the vessels need some type of heating system. This can be a enclosed hot water bath (slow heating time and requires a chiller that is actually used for heated water), or solid state electric heat (fast response). Infinity uses the solid state heat system.

 

Extraction Time: Based on modeling only – 1.2 to 2.2 hours. Actual testing will be done first quarter 2017.

“Actual performance may vary and is not guaranteed. System projections based on engineering modeling. Actual system performance data expected Q1 2017.” Modeling based on what – Cannabis trim, flower, hops, etc. ? I think they’re being very optimistic on the modeling. What we have found is that computer models don’t work well in this type application, since the botanicals are never consistent (variety, size, moisture content, trim, flower, pellet type, etc.). Infinity has a 203 hour and a revolutionary FlowBar high speed extraction time of 30/30 and 45/45 minutes.

Loading Quantity:  They are basing the quantity of botanicals using a pelletized input material. The only thing I’ve seen pelletized is hops, and trying to extract oil from a pelletized product is longer, and not complete. In addition, to pelletize a botanical, it involves huge compression pressures, which results in heat. Heat kills the terpenes and flavinoids – which is exactly why a CO2 system is used (to preserve flavors). The Cannabis industry does not pelletize trim or bud.

 

CO2 Pump: Unclear whether they use a diaphram pump (requires additional air compressor and additional chiller) or a liquid phase-change pump. A pump that can do 10,000 psi is either a very expensive large diaphram pump, or a Waters type needle plunger pump. Unless they have extensive testing with the pump and this application, they are in for a big surprise (pump failure, seal failure, etc.). It has taken us over 1.5 years to finally modify a pump so that it is a stable and has relatively maintenance free operation. That includes pump head modification, fabricating our own high pressure spring seals, etc.

CO2 Flow Rate and Temperature: About the same.

Pressures: They claim to go up to 10,000 psi, which is the full extraction range. Anything above 2,000 psi will extract all waxes and chlorophyll. That requires a great deal of post processing. Waters uses a system that goes up to that pressure as well, and for groups that want high pressure, most will purchase a Waters (which dominates the Denver market) that can also fractionize oil extract output into three vessels. Infinity goes up to 2,000 psi and output can be fractionalized into three collection vessels.

Pressure Maintenance: How do they regulate pressure ? Back pressure valve or valveless technology ? Unclear from website.

Infinity uses a Swagelok BPV (Back Pressure Valve) to precisely regulate pressure, and a automated pressure sensor feedback loop, which is controlled by a VFD. The Variable Frequency Drive regulates the pump RPM, to maintain pressure. Set it, and it maintains pressure. The VFD also has ModBus which allow external communications to network with monitoring and control.

 

Automation: ABB full automation, which allows duplication of recipies, similar to Apeks. In the video they use ABB, which is very old-school and expensive, typically used for large industrial systems. Infinity uses standard semi- automated VFD and PID systems. Customer can upgrade to full automation, and can monitor the system via network computer, or via smartphone. Additional datalogging capabilities using Filemaker database software, which includes text alerts, maintenance alerts, etc.

Piping: Unclear what diameter tubes they use. If they are using 10,000 psi compliant tubing, then they’re probably using 1/16 or 1/8 inch tubing, which will clog (ask any Waters operator).Infinity uses 1/2 to 1/2 inch stainless steel tubing. No clogging.

 

Cost: Their system looks very very expensive. While full automation is a nice option, if something doesn’t work perfectly, you can’t finish the run and lost product and result in costly downtime.

The Infinity System is $90,000 for the base unit and $35,000 for 10L expansion modules. Since the system is semi-automated, you have the flexibility of running different recipes, and can change up the schedule on-the-fly. System not prone to any software glitches.

 

Engineer Review: Looks like they have peer review.

Infinity has a engineer peer reviewed system.

 

Overall Comments: Kiinja looks like a interesting system. They don’t mention Cannabis or Hops on their website, which will not bode well for getting traffic to their website and selling product. Hard to tell if they’ve actually built a production mature/tested system, since testing isn’t scheduled (at least from what they say) to 2017.

While the high-automation might seem attractive, unless the PLC is operating with good software 100 percent of the time, it will be frustrating to troubleshoot if something goes wrong. While Apeks systems are very popular, the big complaint with Apeks operators is the software.

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