How to Lose Money in the Cannabis and Hemp Industry – 10 Easy Steps – How Not to Make Any Profit – Follow the Herd

PDF: http://www.infinitysupercritical.com/search/pdf-pubs/20171127-infinity-supercritical-cannabis-hemp-profit-to-do.pdf

Ever wonder who is making any money in the cannabis industry ? Here are some easy steps to follow, to lose money quickly.

 

1. Have a Outdoor Grow:

Produce one crop per year, susceptible to pests, theft, Mother Nature, drought, and seasonal price drops at harvest time due to over supply, this is the number one way to lose money. Currently, the market is saturated with too much supply, which drives prices even lower. Consider alternatives like a indoor grow, and with a variety that allows multiple harvests every 6 weeks. Focus on a plant strain that has a short maturity and produces good quality oil extracts. Let the outdoor cultivators sell the flower, and lose money. Buy the trim, and process into oil. Lab test to be sure it’s pesticide free.

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2. Do What Everybody Else is Doing:

Run with the herd, and they’ll steer you into oblivion. The best way to lose money, in a market saturated with product which drives prices lower, is to do the same thing everybody else is. Complementary, don’t combine resources with your local producers, since you may get a comparative advantage by combining forces to get better discounts for supplies, or combining funds to purchase a extractor. Just selling the flower won’t make you money. Buy the trim, and process into oil extract for up to a 4-to-1 value added.

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Build a Brand – Set Yourself Apart From Others

3. Make BHO Extractions:

BHO is dangerous to process with, since the solvent is typically butane or propane (which is very explosive). Closed loop hydrocarbons produce huge amounts of static electricity, and the resulting corona discharge will make an explosion. Some of the solvent will make it into the product, which does not have desirable medical effects for the buyer (nose burn and heart pains). Even worse, it does not have a good shelf-life. You need to sell and use the extract within a few weeks, or it goes bad. It’s cheap to produce, and is very typical of the low-end junk extract you’ll find in the market.

4. Buy an Expensive Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine:

Like a Waters or Apeks. They run great, but you’ll spend so much time paying them off, the ROI in a saturated market will unpleasantly surprise you. Plus, since they’re automated, expect a release of CO2 anytime there’s a software issue. Great machines, at a huge price. Opt for other fantastic alternatives in the CO2 space like Infinity Supercritical. Don’t buy on promised yield, buy on the ability to extract. If you only have a 2 percent oil in your trim, how can you get a 17 percent yield ? Don’t buy claims, buy results.

5. Don’t Buy a Industrial Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine at a Reasonable Price:

There are plenty of great machines, at a price that is affordable, with great payback, and produce a superior product. Instead of a automated machine, opt for a semi- automated machine which gives you more control over your processing extract, like Infinity Supercritical. Buy a machine with a proven lab and testing development program, and one that can process fast, using technology instead of increasing flow. Buy a machine that has a good collection efficiency, or you’ll be cleaning the pump every day.

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An Infinity Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine is an Affordable Way to Make Extracts

6. Don’t Produce a Custom Extract:

The best way to lose money is to just sell crude oil from your extractor. If you want to leave the herd behind, develop your own custom extract recipe and product. Develop a brand, and provide free samples to dispensaries. Build that reputation for quality and taste. Be sure to lab certify and test all incoming botanicals, especially trim. Test for pesticides (you want pesticide free) and oil content. Base your buying price on those two factors. Low oil content = low price. Target trim around $50 a pound for 8 percent oil content.

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Infinity Supercritical 10L CO2 Oil Extract

7. Don’t Put in a FogPonics Indoor Grow System:

Other than growing outdoors, to lose the most amount of money, start a indoor grow which doesn’t use aeroponics, and uses lots of HID lights, not optimized for plant per square foot. The relatively new kid on the block is FogPonics. This highly efficient grow system is based on optimizing grow conditions for healthy roots and canopy, while minimizing worker interaction, light power, HVAC power, and nutrient costs. It has the best wattage per gram output anywhere. Using a fast growing strain like Cinderella, increases production to a 5-6 week rotation to maximize oil output.

9. Don’t Process Extract From Trim:

Just sell the raw trim, to lose the most amount of money. If you process trim for vape pen or concentrate extract with Supercritical CO2 (which has a long shelf life), you may be able to make 4 times return on the purchase of the trim per pound. In some areas, the comparative advantage is even higher than 400 percent. Again, be sure to lab test for pesticides and available oil. Base your buy price on the available oil.

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Trim Can Provide a High Value Extract – But Test it First for Pesticides and Available Oil Content – then Buy Trim at a Fair Price

10. Don’t Research, Educate, and Make Yourself More Knowledgeable:

The best way to lose more money is to be uninformed. Don’t ask questions. Don’t ask dumb questions. Don’t seek better and more efficient ways to make money, while spending less time doing it. Don’t have a plan or strategy. Don’t have a backup plan when something doesn’t work. Don’t have a methodology. Try not to innovate and try not be creative. When you’re following the herd, all you have to do is follow, it’s simple. On the flip-side, you have nothing to lose by educating yourself. And everything to gain.

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Test Your Extract

11. Listen to Media and your Competitors who Provide False Information:

Listen to the media who receives misinformation from the source, and all of the other misinformation that the herd puts out there. The surest way to kill competition, is to lead them down the path of losing money. Keep in mind there is no regulation to bad data, poor sources, and false information, and lies in the industry. Be keenly aware of Social Media Trolls, which many manufacturers use to boost false-positive reviews of equipment.

Conclusion:

The best way to lose money in the Hemp and Cannabis industry is to do what everyone else is doing. The herd isn’t making any money, why should you ?If you don’t have a niche market, find one. If you don’t have a niche product, make one. If you don’t have a niche method, create one. If not, you’re guaranteed to lose money.

It’s the Flow Rate Stupid. Bigger flow rate is better right ?

Or how not to extract oils: 1. Turn up the flow. 2. Don’t collect the oils. 3. Clog your pump.

PDF: 20171125-infinity-supercritical-its-the-flow-rate-stupid

How to tell if a company hasn’t tested their equipment, or if they haven’t tested to improve yield: Claim High Flow Rate.

What’s that you say ? It’s not the flow rate that matters, it’s the permeability of the CO2 into the botanicals, and the the availability to harvest the extracted oil. Now you know more than most of the upstart CO2 Extraction companies out there.

Why ? Because we’ve tested these parameters over the past three years. If you haven’t tested your machine, then you won’t know that flow isn’t the key, and it can actually be a Pandora’s Box of bad tricks.

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Infinity Supercritical 10L CO2 Oil Extract

Permeability of Cannabis and Hemp Which Allows CO2 to Extract Oil:

It’s not the flow of the solvent (CO2), but how it interacts with the botanicals. In one example, you can have a high flow rate, and that flow goes around the outside of the Cannabis (if introduced in one end of the extraction vessel, and exits the other), which leaves the core of the botanicals under exposed to solvent. That’s why most companies reverse flow in their extraction vessel – because they have incomplete saturation or permeability. The CO2 as a solvent needs proper distribution through a batch reactor system.

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Sight Glass To View CO2

Availability:

Once you’ve extracted that precious oil, you need to collect it. The problem with high flow is that without a proper way to slow it down (or spin out the oil), you’re not going to collect the oil, and it’s going to blow-by your collection vessel(s) and clog your pump. How can you tell if a system that doesn’t collect oil properly ? If the pump is constantly being clogged. Solution: slow down the flow, and charge the entrained oil with a static cling, so that it does not go into the pump. We do that by ElectroStatic Precipitation (ESP). We have one customer who has run his machine on a daily basis, and hasn’t needed to clean the pump in over 2 months.

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Proper Maintenance Keeps Pump Valves Clean

How To Insure Your Machine Runs Properly:

One word – maintenance. If you are not going to take care of your machine, I promise you it will fail, you won’t have proper extraction, or even worse, you’ll lose valuable extracts (not to mention time). Of course, it goes without saying that your operator must have proper training, and needs to run the system for success (we suggest a learning curve on high-oil-content hops). Running with this methodology gives the operator confidence, and reinforces a positive learning curve.

Pump Flow and Speed: At first we had a high flow rate, and noticed everything mentioned above. It wasn’t until we found a way to slow down the flow, and properly harvest oil, that our yield and time to process improved greatly.

It’s typical for larger vessel manufacturers (and start-ups) to boost flow, in order to compensate for improper solvent (CO2) distribution in a large vessel. Go big, or go home, right ? Wrong. You need to properly introduce and distribute the CO2 throughout all of the cannabis, to efficiently extract the oil. This can’t be done with sheer flow rate alone.

How to Spot a Start-up: Those who claim high flow rate, without any mention of how to collect the oil.

Anybody pre-buying a new unproven system (that hasn’t been tested for a good period of time), is buying a headache.

Nikola Tesla started with a theory, then tested it. That methodology worked well. We use his AC system, electric motors, and yes, he was the inventor of radio. Thomas Edison just did trial and error (thousands of times for a light bulb). Be a Tesla, not a Edison.

Test, Test, and Test: A great CO2 manufacturer will always test, and keep testing their machine. And they will always look for technology to improve its performance. A good builder will want to improve customer satisfaction, and customer experience. Testing is the only way to improve your product. This applies on the extraction process as well. Get to know your machine and test with hops. Experiment with varying pressures, temperatures, times, configurations, etc.

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Test Your System And Test The Extracts

Extract Color: One of the good ways to see how well a extractor is performing, is to look at the extract color. For Cannabis, you want that peanut buttery, honey-like, yellow-orange color and consistency. If you are trying to extract live-resin, or other extract specific components, you may have other textures and color. But for 99 percent of you out there extracting for the vape pen and concentrate market, you want the yellow-orange color. If you are extracting a brown oil, you need to look at the temperature, pressure, or the machine parameters.

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Cannabis Oil Extract

It’s not the rate of the flow that matters, it’s what you do with it:

If you have a high flow into a large batch extraction vessel, chances are good that there will be partitions in the vessel that don’t get flow, hence the term “soak” time. That is time needed to soak all of the botanicals. In a improperly designed system, a long soak time is needed to release the oil into the solvent flow stream. Smaller extraction vessels will result in even and better solvent distribution, than large batch reactors. Infinity uses a FlowBar, which is the best method to distribute the CO2 solvent along the entire length of the extraction vessel.

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Proper CO2 Solvent Distribution and Collection Determines Cycle Time

Flow rate doesn’t determine extraction cycle speed:

The integrated system and operator determine the run time. If your system is designed properly, the solvent (CO2) will extract the oil (with temperature and pressure) by distributing the solvent evenly through the cannabis, and (hopefully) it will be collected in the collection vessel. High flow rate can create blow-by, and the oil may end up in the pump. The operator has a huge factor in this, even in automated systems. A improperly trained operator (or no training at all), may negate any system design, and lead to a consistent failure rate, with little oil.

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Integrated CO2 Solvent Distribution and Collection System

How Do You Spot A Improperly Designed or Operated System ?

Look for oil extract (called “carry-over”) in the pump. The leading cause of pump failure (and maintenance) is extracted oil which is not collected in the right place – the collection vessel. A poorly trained operator can foil even the smartest systems, and force oil into the pump. The three best methods to insure fast cycle and a clean running pump is to properly distribute the CO2 in the extraction vessel, harvest all the oil in the collection vessel, and have proper operator training. Infinity uses a FlowBar for proper CO2 flow, and TriboTube for electrostatic precipitation to harvest oil.

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Oil Found in the Pump Indicates Carry-Over and Improper Collection

Experimentation – Repeating Success Leads to Not Duplicating Failure:

Once you have a good handle on your system operation, use a low cost, oil rich botanical to experiment with cycle times with your system. We use hops for the botanical. Always log your experiments and results. Infinity has develop a simple database log for this purpose (works with any machine). This allows you to experiment with different recipes, and see which method produces the best results. Some automated systems already have these, however the pro’s will tell you they prefer semi-automated systems so they can have more control over the cycle.

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Infinity Database Logger – Use With Any Machine To Log Your Run Results and Parameters
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Practice CO2 Extractor Runs Using Hops – With Known Oil Content

30/30 and 45/45 Cycle Experiment:

Using our FlowBar, we started to experiment with hops and a cycle time of 30 minutes on, stop the machine and remove the botanical basket, put it back in, then run for 45 minutes more. What we found was really interesting. It turns out that with proper solvent distribution, most of the oil is extracted in the first part of the cycle, or 30 to 45 minutes. If a manufacturer claims fast extraction times, ask to see testing results on the website. In the cannabis industry, there is lots of talk. Ask to see the proof.

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Summary:

In conclusion, don’t trust the marketing hype.

If a new system hasn’t been tested, and you don’t see run results on the website, then you’re buying a system that hasn’t been thoroughly tested. The important factor with flow is how it interacts through the cannabis to precipitate out the oil, and it has to be at a rate which can easily have the oil separated (harvested) from the CO2 in the collection vessel. If the sticky, extracted oil, makes it to the pump, then it’s too late. All of these observations can only be learned through experience, and many runs.

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Infinity Supercritical Introduces 1.5 L

Infinity Supercritical is pleased to announce the availability of a 1.5 L Supercritical CO2 Extraction System. The system has one extraction vessel, with 1,500 cc of volume (1.5 Liter), which is anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 lb. of botanicals (depending on density of botanical). The system shares the same frame and many components as the 10L system, but has a reduced volume extraction and collection vessel. Introductory price is set at $29,000. The system features FlowBar for fast extractions (.5-3 hours), and TriboTube electrostatic collection system. The 2,000 psi closed-loop system is now available, and is built in about 2 weeks from time of order. The system is semi-automated, with set-it-and-forget-it pressure and temperature zones. The pressure and temperature will automatically maintain settings, once set. The system can be used for Cannabis, Hemp, Oregano, Lavender, Ginseng, Hops, and other botanical oil extracts. System is great for smaller runs, testing botanical oil content and active components, etc.

The Cannabis Industry: Money Maker or Myth ? Who is actually making Money.

PDF Review: 20171027-infinity-supercritical-cannabis-industry-profit-myth

Profit or Promise ? In the past three years, we’ve worked in the Cannabis and Hemp Industry, and would like to ask the question, “Who is actually making a profit – the small entrepreneur, or big corporate ?”

All you see on the news, online, and in print media is the hordes of cash, and instant millionaires. But is it true ? It’s a difficult question to answer, since the industry is still very secretive, and coming out of the black and grey market.

In this review, we’ll start with the status quo, then look at the industry and who is making money.

The Addiction Industry

As with any Gold Rush (and the Cannabis industry is no different) there is the promise of fast wealth, and lots of cash. The reality is that lots of cash is just cash flow. Most groups in the industry have negative cash flow. Most so-called consultants are more myth propagators, than profit instigators. Many in the industry unfortunately only exasperate and perpetuate the myth, and enable well-meaning entrepreneurs to spend more cash, instead of tried-and-true profit making procedures. The logic here is you need to spend more, to earn more. But in reality, it doesn’t work that way.

 

Tricks of the Trade

If you’ve sold equipment, or have worked with the less-than-professional people in the industry, here is what you can expect. It’s right out of the addictions playbook. It includes trying to manipulate, distract, doubt, and display behavior that is unlike anything you’ve seen.

Here is a list the red flags that you are working with a nonprofessional, that is wielding the addictions behavioral sword, and how to work with this group of people.

 

Red Flags:

It’s Your Problem, Not Mine: It’s not untypical for the nonprofessional to blame others for their problems. If something is not working to their liking, the first line of defenses is a good offense, and that is to make the problem, your problem.

The best response is to clearly explain (written is best) and outline to the individual expectations, procedures, and a clear path of success. If the individual does not follow those guidelines, then they can expect to fail. It’s almost like coaching. Offer help and assistance, but recognize when people refuse to listen to directions, and point that out.

It’s a Warranty Issue: “Something is wrong with your product.”

This is probably the most typical statement you’ll get, when people want something free.

The first knee-jerk reaction for a nonprofessional, is to look everywhere, but from within. Greed based businesses have little time for learning, training, operations, or listening to good advice.

Your best response is to make training mandatory, and part of the warranty. Clearly outline what is, and is not included with a product purchase, and support. Make a point of explaining what consumables are, and typical operational costs.

Training – What is That ?

Education and training are essential foundations for success. With complex machines, it’s a necessity for safe and proper operation. The faster you learn how to operate properly, the faster you make product, sell to a customer, and make money. Just because the nonprofessional has self- proclaimed experience, means little in the case of operating a new machine, process, or procedure. Rest assured, it will become your problem when failure ensues. While we are a big believer trial- and-error, that really belongs in product development, not in learning to operate a machine, process, or way to do business.

Aggression – Phone Versus Email: It all starts with a simple phone call. When the nonprofessional doesn’t get the answers they are looking for, their aggression increases and the volume gets ramped up. Then, expect the anger escalation to start flowing.

Your best response, and option here, is to simply hang-up the phone, call block the person, and send them a email which outlines the rules for courteous communications. Email is always preferred since you can refer back to what was actually written down. It reduces the gas lighting (revisionist history). The angry nonprofessional likes to use the phone. It’s a people manipulation technique to get very upset, and create doubt, and what better way than to use the phone. It provides immediate gratification to the nonprofessional.

Trust But Verify: In the new age of social media, false truths, fake news, and rearranging the truth, you can’t be too sure what you are being told. This is ramped up in the Cannabis industry.

Verify what people are telling you. Don’t believe what people say, unless you can actually see the evidence, that it’s true. Unfortunately, in our current political and social climate, people lie all the time. Since there is little consequence to not having any character, people get away with it, and make it a habit. Surround yourself with good- character people and businesses. If somebody is lying to you, move on.

Create Doubt: Probably the best tool for the nonprofessional, is to create doubt. This type of behavior is meant to produce guilt, shame, and very judgmental that something you are doing is wrong. It begets experience, which the nonprofessional lacks, and so it becomes your problem.

When the nonprofessional creates doubt (successfully), it opens the door for free time,support, replacements, refunds, harassment, etc.  The best way to respond to doubt, is to clearly outline (written) expectations, outcomes, procedures, and becomes great drama-free conflict management. We’re all here to make money right ?

Who Makes Profit ? That’s a great question. The simple answer is that those who make profit, have a good customer base (who are willing to pay more for your product, or are loyal to your product, than anybody else). This means you have to have a better quality product, regardless of price. If you are running a CO2 extraction business, you are in direct competition with the BHO extractors, who can blow out their concentrates and oil at a much lower price. But that comes at a cost – lower quality oil (contains heavy metals which are bad for the consumer) and have little to no shelf-life (product goes bad quickly). The most important thing is to listen to your customers, what they want and need.

Does Anyone Make Money ? Lots of cash exchanges hands. But the market is flooded with product. Lots of supply, means low or no margin, so very few (if any) make profit. For the larger corporate groups that are vertically integrated, including a dispensary to sell their product, yes. Does a cultivator make money ? No. Or at least we have yet to see anyone that does. With lots of product, wholesale prices are low, and with low wholesale, the grower makes little, or nothing. Most growers pay zero attention to managing utility or production costs. Like any other business, you need to produce lean.

Why Do Cultivators Continue To Grow, If They’re Losing Money ?

It’s the promise of better things to come. We always hear, “Just wait until it’s legal all over the country.” Looking at that logic, the supply will only increase, and profit margins will go further south (decrease). As smaller producers lose money, or go bankrupt, they are swallowed up and engulfed by larger corporate groups. Market consolidation begins. It’s not easy for the small entrepreneur to make any money, unless they are well verses in a profit-based business organization, that has a bottom line that is black, not red.

Inefficiencies Add Up: With huge amounts of cash exchanging hands, it’s not uncommon for inefficiencies, and poor business practices, to add up. It adds up to losing money. Then groups continue to hemorrhage money, hoping things turnaround, which they don’t. Have a business plan, that outlines when to get out, or when to expand. Make goals, as well as limitations. Always run with the attitude, “Can I provide the same product and quality, but which costs me less ?” Never stop trying to look for alternatives where others do not, and look to produce at lower costs. Saving a few dollars here and there really add up at the end of the year.

Outdoor Versus Indoor Grow: If you’re a purist, then you appreciate the outdoor grown product. But the reality is that most consumers don’t care. Trying to make a profit on a one crop per year model, doesn’t make money, unless you have a niche market. A indoor grow, that has a staggered harvest for a weekly or biweekly basis, becomes a potential profit machine. Look around who is selling the most product (at a profit) and emulate what they do. Success begets success.

Hydroponics Versus FogPonics: The most efficient energy, grow time, and oil production model, is FogPonics. Set up on a staggered growth and harvest schedule, this can provide a weekly harvest production format, that keeps the fewest amount of workers, busy all the time. It has the lowest energy consumption in the industry (this would apply to both cannabis and vegetables). The basic concept is vertical using PVC piping, sharing one intensive HID lighting element. FogPonics can reduce water and nutrient cost by up to 80 percent, and requires less cooling (HVAC). It has 10 times the production versus other grow formats. LED’s only work for seedlings and veg stage.

Taxation Without Representation: Yes, your local government will make lots of money on your licensing fees, and fees related to production. The downside to vertical farming is that many municipalities will base licensing fees on a per-square-foot basis (on a three dimensional space), so if you go vertical, you get penalized and charged more. Before you start a grow or extraction business, check on local licensing costs. You may be surprised how expensive it is. Be sure to be clear on licensing costs per square foot, and if that includes vertical space.

Target Oil Production And Varieties That Produce Faster: Some varieties of Cannabis produce the maximum amount of trichomes at 75 percent of their growth stage, which means that the specific variety can be harvested for oil extraction before the full growth, which results in little additional oil, but more biomass. In this case, focus on Indica (Cinderella). Faster indoor growing varieties will produce consistently more oil than outdoor grows. The name of the game for profit is production. Look at varieties that get you to your end product faster.

Cannabis Alternative – Oregano Oil Extract: Interested in other options for cultivation and oil extraction ? This is one of the most disruptive industry secrets, which will be out soon. Oregano oil extracts may have the same, or better medical implications than CBD’s, and there’s already lots of research on it. Nobody is doing CO2 extraction’s for Oregano oil, it’s all steam distilled, which damages the valuable terpenes and other valuable compounds. CO2 extraction’s preserve the valuable terpenes, and other antioxidant components. Best of all, it’s legal everywhere. Who knows, you might come up with the next best pizza tincture !

It’s A Niche Market: Why produce a Budweiser, when you can cultivate a fine Bourbon?  Seek out niche markets. Less competition, and higher end prices, give you more opportunity for profit. Make it a habit to ask your customers what they want, what they like, and what they don’t like. Marketing is all about discovering what people want, and how to sell them that product. Don’t make a product, just to sit on it hoping prices will get better. The customer desires, as with your product, have a shelf-life. You need to look beyond what is out there now (and not selling well). It’s a technique which you have to train yourself to do, but has great rewards.

Conclusion: If you are entering the Cannabis space, or are looking for avenues to actually make a profit, and stop the hemorrhage of negative cash flow, educate yourself. Ask questions. Visit and tour successful operations. Trust only what you can verify.

Running a profitable business is not an endgame, but a dynamic process of learning to take what doesn’t work, and building on what does. Don’t repeat or recycle failure, repeat success.

Method of Improving Nutrient Delivery to Plant Roots via Hydrodynamic Cavitation

Publication PDF Review: 20170901-infinity-supercritical-sdr-hydropump

Delivering nutrients to plants in mechanized cultivation can be improved by utilizing methods that reduce the nutrient size, to better match plant root receptors (pores).

Making delivery of nutrients in an efficient way can reduce both water and nutrient costs.

Infinity Supercritical has been researching and developing new ways to make processing and delivering nutrients to plants more cost effective, while reducing demand for raw ingredients. This in turn, reduces infrastructure and maintenance.

While there are many ways to nourish plants in cultivation, one of the most effective and efficient, is aeroponics. A system called FogPonics was developed and improved by John Baker. The premise of the Fogponics system is to macerate nutrients by mechanical breakdown to around 1 micron which is made more efficiently delivered to plant root pores.

The nutrients and water are pumped over 1,000 psi and ejected through small nozzles, which turn the liquid stream into vapor, which resembles fog.

The system delivers nutrient-rich fog to plant roots at around 95 percent relative humidity.

While ultrasonics can be used to reduce the nutrient particle size in water, it also throws off the pH (more acidic).  Reference: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a031182. pdf

In this case, we can compare acoustical (16 – 40 kHz) versus hydrodynamic cavitation.

Both will change the pH value, however the hydrodynamic cavitation is more effective, and efficient. Better yet, it’s highly tunable to your specific nutrient and water pH.

“The hydrodynamic cavitation is more energy e cient as compared to acoustic cavitation and an almost 13 times higher cavitational yield was obtained in case of hydrodynamic cavitation as compared to that in acoustic cavitation. ”

Reference: https://www.researchgate. net/publication/231377138_Hydrodynamic_C avitation_as_an_Advanced_Oxidation_Techn ique_for_the_Degradation_of_Acid_Red_88_ Dye

Even better, using hydrodynamically cavitated water increases root growth.

“… hydrodynamic cavitation has increased growth of root system of saplings of a pine ordinary and has raised their resistibility to pathogenic micro flora.”

Reference: http://www.hrpub. org/download/20131107/UJES4-14601241. pdf

The only downside of the FogPonics system, is the high pressure 1,000+ psi pump. High pressure pumps are loud, and prone to maintenance issues, and expensive.

The alternative is using a Spinning Disc Reactor (SDR) from Infinity Supercritical, which they have developed (patented) which provides mixing, maceration, and tunable (for pH level dynamics).

The SDR is a quiet alternative, which can provide a pressurized waterflow through any lower pressure nozzle to fog the water and nutrients, while providing the benefits of hydrodynamic cavitation.

As far as plant health goes, the ambient temperature doesn’t matter for the main plant

foliage above the surface. But compared to the root structure below, the desired temperature should be within 58-68 F in the root zone. The root pores (plant mouth), is around 3 to 5 micron. So if you can provide a nutrient delivery system at or below that range, you can more efficiently deliver food to the plants.

As long as the roots have a healthy environment (around 95 percent RH with nutrients) the foliage will thrive. This can be done with roots suspended, in the enclosed environment described above.

The goal is to provide a water and nutrient delivery system, combined with a low power, silent running pump.

Not only do you get the benefits of a integrated nutrient reduction (down to 1 micro) system, but also a pressurized system with hydrodynamic cavitation, where you can select the temperature, in one simple device.

It is suggested that the FogPonics system can reduce nutrient costs, water consumption, energy, and maintenance costs anywhere from 10-35 percent.

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Spinning Disc Reactor Hydrodynamic Cavitation Mixing Pump
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Testing Maceration of Nutrient Tablets in a Ultrasonic Bath
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Sonification of Nutrient Tablets in Ultrasonic Bath
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Resulting Sonification of Nutrient Tablets
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Nutrient Tablets Used In Example of Sonification
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Dissolving Nutrient Tablet in Sonification
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Bamboo Seedling Using Nutrient Fog from Sonification

Techniques for Extraction of Bioactive Compounds from Plant Materials

PDF Publication Review: 20170901-infinity-supercritical-extraction-methods

Techniques for extraction of bioactive compounds from plant materials

Azmir, J., Zaidul, I. S. M., Rahman, M. M., Sharif, K. M., Mohamed, A., Sahena, F., … and Omar, A. K. M. (2013). Techniques for extraction of bioactive compounds from plant materials: a review. Journal of Food Engineering, 117(4), 426-436.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0260877413000277

This review will go over bioactive compounds in plants, their classification, their extraction via conventional and non-conventional means, and bringing bioactive materials from plant to a commercial product.

The most important factors in extraction techniques are the matrix properties of the plant, solvent type, temperature, pressure, and extraction time.

Conventional methods include more traditional means of extraction using solvents solvating power with different temperatures and mechanical means of mixing, while non- conventional include other ways to increase the solvating power and reduce the amount of solvent used, usually making them more environmentally friendly and more selective.
Most bioactive compounds found in plants are secondary metabolites, which mean they don’t contribute to the overall growth and development, but are believed by the plant and evolution to help the plant survive and overcome local challenges. The simple definition is any secondary plant metabolite that elicits a pharmacological or toxicological effect in humans or animals.

Some examples of this are floral compounds that encourage or discourage certain species of fauna to interact with the plant, or possibly toxins that dissuade herbivores from eating the plant.

Almost all bioactive compounds can be placed into three main categories; terpenes and terpenoids, alkaloids, and phenolic compounds.

Conventional ways to get bioactive compounds involved passing solvents through the bed of the plant in various ways, either through evaporation and then condensation, or direct passing through. Usually this involved hot temperatures which can degrade certain molecules, low ending concentrations, and long extraction times.

To decrease extraction times, increase yields, increase purity of ending product, and being more sensitive to the bioactive compounds, non-conventional extraction methods were developed which include: ultrasound assisted extraction, enzyme-assisted extraction, microwave-assisted extraction, pulsed electric field assisted extraction, supercritical fluid extraction, and pressurized liquid extraction.

Ultrasonic waves cause a phenomenon called cavitation when traversing through liquids where bubbles are produced, grow, and then collapse. During this process the kinetic energy is turned into heat and can heat the bubbles to incredibly high temperatures and pressures till they collapse. This accelerates mass transfer and allows for more access of the solvent to cell materials in plant parts through breaking of the cell wall.

This method increases extraction efficiencies without the need of thorough mixing or hotsolvent. In most cases it leads to less solvent being used, lower energy consumption, better yields, and lower extraction times.

Enzyme-assisted extraction employs the use of enzymes to help free bioactive molecules possibly from hydrogen or hydrophobic bonding and uses enzymes like cellulase and pectinase to break the cell wall and hydrolyze structural polysaccharides and lipid bodies.

This type of extraction comes in handy when extracting fragile bioactive compounds from seeds and allow for water to be used as a solvent in certain processes that would need the higher solvating power of organic solvents.

Microwave-assisted extraction uses changing electric and magnetic field to impact polar molecules and heat them up, which increases mass transfer.

This technique allows for some selectivity in which molecules are heated and thus grabbed more by the solvent, decreases temperature gradients, and increases extraction yield of intact organic and organometallic compounds.

Pulsed-electric field extraction causes a potential through the membrane of the plant cells, which causes molecules to separate according to their charge. As they accumulate, they increase repulsion forces and can weaken the membrane to the point of breaking which increases the release of compounds from the plant matrix.

This technique allows for the release of bioactive compounds without increasing temperature at all and is chosen to increase extraction yields of highly heat sensitive compounds.

Supercritical fluids can be achieved when a compound is heated and pressurized past both it’s critical temperature and pressure and there is no specific gas/liquid properties. This means the fluid retains it’s gas-like diffusion, viscosity, and surface tension, and its liquid- like density and solvating power.

Normally, CO2 is used due to its low critical temperature (87.8 degrees F) and low critical pressure (1073.3 psi), but it does have some limitations due to it’s low polarity. This can normally be overcome by adding small amounts of a polar compound like ethanol.

Supercritical fluid extraction’s main

advantages is it’s high diffusion coefficient and low viscosity allows for high penetration into the plant matrix, the tunability of the density and thus solvating power to certain compounds, the ease of removal of the solvent via depressurization, low critical temperature (with CO2) and thus low impact on heat sensitive molecules, lower use of organic solvent, and reusability of the fluid minimizing waste.

Pressurized liquid extraction uses higher temperatures and pressures of usually organic solvents to decrease extraction times and thus decrease solvent use. It’s found to be quite effective and battles supercritical fluid extraction in the extraction of polar molecules.

Finally, some details on how we go from plant to a commercial product. First a plant species of interest in chosen through preliminary screening of traditionally used plants. This screening involves confirming the actual validity of their use for whatever physiological effect.

Next the toxicity of the plant is assessed to see if there are any side effects or other components that could cause issues with residual amounts from extraction.

Then, extraction of the plant sample and isolation of different compounds to high purity is done using the extraction techniques described above. From here biological testing is done on the individual components to find which cause the physiological response determined before. Sometimes when no clear active compound arises the combination of different compounds is tested to see if together they impart a synergistic effect.

Once an active compound or mixture is found, testing is done again first on animals and then moving to human studies to confirm the individual components affect, strength, and correct dosage for the desired effect.

Finally, after passing safety and toxicity studies as well as showing statistically significant benefits, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of industrial production is investigated to finally confirm a potential commercial product.

How to Select a Supercritical CO2 Fluid Extraction System for Extracting Botanical Oil

Selecting a supercritical CO2 oil extraction system can be a daunting process, given all the choices that are now available. Here is a short, but comprehensive list of important features you should be looking for.

Criteria:

  • Speed of Extraction Process: The time it takes to complete a cycle, with all other factors being equal, will determine your ability to process more material and become more profitable. Batch systems will require you to load, and wait while the system processes the material, which can take up to 12 hours or more for some systems.
  • Quality of Extracted Oil: The manufacturer should provide you with lab results of extracted oil. You can also speak with customers in determining the consistency of oil, and concentrates after post-processing. Profitable machines typically will produce a crude oil, which is then further refined during a separate procedure termed post-processing. This is where waxes and other compounds are removed from the oil to purify the Terpenes, THC, and CBDs (Cannabis and Hemp).
  • Automation vs. Semi-Automation: Extraction professionals prefer semi-automated systems, because it gives them flexibility to produce a variety of products, from live resin, shatter (post processing required), crumb, vape pen oil, dabs, and concentrates. Semi-automation allows you to also run a infinity variety of recipes for the extraction process, including first removing Terpenes (without heat) and then continuing the process with heat for other extracted compounds. Automation is great for single variety processing, and mass production of oil. Limitations of automation include malfunctions with software (or updates), and the use of more CO2 than non-automation machines. Backpressure valves are needed for precise pressure control. Most automated systems require a connection to the internet. Semi-automated systems can be utilized in remote locations, without the need for a internet connection.
  • Beware of Expansion Systems: Most CO2 pumps are designed for a specific flow rate. While this can be varied to some degree, simply adding extraction vessels in 5L or 10L increments drastically changes the system dynamics. Most extraction systems are dialed in for a specific volume and flow of CO2.
  • Delivery Time: Most extraction systems are build to order. 2-4 weeks is a reasonable build time.
  • CO2 Recovery: Well build extraction systems will retain the majority of the CO2 in a holding tank or reservoir. Beware of systems that use commercial CO2 supply cylinders as the storage reservoir, since most suppliers of CO2 will not allow you to return or refill rental or leased bottles, if they contain any traces of botanical oil or residue. Efficient systems will vent off extraction and collection vessel CO2, which needs to be replace for each cycle. Expensive systems will have a CO2 recovery system, which adds to the initial cost, and can be a maintenance headache. In our opinion, a expensive recovery system is a waste of money.
  • CO2 Pumps: Closed loop systems require a robust method to pressurize and circulate the CO2, which is the solvent for the botanicals. There are liquid and gas systems. Both work effectively well, but the liquid system is a smaller footprint, easier to maintain, and provides a more efficient delivery of CO2. diaphragm gas pumps are large, required compressed air (noisy), and expensive to maintain. Efficient liquid CO2 pumps can be powered directly with a electric motor, which allows silent operation (less operator fatigue from no noise), and can have the CO2 heated as it exits the pump, which ensures even heat distribution in the botanicals. Pumps should have easy access to maintenance, and a good system of filtering before the pump, so that little to no carry-over (residual botanical oil which is sticky) reaches the pump. Expect to change the seals on a good pump about once a month, if proper machine operation is followed to reduce carry-over.
  • Training: Supercritical Co2 Extraction systems require proper training to operators for normal operating procedures, safety, and maintenance.

 

Advantages with Infinity Supercritical CO2 Botanical Extraction Systems:

-Simplicity: because our systems are not automated, you do not have to
worry about software updates, system shutdowns (in the middle of a run
due to power failure or software hickups), or problematic pressure
control.

-Full Automation: After consulting with more Cannabis extraction
professionals, we have decided against moving forward with full
automation. Our customers are getting such great results with a
semi-automated system, we believe it is not advantageous to deploy
fully automated PLC systems. After talking with several Apeks
customers, we do not believe that a fully automated system, is the
best choice for a production Cannabis oil operation.

-FlowBar: we distribute CO2 over the length of the extraction vessel,
and from the inside of the Cannabis to the outside. The result is a
much faster, and complete extraction. This means that you can run
through 2-4 times more cycles than with the same size competition.
With our system, you can do a extraction cycle in 1-3 hours. Faster
extraction means more profit, so your payback is even faster with our
system. To be conservative, just plan on a 3 hour extraction time, and
experiment with your actual extraction time.

-Electro-Static Precipitation System: we use the action of the CO2
flowing over food-grade Teflon to produce a passive static charge. The
tribo-effect charges the oil entrained in the CO2 gas so that it
sticks to the first contact, which is the first collection vessel.
Better collection equals less or minimal carry-over, which reduces
pump maintenance.

-Tube Size: we use 1/4 to 1/2 inch Swagelok tubes and components,
which allow better flow of the CO2.

-Silent CO2 Pump: we use a highly-modified industrial liquid CO2 pump,
which runs using a motor. Operation is silent. Our extensive
modification means very minimal maintenance, and seal replacement can
be done by removing the pump head (about 5 minutes), cleaning the
pistons (about 10 minutes), and replacing seals (about 10 minutes).

-No Noisy Air Compressor: we do not need, nor use, a external pneumatic air
compressor (or additional chiller to cool the compressor which gets
hot from use). Compressor is so loud, that most systems which require
it, will need a separate room because it’s so noisy. Noise produces
extractor technician fatigue.

-Swagelok Back Pressure Valve: we use a very precise BVP, which allows
us to achieve very accurate pressures. We do not use valveless
technology, which produces pressure swings.

-CO2 Preheat: we use a heat exchanger on our motor-to-pump gearbox,
which preheats the CO2 before it gets into the extraction vessel. By
using the heat (byproduct of the gearbox), we are conserving energy
and preheating the CO2.

-Pressure and Heat Zone Feedback PID: we use compact PLCs to control
the pressure (with a feedback loop via digital sensor) and three zone
heat monitor, control, and feedback.

-Less Complicated: the system we have is modular, on a sturdy
industrial bolt-together frame, with casters, and can be wheeled
through any standard door, hallway, or elevator. The modular cart is
24 inches wide, by 48 inches long, by 71 inches in height. You will
notice the clean lines, minimal tubing, and logical layout of the
components.

-Less Stuff Needed to Run: our system requires a liquid CO2 supply
(cylinders), and a small chiller. That’s it. No air compressor, or
items to support that compressor.

-Quality Extract: our customers who perform extraction, say that their
ultimate customers rave about the quality and aroma of the extracted
oil. The quality terpenes that are extracted and ultimately preserved,
make the end-user experience a quality one.

-New Technology: we’re working on a solid state chiller (bolt-on),
energy saver heating/cooling technology, acoustical ultrasonics, and
other advanced technology, which not only enhance the operator
experience, but will reduce cycle time, while increasing quality of
extract. The bottom line is to save you time, and increase production,
which result in more profit. We are also working on SDR (Spinning Disc
Reactor) technology which will allow continuous flow processing, and
without pressure or CO2.

For more information, please visit: http://www.infinitysupercritical.com

For extraction supplies, including chillers, rotovap, distillation, and vape pen supplies: Click here

Profiting from Botanical Oil Extraction

PDF Download: 20170822-infinity-supercritical-co2-extraction-profit-review

Introduction: The market segment which is making money right now is oil extraction and concentrates. This might be cannabis oil (vape pens), hemp oil (CBDs), or in the nutraceuticals industry, phenols and metabolites. The later is mainly used in the supplement industry in tablet, capsule, and concentrate form (tincture – used to drop into tea, flavor drinks, etc.).

Oil extraction is a value-added segment of the industry, which is more profitable than cultivation, due to the limited number of extractors. Lots of cultivators and large supply, drive prices down. Limited extractors, and small supply, drive prices up.

sonic-extractor-hops-extract-20160707

Research: The best strategy is to research and study the area you want to focus on, and which industry and consumer to target. If you focus on a niche market, you will have better results, than if you do what everyone else does.

Branding: Having your own brand will identify your product with consistency. It allows the consumer to quickly chose your product, and refer your product to others. Word of mouth is sometimes the best advertising, and best of all it’s free.

Steps to Profit

 

Step 1: Identify your botanical, product, and market. What product do you want to sell, and who is going to buy it ?

Step 2: Identify attributes to your product, and benefits of the botanical. Choose a brand name.

Step 3: Establish a botanical supplier and purity. Have a certified lab test your botanical sample, and indicate pesticide free, and available oil. Negotiate your best price on the botanicals, and insist on regular sample testing, and tracking from growth, harvest, and final delivery.

Step 4: Flavinoids. Do you want your brand product to have flavor ? Botanicals are flavored by compounds called terpenes, which can be removed in the extraction process. They can even be removed, and replaced, with a different flavor (such as removing a hops taste or smell, with vanilla).

Step 5: Establish your market network. This may include direct-to-customer sales (via a website or sales agents), for non-regulated items Amazon, or through retail organizations like dispensaries.

Step 6: Source and assemble your extraction process, including the extraction equipment and any post-processing equipment needed to put the oil or concentrate into a consumer ready format (i.e. vape pens, tincture, etc.). Get competitive quotes on equipment, and go see it in operation before you buy.

Step 7: Develop a comprehensive website, which includes ordering direct, publications on the product, including any scientific research. For fast set-up, use WordPress.

Step 8: Test run your production line, and provide free samples for a limited time.

Step 9: Price your product. A brand name will command a higher price than a generic product. A niche market will also bring higher prices. Do you want a one-time sale, or offer a subscription ?

Step 10: Return on Investment feedback. Set a loop in the chain of supply and sales that allows you to capture and analyze metrics of the cost of goods versus your profit. Adjust your supplier price, and sale price accordingly.

Summary: While this is not a comprehensive list of everything that needs to be done, this will get you on the right path. These steps are merely guidelines, that can get you on the road to profit. You may need to re-number the list, according to your priority and product development. Redefining markets, customers, and profits is a dynamic strategy, since none of those factors are static. Over time, you need to constantly innovate new ways to market and develop your product for a savvy consumer.

20170428-10L-infinity-supercritical-green

Infinity Supercritical Botanical Oil Extraction Machine Which Uses CO2 as the Solvent

Infinity Supercritical Offers Progressive Pricing Model for Supercritical CO2 Extraction Systems

Infinity Supercritical is pleased to announce a innovation Professional Extractor Package first time buyers incentive pricing.

Standard 10L CO2 System: $99000

First Time Buyers Incentive 

Purchase in October 2017 Price: $69,000

Purchase in November 2017 Price: $79,000

Purchase in December 2017 Price: $89,000

Special Pricing Terms: Limit one 10L system per new customer. Limited time offer. Support, training, shipping, is not included in price. All terms and pricing are listed on a official quote/invoice. Offer may be withdrawn at any time. Typical build time is currently 2-3 weeks based on suppliers ability to provide parts on time.

Sustainable Production of Cannabinoids with Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Technologies

PDF Review: 20170815-infinity-supercritical-co2-cannabinoids-review

Source: https://repository.tudelft. nl/islandora/object/uuid%3Ac1b4471f-ea42 -47cb-a230-5555d268fb4c
Title: Sustainable Production of Cannabinoids with Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Technologies

ISBN: 9789085707301

The goal of this thesis was to develop an alternative extraction method of natural compounds of interest from plant material. In specific, the goal was to avoid using organic solvents as much as possible due to residual solvents problems, low selectivity, high energy consumption, and environmental worries.

The alternative method consists of using supercritical fluid CO2 to extract compounds from plant material. There are numerous advantages to doing SFE with CO2, including CO2 being nonflammable, relatively inert, inexpensive, the ease of removal of the solvent, the plant material being non- hazardous afterwards, the different solubility of compounds depending on the temperature and pressure of the fluid, and low critical temperature allowing for extraction of heat- sensitive materials without damage.
The downsides to using CO2 include it not being a great solvent for larger polar molecules and requiring the stream to always be under high pressure which lead to higher initial investment costs. The higher initial investment costs can be outweighed though by how cheap CO2 is and the fewer steps needed for purification.  The focus of the thesis is on the separation of phytocannabinoids (or cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant) from the plant material. There are over 60 different phytocannabinoids with the most commons ones being (-)-D9- tetrahydrocannabinol (D9- THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene CBC), cannabigerol (CBG) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). This study will focus on D9-THC, CBN, CBD, and CBG. Each of these compounds have their own medicinal effects, from pain relief and nausea relief with D9- THC, a sedative effect with CBN, convulsion, anxiety, and inflammation relief with CBD, and analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects with CBG.

The isolation of these compounds from the plant material is of high interest due to the drawbacks of smoking cannabis and different medicinal effects of each compound.

The production method proposed for cannabinoids with purities higher than 95% involves a pre- treatment step, where the acid forms of the cannabinoids are changed to the neutral ones due to better solubility, extraction using SFE with CO2, winterization of the extract to remove waxes, and then purification through centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC).

The cannabis plant strain used in this thesis is Bedrocan which contains around 18% D9- THC and less than 1% of other cannabinoids, thus the main focus will be on extraction of the D9-THC. CBN can be obtained through specific storage conditions to degrade the D9-THC into CBN. CBD and CBG can be obtained using the same process on different cannabis strains with higher concentrations of other cannabinoids.

CO2 becomes a supercritical fluid at temperatures higher than 31.1 degrees C and pressures higher than 1070 psi. This means that the CO2 can only be described as a fluid as it is indistinguishable between a gas or liquid. This is important because it allows for the tuning of the solvent. By changing the pressure or temperature supercritical CO2 can become more or less liquid-like with increasing or decreasing solvency power. CPC is similar to other chromatography techniques. It uses two immiscible liquid phases and uses a centrifugal field to force the mobile phase through the stationary phase.

Each compound has different interactions with these liquids and thus migrate through the phases at different speeds. Thus, they can be collected at the end of the column in relatively pure amounts. Decarboxylation of D -9-THC is necessary due to the acidic form found in the cannabis plant. Usually this occurs during combustion when smoking the plant, but when it comes to medicinal products it will likely need to be transformed without this step. The usual method for large scale decarboxylation involves organic solvents, basic aqueous solutions, and lots of energy, thus alternatives are preferred. One alternative is to pre-treat the cannabis plant before extraction.

When heating the plant material between 90 and 140 degrees C, the decarboxylation reaction from D9- THCA to its neutral form happens at near 100% selectivity. Since the process happens in a solid-state reaction, which leads to a catalytic process, the process could be estimated with a pseudo first order process. This reaction tends to happen at a lower activation energy than normally assumed possibly due to aliphatic and aromatic acids present as other plant constituents in cannabis. While adding strong acids seem to encourage this reaction and could decrease the activation energy, it causes toxic waste from the process which may be bad for other compounds of interest.

The solubility of D9-THC in supercritical CO2 was found for different temperatures and pressures. Below 1914 psi and 40 degrees C, the solubility could not accurately be recorded due to low solubility. In general, the solubility increases with pressure at all temperatures. At about 2175 psi, the solubility is found to decrease with increasing temperature, and above that pressure the solubility is found to increase with increasing temperature.

Some experimental values for D9-THC in supercritical CO2 from the data collected. At 42 degrees C, changing the pressure from 1914 psi to 3640 psi increased the solubility from by 4 times (0.20 to 0.83). At 54 degrees C, changing the pressure from 2030 psi to 3408 psi increased the solubility by around 6 times (0.33 to 1.99). At 61 degrees C, changing the pressure from 1987 psi to 3190 psi increased the solubility increased the solubility by about 7.3 times (0.32 to 2.33). At 72 degrees C, changing the pressure from 2117 psi to 3190 psi increased the solubility about 3 times (0.98 to 2.95).

At most of the temperatures and pressures evaluated in this study the constants created a good predictability for the solubility. The exception being at above 72 degrees C and low pressures.

The solubility of CBN in supercritical CO2 was found for different temperatures and pressures. In general, the solubility increases with pressure at all temperatures, but not as much as with D9-THC. Interestingly, the highest solubility was found at 53 degrees C.

The article concludes that CBN solubility in supercritical CO2 is different enough from D -9-THC that they could be extracted separately to isolate both compounds. This would include a two step extraction, there the plant material is first extracted at 53 degrees C and 1885 psi for CBN and then 2900 psi at the same temperature for D-9-THC.

The solubility of CBG in supercritical CO2 was found for different temperatures and pressures. In general, the solubility increases with pressure at all temperatures, but by a much less magnitude than the D9-THC. Also, the highest solubility was found at the highest temperature.

The article concludes that the solubility trends for CBG are similar to D9-THC, but the actual values are different enough between the two to extract them separately or through fractionation.

The solubility of CBD in supercritical CO2 was found for different temperatures and pressures. In general, the solubility increases with pressure at all temperatures. The difference in solubility between pressures is similar to CBN. Interestingly, the highest solubility occurs at 53 degrees C, like CBN.

The article concludes that CBD’s solubility trends are more similar to CBN and that they are different enough to D9-THC to be extracted separately.

When comparing all four cannabinoids, the difference in solubility can come from a couple things. This includes their melting point (with solid cannabinoids showing better solubility than liquid ones) and their chemical structures (due to CO2 having a higher affinity for non-polar compounds). Overall, CBN has the highest solubility in supercritical CO2. All of the solubility of the different cannabinoids in supercritical CO2 is on the order of 1-2g per kg of CO2 which place them at high enough for SFE.

An example is described to show how one could extract the majority of D-9-THC without other cannabinoids. In a cannabis plant containing 5% D9-THC and 6% CBD (Bediol strain), a first step extraction at ~1885 psi and 42 degrees C would extract 26 percentage of the THC and all of the CBD.

While the CBD would need to be purified, a large amount of the THC could be collected at very pure amounts using this step extraction method.

It was determined that particle size distribution of the plant material had little influence on extraction yields, and thus weren’t investigated.

The highest total yield (extract weight divided by starting weight) was 23.3 percentage and was found at the highest pressure and lowest temperature, 3335 psi and 40 degrees C respectively. This didn’t vary much from the differences in pressure, with 21 percentage being achieved as low as 2175 psi and is believed to be because the extraction was already being ran to completion. This was at flow rates of CO2 of 6 kg per hour for 3 hours. In terms of THC yield, the best yield was found at lower temperatures (40 degrees C).

In terms of time for extraction (at 2610 psi and 6 kg per hour of CO2), the maximum D9- THC yield was found at around 3.75 hours at 40 degrees C. This yield was 98 percentage. Compared to at 50 degrees C, where the maximum yield was reached at about 1.5 hours, however a maximum yield of 74 percentage is reached. During the extraction time, the D9-THC yield increases linearly in time at the same rate between the two temperatures. In comparison to hexane extraction, the D9-THC yields are about the same (85.3 percentage for CO2 and 85.9 percentage for hexane). The other cannabinoid yields were slightly higher with CO2.

The other cannabinoids were found to have the highest yields at 40 degrees C when varying temperature at 2610 psi. All three other cannabinoid yields decrease with increasing pressure at 40 degrees C, while D9-THC’s yield was stable over pressure ranges. This implies that the two step extraction method at 40 degrees C (first at 2175 psi and then at 2900 psi) could first extract the other cannabinoids and then extract the D9-THC, allowing for a more pure extract of D9-THC. This is consistent with what was stated before.

A winterization step could be avoided to remove waxes by having a two stage separator, where the CO2 to decompressed to a medium pressure to precipitate the waxes, followed by another decompression step to recover the cannabinoids. The exact temperatures and pressures would have to be tuned to the solubility of the cannabinoids in the CO2, but should be feasible. In this thesis, a winterization step was included with hexane. This involves dissolving the extract in hexane and freezing it to precipitate out the waxes.

The extraction curves found in this paper determined that the solvent to feed ratio required for extraction of D9-THC is about 0.7g of D9-THC extract per kg of CO2. This is the same for both 40 and 50 degrees C.

It was found that using CO2 as the stationary phase and a water/ethanol mixture as the mobile phase, that no adequate separation could be achieved. Same with CO2 as the stationary phase and a water/methanol mixture as the mobile phase. There are hopes to use supercritical CO2 as the stationary phase, but no commercial CPC machine can handle the pressures required for such a machine.

With the CO2 SFE process outlined, around 80 percentage of the organic solvents can be recycled and 96 percentage of the CO2 can be recycled. Also, the plant matrix after extraction is clean of organic solvent and can be disposed of much easier than with the hydrocarbon extraction. This favors the CO2 SFE process in relation to the environmental impact of the process.

In conclusion CO2 SFE can be used to extract cannabinoids from cannabis plant material. It is heavily favored economically, environmentally, and regulation wise compared to hydrocarbon extraction. The total amount of process steps is also lower than hydrocarbon extraction. It can produce 85 percentage D9-THC extract after a winterization step, which can be further purified. One method of this is CPC which can produce +99 percentage D9-THC. The cost can be largely reduced by having a lower initial cost of cannabis.