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
infinity-supercritical-nutient-tablets-sonification
Sonification of Nutrient Tablets in Ultrasonic Bath
infinity-supercritical-nutient-tablets-solution-sonification-result
Resulting Sonification of Nutrient Tablets
infinity-supercritical-nutient-tablets-minerals
Nutrient Tablets Used In Example of Sonification
infinity-supercritical-nutient-tablets-dissolving
Dissolving Nutrient Tablet in Sonification
infinity-supercritical-nutient-tablets-with-bamboo
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.

Build Your Own Brand Licensing

Infinity Supercritical is now offering the Build Your Own Brand licensing opportunity.

If you have a machine shop, or would like to brand your own Supercritical CO2 Fluid Extraction System for botanicals, Infinity is offering the following:

  • 10L Plans and Parts List
  • ASME Engineer Peer Reviewed and Proven System
  • Closed Loop and Certified in CA, AZ, NV, WA, OR, and CO
  • Machine Your Parts or Purchase Parts From Infinity and Assemble at your location
  • Enter into the Manufacturing Equipment side of Cannabis Industry
  • Typical Research and Development for this type of Equipment exceeds $1 Million
  • Typical Development and Testing Time for New Systems is about 2 years
  • Licensing Technology gives you Instant Access to Industry Sales
  • Optional Drop Ship from our Shop – You Sell and we Build and Ship
  • One Time Fee Starting at $250,000 – No Royalties – Unlimited Build License
  • Market with Infinity Supercritical Inside – Brand Recognition
  • With payment you can start building or selling immediately

20170217-infinity-supercritical-10-liter-front-control-panel

With the Build Your Own Brand licensing opportunity, you can customize the frame design and colors. The Infinity frame is completely modular and bolt-together for rapid reconfiguration.

20170608-infinity-supercritical-sdr-test-frame

Modular Frame: Our Caster Beam frame allows you to configure your extraction equipment in many ways.

infinity-turbine-haas-vssomax-waterjet-infinity-turbine

Machining Parts: We can provide you with all the parts, or custom make parts for your system with our Vertical Milling Machine or our Omax Waterjet. We’ve already made the huge investment in the machines, now you have the opportunity to use them for your business.

 

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Quality Extracts: The Infinity Supercritical extraction system can provide extractions from any botanicals and provides a superior product.

Web Page Design and SEO Optimization: You can buy a page on our website, or build your own website to advertising your product. We also have a page optimizing SEO algorithm using Filemaker Database which can point tens of thousands of page links to your site.

Contact: greg@infinitysupercritical.com

Cannabis Sativa: The Plant Of The Thousand and One Molecules

Publication Review: 20170804-infinity-supercritical-review-cannabis-benefits

Publication Review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740396/

Andre, C. M., Hausman, J. F., & Guerriero, G. (2016). Cannabis sativa: the plant of the thousand and one molecules. Frontiers in plant science, 7.

Cannabis plants have a lot of different types of chemicals that have been suggested to be beneficial to humans. These include cannabinoids, terpenes, and phenolic compounds.

Research has been limited due the illegality of cultivation, but more and more people are looking at the non-THC active components of the cannabis plant that seem to work together to produce a powerful entourage effect.

Phytocannabinoids are terpenophenolic compounds, meaning part terpene and part natural phenol, and over 90 different types have been found in cannabis plants or as break-down products.
The predominant compounds found in the plant in this category are quote THCA, CBDA and cannabinolic acid (CBNA), followed by cannabigerolic acid (CBGA), cannabichromenic acid (CBCA) and cannabinodiolic acid (CBNDA) unquote.

These phytocannabinoid acids go unto a decarboxylation reaction to their corresponding neutral forms, sometimes naturally in the plant, but normally after harvesting with heat.

Most of the medicinal properties of cannabinoids come from their interactions with the endocannabinoid systems in humans.

This system is thought to quote modulate or play a regulatory role in a variety of physiological processing including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, memory, inflammation, insulin, sensitivity and fat and energy metabolism unquote.

THC, the neutral form of THCA, exhibits anti- inflammatory, anti-cancer, analgesic, muscle relaxant, neuro-antioxidative, and anti- spasmodic activities, but also has been associated with a number of side effects including anxiety, cholingeric deficits, and immunosuppression.

CBD, the neutral form of CBDA, has been shown to possess anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, anti- arthritic, anti-psychotic, anti- inflammatory, and immunomodulatory properties, while also reducing THC side effects, increasing the safety of cannabis extracts.

CBC, the third most prevalent phytocannabinoid, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, sedative, analgesic, anti- bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

CBG, the neutral form of CBGA, has been linked to possibly be beneficial in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

Finally CBN, found mostly in aged cannabis due to THC degradation, has similar effects health effects to THC, but focuses more on the immune system rather than the central nervous system.

Terpenes, responsible for the odor and flavor of cannabis, form the largest group of phytochemicals with more than 100 compounds identified in cannabis.

These are split into four different groups, isoprene (5 carbons), monoterpenes (10 carbons), sesquiterpenes (15 carbons), and triterpenes (30 carbons), which are built by multiples of the isoprene unit.

Terpenes easily cross membranes like the blood-brain barrier and have numerous health benefits depending on the compound.

Beta-myrcene is a potent anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anxiolytic compound, alpha- pinene is an acetylcholinesteral inhibitor which means it may aid in memory abilities which could counteract memory issues arising from THC, pentacyclic tripterpenes have anti-bacterial, anti- fungal, anti- inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties, and the list continues.

The phenol compounds contain flavonoids and lignans in the cannabis plant.

Flavonoids have a wide range of biological effects and share some properties that terpenes and cannabinoids exhibit like anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and neuro-protective properties.

Lignans also have a wide array of properties, including having antioxidant, antiviral, antidiabetic, antitumorigenic, and anti-obesity activities.

Altogether, these compounds work together to produce this entourage effect. Some examples is that a full cannabis extract has a stronger muscle-antispastic effect compared to pure THC, or that CBD increases the penetration of THC in muscle cells and reduces cognitive defects, or terpenes modulated the affinity of THC as well as helping with the bioavailability of cannabinoids when transdermally applied.

Due to this synergy, it has been suggested that treatments with phytocannabinoids will contain mixes of specific cannabinoids and terpene extracts to better fight against acne, depression, anxiety, insomnia, dementia, and addiction.

Optimization and Characterization of Cannabis Extracts Obtained By Supercritical Fluid Extraction

PDF Review: 20170719-infinity-supercritical-sco2-review

Source Review: Authors: Omar, J., Olivares, M., Alzaga, M., and Etxebarria, N. (2013).

Title: Optimization and characterization of marihuana extracts obtained by supercritical fluid extraction and focused ultrasound extraction and retention time locking GC-MS.

Journal of Separation Science, 36(8), 1397-1404.

Several monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are responsible for the unique and strong smell of the cannabis plant.

Terpenes are compounds in a group of naturally occurring volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons built off of isoprene which has the molecular C5H8, with monoterpenes having the structure C10H16 and sesquiterpenes having the structure C15H24.

While sesquiterpenes are in lower amounts in the buds of the cannabis plant, through drying the plant gives off a greater loss of monoterpenes, which would mean most of the smell of the plant while drying is from the monoterpenes.

Monoterpenes are mostly unstable and thus can be easily altered or destroyed in many normal extraction techniques, which has led to much focus on using supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) with CO2 to extract them.

Terpenes are miscible in CO2 at low temperatures and pressures while many non- volatile compounds (like cannabinoids) are not, which mean they can be extracted separately.

Due to these miscibility differences, two different optimal extraction parameters were found when trying to optimize the extraction yield for terpenes or for cannabinoids.

The extraction parameters investigated included pressures between 100 bar (1450psi) and 250 bar (3626 psi), temperatures between 35 (95 F) and 55 C (131 F), flow of solvent between 1-2 ml/min (extracting 100mg of plant matter), and addition of ethanol as a cosolvent between 0 and 40 percent by weight.

In reference to terpenes, temperature and ethanol percentage were significant, with low temperature and no ethanol being the best conditions.

In reference to cannabinoids, only ethanol percentage was found to be significant, with mild ethanol percentages being found to be most efficient.

Due to the insignificance of the other factors,

100 bar (3626 psi), 35 degrees Celsius (95 F), and a solvent feed of 1 ml/min are both optimal for terpenes and for cannabinoids, while 0 percent of ethanol is best for terpenes and 20 percent is best for cannabinoids.

It was also found that different cannabis strains had different concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes.

For example, Critical and Amnesia are richer in cannabinoids than Somango, AK-47 and 1024.

Also in respect to terpenes, Critical species had the highest concentrations of alpha- pinene and beta-pinene and Amnesia has the highest concentrations of limonene.

Out of all the five species, five monoterpenes, twelve sesquiterpenes, and eight cannabinoids were able to be positively identified and quantified.

The separate extraction of terpenes and cannabinoids is important because terpenes contain their own therapeutic benefits and thus can be used without the psychotropic effects of the cannabinoids.

 

The optimal conditions mean one could extract all the terpenes first and then flush the system with ethanol to extract all the cannabinoids without changing the other parameters. To back this up, in a subsequent extraction as detailed above, all of the monoterpenes were found in the no ethanol extraction and only contain trace amounts of three of the eight cannabinoids.

 

The study also investigated the optimal extraction parameters of using focused ultrasound extraction with isopropanol and cyclohexane and found the best conditions for overall extraction were 3 s(-1) cycles, 80 percent of amplitude on the sonicator, 5 minutes of sonication time with a 1:1 mixture of isopropanol and cyclohexane.

While this extraction yielded slightly more overall extraction than the SFE, it didn’t allow for the selectivity of the terpenes and the cannabinoids.

Thus it is recommended that SFE CO2 is used for cannabis extraction’s due to the minimal difference in yields, the selectivity it offers, the food-safe nature of it, and the low-flammability of the solvent.

Technology Review of Cell Lysis Methods

PDF Download: 20170718-infinity-supercritical-cell-lysis-methods

 

Plant Cell Pressure |Strength of Plant Cell Walls | Ways to Break Cell Walls

 

How to Break Down Cell Walls:

Mechanical:

-Grinding: Mortar and pestle, which is often done with plants frozen in liquid nitrogen.

-Beadbeating: Cracking open cells using ceramic or glass beads, typically done in suspension and in a vortex.
-Sonification: Using ultrasound with plant matter in a solution, by cavitation shockwave. -Homogenizer: Shear force by forcing cells through tubes smaller than cells, by rotor- stator (rotating blade) or outer layer shear (French Press).

-Freezing: Cell rupture from freeze thaw process. Can take lots of time.

-High Temperature (and Pressure): Cells walls are disrupted, but denatures proteins, and heat can damage cell contents. Typically by autoclave, microwave, steam, etc.

Non-Mechanical Methods:

-Enzymes: Remove cell wall by using naturally occurring enzymes.

-Chemicals: Organic solvents like ethanol (alcohol), especially for hydrophobic (doesn’t like water) molecules. Commonly used with shearing forces.
-Bacteria: EDTA, negative bacteria, to chelate cations that bore holes in cell walls.

REF: http://bitesizebio.com/13536/bringing- down-the-walls-part-ii-8-methods-to-break- down-cell-walls/

 

Cell Lysis Methods:
Reagent Based Methods:
-Fast, efficient, reproducible
-Can extract total protein or subcellular fractions
-Disrupts cell wall and or lipid membrane

 

Physical Methods:
-Expensive equipment
-Larger footprint for equipment

-Less reproducible

-Not compatible with high-throughput and small volumes

-Aggregation and denaturation of protein may occur
-Cells disrupt at different times

REF: https://www.thermofisher. com/us/en/home/life-science/protein- biology/protein-biology-learning- center/protein-biology-resource-library/pierce- protein-methods/traditional-methods-cell-

 

 

Tensile Strength of Cell Walls

Cylindrical Cell Shape: 100 atm or 1,470 psi

Spherical Cell Shape: 95 atm or 1,396 psi

Spherical Cell Shape: 30 atm or 441 psi

REF: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih. gov/pmc/articles/PMC1074911/pdf/plntphys0 0593-0165.pdf

Plant Cell Vacuoles

The central vacuole (may be 80 percent of space) is a membrane bound sac which provides cell support and helps the plant function with growth.

Turgor Pressure: Vacuoles help to maintain and control the rigidity of the cell (structure),

by compensating the osmotic pressure from within the cell and pressure exerted from outside the cell.

REF: https://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/cells/plants/vacuole.html

Additional Reading:

Cannabis sativa: The Plant of the Thousand and One Molecules

REF: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4740396/

 

Cell Disruption Using a Microfluidizer

Using a Microfluidizer versus a French Press using the same 20,000 psi back pressure, resulted in 92 percent breakage in 8 passes, versus only 50 percent breakge for the French Press in 7 passes.

REF: https://www.microfluidicscorp.com/sites/default/files/application-note-cell- disruption-publication-summaries.pdf

Practical Use of Continuous Processing in Developing and Scaling Up Laboratory Processes

Continuous flow reactors allow for better control of exothermic processing than do batch reactions, and allow for a more efficient and safe scale-up of rapid reactions in a smaller footprint.

REF: http://pubs.acs. org/doi/abs/10.1021/op0100605? journalCode=oprdfk