Video of the Dual P-7 SCFN Extractor at HIGHTECH Labs in Biddeford, Maine
Operator safety is a paramount concern! Lids can be very heavy and difficult to manage. In keeping with firm EU safety standards, Hightech Extracts equips all extractor vessels over 100 Liters with robotic lid handling included.
The perfect sizing was done after the analysis of a million dozed processes data tag and efficiency evaluation. You can see the results of our efforts in this surface plot.
In our systems we’ve found the best combination of Process Pressure, CO2 Flow / Extractor Volume ratio and Efficiency of the process. So for each extractor volume we use the most efficient pump, keeping in mind an optimum process pressure. In fact, for our volumes, the best CO2 pump flows are:
- 5 L Canister = 25 kg/h of flow
- 10 L Canister = 50 kg/h of flow
- 20 L Canister = 100 kg/h of flow
- 100 L Canister = 500 kg/h of flow
- 200 L Canister= 1000 kg/h of flow
- 500 L Canister = 2500 kg/h of flow
Although the CO2 flow/extractor volume ratio is not a scientific parameter to evaluate the extraction kinetic of chemical compounds (we use kg CO2/kg raw material or, for specific compounds, its real solubility per kg CO2 flowed), it is considered good enough for initial sizing.
The double extractor system gives you a great advantage: semi-continuous extraction. This kind of extraction means that the process never stops.
Semi-continuous extraction reduces downtime and bacterial contamination in the system. The CO2 flows continuously in the circuit, this Avoids Accumulation of Dirt and Bacteria. In the semi-continuous extraction process, the extraction begins with the extractor 1 and proceeds with the extractor 2. Then from the extractor 2 it proceeds to the extractor 1 and so on. It never stops until the production manager decides to clean the system.
The semi continuous process gives many advantages:
- The CO2 is always circulating: bacteria and dirt don’t deposit in the circuit.
- The fast closing system reduce to 5 minutes unlading/reloading the canisters.
- The production per day is increased of 25% if it’s compared to a single extractor system.
- With 25% higher output per day, the return on the investment is greatly advantaged.
The cyclonic separator is different compared to the gravimetric separator — while S1 works by gravity force, S2 works by centrifugal force. The fluid moves very quickly, creating a vortex inside the vessel. The fluid continues to spin and the particles of extract begin to separate moving toward the walls of the separator, sliding to bottom. This separator applies the cyclonic effect to separate fractions. The flow creates a cyclone inside this separator and all the compounds in the fluid are condensed along the internal walls of the vessel. The temperature of the walls determines which compound will be condensed.
With this operation, we can obtain lighter solutes, and clean up the CO2. Our machines are equipped with two cyclonic separators, which are separator 2 (S2) and 3 (S3). The first one (S1) is the gravimetric separator. S2 and S3 have one important difference:
- Separator 2 is heated, therefore the condensation point is high and light lipid-soluble compounds are collected here.
- Separator 3 is cooled, therefore the condensation point is very low and water and light water-soluble compounds are collected here
The condenser is essential in CO2 recirculation. The condenser is a piece of apparatus or equipment that can be used to condense, or change the physical state of a substance, from its gaseous to its liquid state. We use a double-pipe configuration in small systems (up to 48-liter) and a shell and pipe configuration for industrial systems.
Our extractors don’t use piston pumps or compressors, we use diaphragm metering pumps only.
Although the cost is higher compared to a simple gas booster or piston pump, the advantages are considerable. In fact, diaphragm metering pumps are not affected by supercritical fluid because process fluids are completely separated from the mechanical part of the pump. Diaphragm metering pumps meet the highest requirements and demands of the chemistry, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, or food and beverage industries. Some of most important advantages are:
- High energy-efficiency ratio
- Low maintenance costs
- Extremely long service life for diaphragms
This video shows exactly how these membrane pumps work.