Simple semi-continuous extraction systems are equipped with two extraction vessels.
Semi-continuous serial extraction systems are equipped with three extraction vessels.
Taking advantage of the flowers and leafs typical extraction kinetic, the intelligent automation of the system will apply a different extraction strategy.
As shown in the accompanying graph, most of the extract comes out in the first half of the extraction. After the first half of the extraction, the process program will apply a new approach: the system will place Extractors 2 and 3 in series.
As most of the compound has been extracted by Extractor 1, after the first half of the extraction the CO2 is not saturated by the compounds like before.
This means the CO2 has more room, than what was available in Extractor 1, to solubilize more compounds.
Connecting Extractor 2 in series to Extractor 1 after the first half of the process will give the production manager the opportunity to recover the last 15% to 30% left in Extractor 1 while extracting most of the compounds from Extractor 2, and so on with Extractor 2 and Extractor 3 and then again with Extractor 3 and Extractor 1 in an endless circle.
The semi-continuous serial automation program offers clear advantages over the simple semi-continuous process. In the same amount of processing time, operators will see results comparable to a double-sized system.