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Rotary Evaporators for the Cannabis Extraction Process

Heather Ritchie
Written by Heather Ritchie

Extraction technology has evolved and changed the way we consume cannabis. The rotary evaporator plays an integral role in the extraction process because it efficiently removes extraction solvents by evaporation, without harming the product.Typically, the rotary evaporator (rotovap)is used in post-extraction refinement or recovery after ethanol extraction.

Three businesses vending innovative rotary evaporators in the cannabis industry are Ecodyst, LabTech, and Buchi. Each company provides their technology to laboratories in the academic, clinical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and environmental industries. LabTech and Buchi are leading the industry with traditional rotovaps while Ecodyst has pioneered a novel technology with their all-inclusive systems.

Extraction with Solvents

Some of the purest concentrates are created with extraction methods that utilize solvents like butane, propane, or ethanol to extricate cannabinoids and terpenes from trichomes. These methods include a purging process that removes solvents from concentrates. Traditional evaporators have a vacuum pump and offer a water chiller as an optional component.

Buchi Labortechnik AG

Buchi has been a leading provider of laboratory technology for companies around the world for over 70 years. The solutions they offer focus on preparative chromatography, extraction, distillation,and digestion, in addition to evaporation strategies.

Buchi provides traditional rotovap systems,but specializes in small, precision batches.Since the extraction process is already complex, Buchi strives to design easy-to-use technology. The business is family-owned and operates globally with a network of support centers, 16 subsidiaries, and more than 70 distribution partners.

They make the Rotavapor R-300 that has a completely integrated system with a central interface that minimizes power consumption, wear on parts, and noise. It’s customizable and modular for many applications.

Buchi also makes an entry level evaporator, called the Rotavapor R-100, that provides the essential evaporation needs for limited budgets.The R-100 is also made of high-quality materials that extend the instrument’s lifespan. Each of these evaporators incorporates quality glass crafted by glass blowers in Switzerland,and Buchi has exclusive patents on accessories like their foam sensor.

 

LabTech

Another global leader of scientific equipment is LabTech. For 16 years, they’ve provided diverse solutions and scientific products for a variety of laboratories. Their products include heating/cooling equipment, concentration and evaporation platforms, and sample preparation systems.

LabTech is one of the few manufacturers that offers complete solutions to their client’s evaporation/distiller requirements: large-scale and benchtop rotary evaporator vacuum pumps, and water chillers. Their 20L rotovap has an ethanol evaporation of ≥ 11L/hour. In addition to cannabis processing, their evaporators are also used on botanical extractions, hemp and oil blending, and e-cigarette and e-juice mixing.

Their products include a broad range of evaporation volumes from 50 mL to 20L and are highly scalable and flexible. The EV series provides a total evaporation solution for most client’s needs with quiet and safe operation. They are efficient and affordable with programmable operations and assimilated vacuum control. LabTech’s VP50 vacuum pump uses 150 m bar vacuum pressure which puts the boiling point of ethanol right under 34°C, making it ideal for ethanol evaporation in cannabis production.

Ecodyst

Ecodyst provides a unique, all-inclusive system that aims to make the extraction process as efficient as possible. Their cutting-edge metal coil system allows the rapid condensation of vapors and eliminates time wasted waiting for traditional rotovaps to chill. It enables their clients to spend more time on complex tasks instead of the maintenance and preparation some rotovaps demand.

They’ve engineered their products to leave a smaller footprint, have higher output, and be more efficient in cost and capability. Their tank-less rotovap, Ecochyll, doesn’t require anti-freeze coolant or water and prevents exposure to carbon dioxide and frostbite. Ecodyst can accomplish this because their technology uses a direct cooling mechanism, allowing cannabis extractors to keep up with the volumes of solvent requiring evaporation.

The Ecochyll X7 is their large-scale, tank-less water evaporator with identical technology to the Ecochyll. These systems condense vapor rapidly, increase productivity, and reduce distillation time. The primary difference between the two is that the Ecochyll is for smaller batches while the X7 is for industrial scale processing.

All of these innovative cannabis extraction equipment vendors supply the cannabis industry with cutting-edge technology. As the cannabis industry has grown, energy reduction has become crucial. Therefore, energy-efficient equipment is essential.

 

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Heather Ritchie

Heather Ritchie

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