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Ethanol extraction can be performed under room or cold temperatures depending on your desired end-product. However, typically ethanol extraction is performed most efficiently by pre-chilling the alcohol solution down to as low as -40°C to reduce post-extraction processes.
Warm or room-temperature extraction can also be performed using ethanol but requires additional steps to ensure a high-quality end-product. It is for this reason that cold temperature ethanol extraction is more commonly used in large-scale ethanol extraction labs.
For cold ethanol extraction, an industrial inline chiller (refrigeration system that uses low temperatures to process fluids) delivers chilled ethanol. When cooled down to the desired temperature, it will then be ready to go into an extraction system such as the CUP Series (Centrifuge Utility Platform) system.
We never say one solvent is better than the other. The better question is: what are you trying to produce? Always start with the end-product and work your way back from there.
CO2 extraction utilizes specialized equipment; cooling or heating the carbon dioxide and subjecting it to very high pressures so that it changes phases from a gas into either a liquid or a supercritical fluid. The fluid passes through a chamber that contains raw hemp or cannabis, dissolving the cannabinoids.
The supercritical CO2 process leaves behind a substance the consistency of peanut butter that contains lipids, and other large molecules, in conjunction with the cannabinoids. A winterization process removes these impurities, resulting in a very high-quality crude cannabinoid oil.
One extraction method is not necessarily better than the other. Again, it all depends on your end-product. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and the method right for you and your lab will be most accurately determined by what you’re trying to produce. Products made using either extraction method can be made safely and produce high-quality products.
Learn more about other equipment that you may need for your ethanol extraction lab.