Ethanol is a heavy polar solvent that has the ability to pull non-polar compounds as well. This allows EtOH to be a universal solvent dissolving a wide range of compounds.
Removes Cannabinoids, Terpenes and in the case of warm EtOH extraction undesirable waxes, lipids, chlorophyll, etc from plant material.
CO2 – Supercritical ie liquid CO2 is used as solvent.
Cons: Slower extraction time than ethanol or hydrocarbon, fewer runs per day requires, larger equipment.
Requires a high-pressure system which could leak, CO2 is an asphyxiation risk. Still needs to be winterized prior to distillation
Pros: are no solvent to remove and no risk of solvent in final product. Equipment and start up is expensive but ongoing costs are low.
Hydrocarbon – Propane, n-butane or Iso butane can be used but most often extracts will use a blend of the 3.
Cons: Solvent requires special storage and facility due to flammability, explosion, and asphyxiation hazards. Exceedingly difficult to scale because of the strict compliance needed from state and local fire codes, C1D1 control area is a must.
Risk of toxic solvent in final product.
Solvent must be stored outside in a controlled area.
Pros: Equipment is less expensive upfront then Co2 or Ethanol.
Extracts more terpenes, flavonoids, etc for more full-spectrum final product.
Biomass is placed in 100 micron material bags during extraction. Bags are then removed from extraction vessel and placed into centrifuge to remove additional saturated solvent. Secondary filtration down to 1 micron occurs in HFS