Amanda Stern   |   July 22, 2022

The Latest in Cannabis Extraction Technology

New tech for the extraction lab has the potential to start a green revolution in cannabis oil production.
Amanda is a freelance writer and cannabis industry worker living in Southern Colorado.

Vapor static extraction systems offer a solventless extraction method, which means safer, more efficient processes, scalability, and sustainability - all in one turn-key solution for the cannabis and hemp industry.

What is Vapor Static Technology?

Vapor static technology is a continuous process allowing operators to convert biomass to oil. Each system module is on its own skid for easy installation and maintenance. Most models only require one operator and limited ancillary equipment to operate.

This is a solventless extraction method; therefore, it's much safer for the operators and the environment. Eliminating solvents and other chemicals typically found in an extraction lab means eliminating the need for C1D1 or C1D2 facility design and expense, as well as reducing the number of operators to run the extractor. Vapor static technology boasts up to a 90% extraction efficiency producing a high-quality product with low waxes and no sugars.

Scalability is a crucial feature with companies already building systems that run as little as 100 pounds of biomass on up to 5000 pounds of hemp or cannabis biomass into exceptionally pure full-spectrum extracts in only 24 hours. With sustainability at the core of its engineering, vapor static technology leaves an incredibly compact industrial footprint in cannabis and hemp extraction.

Unlike traditional "batch methodologies," which use mass quantities of power, labor, time, money, and chemical processes, vapor static technology is a whole new approach to creating a pure and potent product while having a minimal impact on the environment and the bottom-line.

How does it work?

Vapor static technology works by first continuously introducing biomass material to a heated air stream for only a few seconds, where it becomes vaporized, and the biomass is separated out. The vapor is then shock-cooled into a non-coalescing fog.

Next comes the collection module, where the fog is carried into a wet electrostatic precipitator, where the biomass is pulled out of the fog for collection via an electromagnetic field. What remains is a high-quality concentrate that gets pumped into a collection vessel.

All of this is controlled via a control module made for the ease of operation by only one laborer. The system uses several sensors, including temperature, pressure, and level, all of which are integrated into an intuitive screen for control over each module. This thoughtfully designed system also includes a CIP, or Clean In Place module for easy sanitization and cleaning of most of the system infrastructure, without having to disassemble major components.

A few companies are already engineering and building their systems based on this or similar concepts. New partnerships are being made, while others are forging ahead

A new partnership puts vapor static extraction technology on display

Sharing a passion for both the environment and botanical medicine, the deeply formed partnership between Boulder Creek Technologies and Maratek was the final piece to the puzzle in bringing vapor static technology to the market. Coming together in 2021 and seeing the interest in the technology at MJBizCon, partnership details were finalized in early 2022.

Headquartered in Arvada, Colorado, Boulder Creek Technologies' "systems are designed to produce products that keep delicate synergies intact, as nature intended them to be." They are enthusiastic that the development of Vapor-Static systems has a certain potential to change the landscape of cannabis, hemp, and botanicals.

For over 50 years, Canada-based Maratek has been an award-winning force in the industry, developing many technologies while striving for the highest safety and quality standards for all equipment. They serve a wide range of the cannabis and hemp sectors focusing on automation, optimization, scaling, and made-to-order products to suit the needs of their clients worldwide.

Another patent delivers oxygenless technology

Loxley Systems' patent includes preheating your cut biomass at atmospheric or sub-atmospheric pressures to preheat the material slightly. Then, it is heated to a second temperature in an evaporation chamber at varying pressures and introduced to a stream of non-oxidizing motive gas to the chamber, driving terpenes and cannabinoids from the biomass creating a pregnant motive gas. This is followed by condensing the pregnant motive gas to recover at least one of the compounds—all in one continuous process.

One of the benefits of producing high purity extracts while eliminating solvents and downstream is a much smaller footprint. It is also quite advantageous for such systems and methods to use continuous or batch modes at sub-atmospheric pressures and reduced temperatures to protect the heat-sensitive constituents of cannabis and hemp.

What's next for Extraction Technology?

Not only will this technology change the almost immediate future of cannabis ingestibles, be it concentrates, vapes, edibles, or topicals, R & D departments are about to discover a whole new world in efficiency, sustainability, and cost savings.

Vapor static technology has the power to drastically reduce production costs, passing those savings on to the market while allowing growers to maintain some pricing integrity. Additionally, this can be accomplished while preserving the potency and integrity of the product for patients' and consumers' benefit.

With new extraction technologies infiltrating the industry, the tides in cannabis/hemp oil extraction are most certainly about to change.

 

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