A (likely) unsolvable problem with ethanol extraction (keep them terps!)


That sounds like a tech you should try and hold on to. Finding minions who will push back when appropriate is not trivial


Wouldn’t be that efficient but that sounds a viable option . Anyone know of good options for larger batch steam distillation units ?


i was just about to tyoe this out. But i was thinking a vast watering down. Once your solvent is thinned out to the point of negligible solubility many of the terps should float up. I would also add some salt and use a big ole sep funnel.


The solution
to terp elution
is dilution?


I’d call it as @doc_simple for the win, but he’s clearly a loucher!


:rofl: My friends in environmental toxicology would be so mad right now :rofl:


Amen! Having people willing to say “hold on, I don’t know if I agree” is invaluable for sure. This guy is incredible, so freaking smart! Blessed to have him on the team.


What’s his thoughts on pulling the remaining stuff from the floral waters?


If you don’t want super tight separation you can indeed just continue to dilute until the terms separate then using a SEP just separate that way. I’ve used this method several times. Personally for really clean terps I find it easier and faster in the roto and SPD.


So to recover terps from terpshine we would want to dilute the terpshine with distilled water until we had severely impacted solubility(any idea what percentage?) of the terpshine then put it in a separatory funnel and it’ll separate into what exactly? A layer of terps followed by a layer of low proof etoh or a layer of water soaked terps and a layer of clean etoh?

If low proof etoh we just run that through a still to return it to 95%, but if the terps are trapped in an water soaked layer would we still have to put it in an spd to get the terps separated from the water?


now my feelings are hurt. Taking my comments and going home…


So to recover terps from terpshine we would want to dilute the terpshine with distilled water until we had severely impacted solubility - yes

any idea what percentage? - no, haven’t tested it yet

it’ll separate into what exactly? A layer of terps followed by a layer of low proof etoh or a layer of water soaked terps and a layer of clean etoh?

layer of terps on top, then a layer of water with low concentrations of EtOH and water soluble terpenes

@Jay-TL is saying that a little water and a fractional distillation with true vacuum control would work. For me that’s an issue as my roto has great vacuum control but wont get great separation and my sbd is manual vacuum.

Working towards automation…


Just to be clear there are 2 methods being thrown around

  1. dilute with distilled water until terps start to separate then using a sep funnel captured the floating terps. Issue here is that water soluble terps won’t separate.
  2. My brilliant lab tech took Ethanol that was around 170 (could have been lower) and evaporated the ethanol low and slow in a roto then used an SPD to separate the watery terp mess left in the rotos boiling flask. Seems a WFE would also work.

Persuasion is for sure key!!

p.s. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition :rofl::joy::grin:

Terps before extraction

Membranes are 100% the future of cannabis extraction.
I’ve got a friend that retired from Dow with a couple patents…he built the membrane for the water in Paris…they can extremely specific down to taste level diffences through small percentage points of how much of a single pesticide is even permitted through.
I wonder how much this tech is worth maybe we should start working on membranes :thinking:


Once you have that water dilute solution, why not add pentane?
SEP that and then rotovap the two or three layers individually??

Aa lipidphobic dye could be introduced to the solution also for visual aid. Bright red dye etc.


As a type 6 manufacturer in CA I’m unable to use Alkanes in extraction/processing. If I could I would. Using an Alkane to wash your terp shine seems like a great idea, you should be able to move most the water soluble terps into the water layer and your non water soluble terps into the Alkane? I wonder how the increased presence of ethanol would effect the process?


So my thoughts on that, and they could be wrong. Is that pentane is non-polar. And the only turps left are water soluble(polar).

You’d be looking for a solvent that is polar but immiscible in water… Dichloro-ethane is the only one that came up in any common solvents with those properties.


Help me on my membrane project! :smile:
We just need to figure out what turps form the ethanol azeotropes, then find the right size nano filtration… Then probably spend 15k on the right high pressure system :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


My thoughts were use a nonpolar solvent (pentane) to grab nonpolar cannabinoids and terps.
Water added to EtOH lowers solubility of terps and cannabinoids —- leaving a lower proof alcohol solution that contains water soluableb terps.

Idk maybe that EtOH is flavored better than gin?!
Might be the next big cannabis infused liquor if we just super run terp EtOH lmao

But okay, maybe a third layer using a polar solvent would then isolate out the terps that are water soluable however i would assume that would stil misc with the h20
So I wouldn’t have a separation of polar to water


I cant remember what people do to get etoh to separate from other solvents. It’s miscible in pretty much everything.


I like the idea for sure, its worth trying!