Capna Systems Ares Issue

Hey guys.

So, I have a Capna Ares falling film evaporator. I know from searching/reading here that they aren’t the most well liked systems. We got it for a good price so it works for what we need currently but, I am having an issue. Just a heads up I’m pretty new to extraction. I’ve ran a distiller unit and roto vapes for 2 years but thats about it so I’m still learning everything… I don’t know if it’s an Ares issue or an issue that happens with falling films in general.

The system seems to run fine for the most part but, the recovered ethanol comes out dark. We have tried changing the system parameters and running a lower vacuum to see if that would help at all and its a little lighter than when we started but, still looks like crude is coming through. So far Ive just been running things twice through the Ares and then in roto vapes to recover clean ethanol but it’s taking up production time doing all that.

Anyone have any ideas of what could be wrong? Or is this just something that happens with falling films?

I appreciate any help on this thanks!

Dark as in crude colored or like off yellow/green?

Curde colored. After the second run through the Ares it’s more like a light yellow.

Definitely NOT something that happens with FFE, can you show some pics of the unit? We manufacture FFE’s here at our company and if you want to email any pics I’d be happy to try and help.

I used one of these new once. You can only run about 15 gallons per hour. Granted we were trying to not decarb for CBGA. If we went much faster than that we had it backfill with ethanol and occasionally bump. flash evap and splash crude/etho up through the vapor path. Either that or you may have vapors moving so fast that its actually carrying the etho mixture with it where it pours onto the plate, thats my guess.
The comapanies “tech” also told us to bleed the little needle valve on the left/fill side. if your doing that dont… use the brass spring valve at the base of the ethanol outlet to control vac.

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You’ve run a Rotovap yes?

How would you achieve this color ethanol using a Rotovap?

How would you fix the issue?

Same logic applies…same levers to pull; condenser temp, evap temp, vac level, feed rate…

Only real difference is your FFE isn’t see thru…

Hint: if you don’t know “bump” on a Rotovap, you should probably play around until you do. Because see thru is an excellent teacher.


Where is that video of someone just chugging ethanol and crude through their roto and calling it 50L an hour as a joke? Was that Rowan? lol


@Montucky623 the “summit 80L/hr” thread.



I’d suggest reading the fine manual, but with capna gone, that appears to be a long shot. I went ahead and bumped the best leads the all gnowing one offered.

all three processes under discussion here are vacuum assisted distillation. if you have understood what you were doing, you have all the tools you need…you know what the levers do. move them and see how it responds.

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As cyclopath is hinting at, it’s almost certain that you’ve ‘bumped’ concentrated extract into the recovery side of the FFE. You should process some clean ethanol until your recovery side has dissolved the remaining extract gummed up in the system and runs clean. Then maybe review your operating parameters to prevent this recurrence.

It has happened on our own FFE a few times. The sole reason in our case (we use a different make/model) is operators not paying close enough attention.


I wouldnt even trust a manual if capna wrote it…


There may be some hope…

@Arolls215 has the manual, and some specialized knowledge on these machines.

I’ll let them give more details if they wish.

Have just scanned through it, I can’t say you’re wrong. I’d post it, but my phone says I’m not allowed to, & imo contacting @Arolls215 has it’s advantages.

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