Cheap Ethanol Extraction Options

We are starting up our Lab and are looking for a cheaper way to extract Ethanol while getting a higher efficiency than we currently are. Currently we use a 20 gallon buchner funnel as shown. We place freeze dried material into buchner funnel. Soak in cryo ethanol fro 30 minutes, and then use the Heidolph to drain and collect. We do two soaks, and then run in down before we throw it into the vac oven.

We currently have a judge which we will start using for extraction, but once we switch that over to butane, we will probably not use it for ethanol any more and our need for extracting ethanol will become less.

In the meantime, we are looking for an affordable option to replace the buchner funnel and to help with solvent recovery. The buchner funnel tends to crack after extended use and we would like to get something possibly steal. The other issue, is with ethanol recovery. We are leaving a good 2000g of ethanol in the material. Is there a inexpensive salad spinner type centrifuge out there maybe even hand powered.

From what I have seen, there are allot of great products out there, but most are fairly pricey. Eventually we want to get an Ethos setup, but we aren’t there yet. Are there any funnel options and/or centrifuge options for under $5K. We only need to have up to 5,000g capacity. Below is a funnel I found that I thought may work better than the plastic buchner. Thoughts? Thanks.

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panda spinner Panda 3200 rpm Portable Spin Dryer 110V/22lbs Stainless Steel

And 5 gal buckets


For $5000 I think you could get a small Chinese centrifuge and a sock filter setup.

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I would avoid that style of filtration and get something like a filter sock or even a sediment filter cartridge. Something like this would be better for filtering

Alternatively, if you go the Panda route, people have had really good success using 1 panda with a 1 micron liner in the basket for filtration.


Thanks! I think this might be the solution till we can afford to do the centrifuge.

The only thing to mention about pandas is they are generally not fire marshal approved, so if you’re in a legal setting have a plan for that.



So we were going to go with a 24" full stainless steel buchner from USA Labs but unfortunately they were out of stock and couldn’t give any time frame for when they would be back in stock.

Instead we had to go with the same 18" composite Buchner we had been using. The positives are that its only $800 and will be in our facility by Friday so we can get back extracting. Let’s just go with the positives for now :slight_smile:

At least we will be using the Judge(for ethanol) :frowning: within a matter of weeks which will significantly increase our extraction capability. Thank you to everyone for the input.

I would just build a filter system and use nitrogen to do a positive pressure filtration


You could do better than the judge with a bunch of 5gal buckets. I’m not kidding.

My recommendation would be, get a bunch of the 5gal food grade buckets from Uline, and some 50 micron bubble bags (I got mine from control factors), then the panda. You could be doing 100 lb a day easy with that method, for much less than $800.


I use a 3 gallon steel bucket from walmart and did 10 lbs in under an hour. I never yield under 10%. Paint mixer+filter/panda = success :smiley:


If you need USP/food grade ethanol…

I can provide 190p or 200p at $24 - $27 at unbeatable prices that should save you a ton of $$. We can ship immediately and don’t have any volume restrictions or delays due to hand sanitizer demand, etc.

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