Clean Up Help!

Currently, my operation has (2) 20L apex CO2 machines that get run twice a day - throughout the day the lab techs have to ‘vacuum’ out the finished trim from the machines making an awful mess and taking a tole on the respiratory health of the other workers (it hospitalized one guy with bad asthma).

Does anyone have any advice or tech on how they get rid of the finished trim after extraction? 10-20 lbs ground up very fine I was wondering if anyone uses a certain mesh sack or bags or perhaps just a better vacuum then I’m using to clean it- any help would be much appreciated because I don’t want to see my guys coughing and wheezing anymore!

1 Like

Have you tried using positive air pressure to blow the material out of the tubes into mesh bags?

i attach a bag the bottom then use a plunger. its not perfect but doesnt kick up as much as a vac

I would recommend getting some steel baskets made that you can pull out easily, we use steel 50 micron baskets on our 10L, had them custom made and was a little pricey but so worth it

1 Like

fancy shmacy lol I have always liked that idea too just never could pull the trigger. do u mind commenting on their design? I havent seen any commercial ones that looked promising at all but i guess thats y u went custom.

Ours came out well we just gave them the overall dimensions needed and a general idea of what it was needed for and they made the rest. Came out awesome and even had a cute little handle. Doesn’t seem like it would be hard to make on your own either if you just grabbed a sheet of 50 micron stainless steel mesh and a soldering iron.

1 Like

yea i always thought a spot welder could do it pretty easy. just two or three hoops a couple spines and a ss mesh would do it u would think

Custom fab’ed baskets sounds like the way to go. Utah Biodiesel provides custom filter baskets to many industries, including ours.

But a better filter on your vacuum would probably go a long way too.

If you think vacuuming dry spent cannabis out of your column is fun, try getting 15lb (dry weight) of damp ethanol soaked cannabis out of a standard beer keg through the two inch hole in the top :slight_smile:

I filled ( & extracted) all the kegs I had on hand before even attempting that trick. Handed it off to the underpaid minion once I had proof of concept that a garden hose would solve the problem. He covered the parking lot in 1/2in of finely ground wet cannabis.

Funds to order kegs with bigger holes was forthcoming the same day. :slight_smile:

It looks like Apeks gives you the ability to remove the bottom of the material column…so using compressed air to push into a waste container might be reasonable.

I’ve used compressed air to clear the 4"x48" material columns on our hydrocarbon extractor. It was referred to as the “cannabis bazooka”, but material slipped cleanly out into the collection bin rather than flying across the room as the name implies. We demounted the columns before emptying, because we froze them at -80C after loading, but could have cleared them in place if we didn’t have another reason for removing them from the rack.


What kind of vacuum would you use to empty out a column? Ours are too large to take down every time and we had an incident with a standard shop vac.

@Phoenixlabs710 can you explain the “incident”?..and confirm that you’re using CO2 as a solvent? I would not recommend using a shop vac of any sort for emptying spent hydrocarbon columns…

OP has presumably been using a shop vac, and is having problems with material making it past the rather rudimentary filters many shop vacs ship with.

Stepping up to a shop vac with a hepa filter should solve that.

I offered a google link for q=shop+vac+hepa which at a minimum demonstrates that such critters can be had. Choosing one that is appropriately sized for their columns (or yours) is left as an exercise for the reader :slight_smile:

I’m also of the opinion that @rasputin is correct: custom made baskets are the slickest solution, and offered a link to some folks I think are up for the task of building said baskets ,who won’t charge an arm & a leg just because you’re working with cannabis.

as stated…I personally have used a garden hose, and compressed air.

Using water and pumping the resulting slurry WAS how I planned on emptying my 100gal extraction vessel…until the boss came to his senses and ordered a CUP instead.

Unfortunately we had a teammate use a shop vac to empty spent material from a hydrocarbon column. Turned into a flame thrower quickly, luckily no one got hurt. We are looking at the basket solution now, but we’ve looked at explosion proof vacuums, apparently they use them to vacuum up things like jet/plane fuel so according to the manufacturer they are usable in this application as well.

1 Like

@Phoenixlabs710 Glad nobody was hurt.

Was your team-mate appropriately beaten for their idiocy?
Placed in the stockade until they could define “source of ignition”?
Has the vac in question been renamed Phoenix and made the lab mascot? :slight_smile:

Explicitly stating that you were asking about hydrocarbons when OP stated CO2 would have been appropriate. “…we had an Incident…” was certainly a clue…but it’s much more helpful if we don’t have to guess what you’re asking.

Especially as you already had experimental verification that using a vac to empty hydrocarbon columns was a bad idea™.

(or my new favourite; GRAUS!)

link to the explosion proof vac @Phoenixlabs710 mentions below…


The beatings will continue until moral improves. The team member in question has been sequestered from all flammable/combustible sources.

It’s a hafco explosion proof vac, atex certified. The app won’t let me post links.

These are the vac in question, I spoke with the rep and described our use and it seems to be well within their scope. I’m not entirely confident on it.



35 mesh silk screen bags can be custom made by . We use them for most of our bags and socks.