Distillation before extraction?

Hey everyone, sorry for the newbie questions but I’m trying to learn. I have a Mk3 terpenator with a 450g dewaxing column and a 20lb n-butane tank and a 30# recovery tank. As I said, I’m a complete newbie, so my understanding of the process previously was that you would have the n-butane tank hooked up, it would run through the material, then you would recover it into the recovery tank. However, after reading and watching videos (particularly from the Terpp Extractors YouTube page), it seems like I should be doing that process (not exactly the same as the extraction process?) without any material first, which from my understanding is distilling the 99.5% n-butane into a more pure form, into the recovery tank? And then using that recovery tank to do an extraction, without the original n-butane tank hooked up?

Again, sorry if these are stupid questions, I’m just trying to learn and bought this system because I wanted to do it the right way. I have a great setup to do it at my warehouse, I have proper ventilation with explosion proof exhaust fans, etc. I’m just kind of confused at this step of the process. I appreciate any help.

Sorry if I posted this in the wrong area. It seems like I might have.

Hmm ok yes it is recomended to distill new solvent on it s own
And passing itt treu a brand new terpenator makes sense to clean irr from any grease left from asssembly or producrion of parts
Once solvent is in recoverytank that can be used as solvent tank
As long as it has a dip tube


My recovery tank does not seem to have a dip tube. Is it still usable or am I going to have to get another recovery tank that has one? It’s also my understanding that I should only be filling it up half the way (15lbs in a 30lb tank), which is what I assume the dip tube is for? Pic of my tank(s) attached

Upload pic again please
Can t see them

For some reason it didn’t work when I tried to do it via my phone. Sorry for the delay in my response, since I’m a new member it’s only letting me post once every 24 hours apparently. Will it not work if it does not have the dip tube? Is the dip tube to make sure it’s only filled halfway?

From my experience, these tanks are not recommended to recover into. If the tank is not fitted with a pressure gauge, do NOT recover into it as you have no way of knowing if you are exceeding the recommended PSI for the container.


As you can see you have one hvac cilinder with 2 valves on it
One valve says gas on it and the other says liquid
The liquid valve has a tube on the. Inside till about 1/2" of the botom of the tank this is the diptube😁
Reason it is there is to give you the option to take gaseos solvent or liquid solvent from that tank
Each tank has a empty weight written on and indeed no tank should ever be filled for more than 80% of it s volume
Now to calculate the volume of your tank ( no sight glass) we work with a weight scale
Example the tank can hold 12 liters volume at 80% 9 liters can be filed max
If you have N-butane as your solvent
This means that
1 liter of liquified butane weights approx 0.6kg so 9 weights 5.4 kg
Thus the writen weight plus the 5.4 kg is the maximum weight your tank may weigh
About gauges yes they make life simpler
But if you recover with a recovery unit the gauge from the outlet port gives a reading on that tank
The tank without the diptube is by no means handy but
If you flip it around (valve to botom )
You can get the liquified gas out as a liquid but better you buy an aditional tank


Im having a issue as well if anyone could help. Ive been running and doing everything the same way for about 3 years now and all of a sudden when i do my distillation im having trouble getting the vapors back in my solvent tank i tried burping the tank for air build up or anything of that sort and nothing came out of the vapor line what so ever what can i do to fix this im tired of loosing cash

You’ll need to give some parameters
With a recovery unit or without
What temp on all the tanks in line
What pressure on all the gauge s
What diameter of tubing
Mol sieve or not
What blend of solvent

Im doing 100 percent butane my tanks are chilled im in southern oregon so its cold atm outside with a Tr21 recovery pump brand new unsure of temps on solvent tanks never had this issue before. Its weird i can fill my collection pot up with solvent just fine when i put it in a hot water bath it shoots pressure up totally normal. But i noticed the pressure isnt moving over tome what so ever until you take it out of hot water then you can see pressure dropping im puzzled

Sounds like a clog in your tubing
From collection to solvent tank
Is there a mol sieve?
If not maybe you have water saturation
Does the pump shut off at a certain point pressure
Any prv s installed
A pic of setup makes all this a lot easyier

Im away from the shop and dont have good service ill take some pictures for sure and post them and yes pump will shut off at certain pressure but it hasnt done that to me and no mol sieve no prv idk what that even is lol solvent tank is also nit stainless and its the yellow tank i have a 100lb tank with blue vapor valve and red liquid

Pressure goes up when in hot water normal but it wont go down on the gauge at all so i have to take it out of water to get pressure to go down sooo confusing

You recover all solvent and pressure still stays? @DryWell

Yesss i think thats whats happening normally it used to go down in pressure in the hot water bath overtime by itself now theres no solvent in collection pot and pressure still says 30psi until i take it out of water @Idab916

I would clean out your lines and valves see if something stuck is causing pressure to stay.

Ice forming might be a problem
When not using a mol sieve
I would yust bleed lines to see if there is any flow

@Roguelab how would i bleed the lines effectivaly