Ethanol Lab Chemical Safety Question

We are a new ethanol extraction lab setting up safety protocols for our lab. To determine safe chemical storage and safety procedures we are compiling a list of chemicals we will be using for the extraction and distillation process. Our list includes ethanol, mono-ethylene glycol (cooling fluid for the extraction chiller), and acetone for cleaning. Are there any other chemicals we will need to store for an ethanol extraction lab processing 100 lbs dry trim per day to distillate?

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Yeah but this question could be answered a million different ways.

What kind of product are you intending on making? Is there someone on your team in charge of R&D? if so they would be the best person to ask as the choice of solvents partially depend on what works best and also personal preference/experience.

I would at least add heptane to that list if you ever plan to do any LLE cleanups or if you plan to make isolate.


Thanks for the tip on the LLE cleanups, will read up on that and using heptane for isolate.

The only product will be distillate.

No R&D expected for now :frowning:

Due to owner’s personal preference: ethanol solvent only.

Thanks again!

D limonene


I’d feel like a human grease trap if I had to extract with limonene all day.

Have you done it? Is it worth it?


That should be last resort. Try 90% isopropyl.

California wants us to use ethanol for cleaning instead of isopropyl. Iso is toxic where ethanol is not.

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Iso is not toxic.

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If you buy iso from any lab grade source or semiconductor source the iso is still a organic compound.

If you buy iso from Walgreens that has water and compounds in it from cheap manufacturing and bottling then you’ll get everything from traces heavy metals to petrol solutes.

However using iso to clean is better than ethyl since it doesn’t evap as easily, it’s a bit more aggressive and it’s not taxed.

Anyone who makes claims about this in your lab should be fired or at least your upper departments should be challenged.

Iso has identical “toxicity” values as ethyl does. No difference. Just changed the shape of the molecule really.

They only thing toxic about iso, similar to methanol is that you can’t drink it or consume it.


No just for cleaning purposes

Your post is chock full of dis-info and Mis-info

“They” did not “change the shape of the molecule”
They are not isomers

If by adding another 14g/mol worth of atoms somehow can be translated as “changing the shape” maybe it’s just a communication error - but I know you are just wrong.

Iso evaporates quicker, that’s why it’s used to clean electronics.

You have the option not to speak up - if you’re gonna just babble a bunch of bullshit and then tell people who “needs to be fired”

  • choose the silent option.
  • drink a shot of ethanol
  • drink a shot of isopropyl
  • tell us which one made you die

Ethanol is better for cleaning I enjoy smelling ethanol and iso definitely smells toxic in comparison

The great thing about cleaning with ethanol is everything can go into a crude jar and you don’t have to filter and recover seperate from other ethanol crude jars. Its annoying when u have an iso jar with a bunch of hash and you don’t want to denature the other jars of ethanol


Isopropyl and sea salt usually works well for cleaning glassware on my end. Then I wash with filtered hot water, then filtered cold water and then a final rinse with ethanol and let the ethanol evaporate. Or I reflux ethanol in the flask and let it self clean.

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Don’t forget heating oil. What it is depends on your baths. Def list ISO. Might as well have it taken care of whether you use it or not.

If there is any chance for the cooling fluid to come into contact with the extract (e.g. a leak), you may want to consider using propylene glycol. It will not be as efficient but it is not acutely toxic.


I prefer ethanol to clean, if ever i use iso i give a final wipe with ethanol. I’ve found iso leaves a white film on surfaces.

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I was just simply breaking it down to a simple form of explaination. I obviously know iso is just a similar solvent as ethyl but it doesn’t get digested or processed in the body the same. However other than molecular composition and boiling point they are highly similar especially in low level toxicity.

The only reason why iso has a consumption toxicity is bc our bodies don’t process it. It doesn’t have any effectively disapropriated amount of toxicity when you touch it, it’s very similar. Especially if you wear standard ppe.

SDS for isopropanol
LD50(oral) for rats is 5000mg/kg

SDS Ethanol (absolute)
LD50(oral) for rats is 7060mg/kg - 9000mg/kg

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Yea but I mean, that’s oral.