Extracting decomposing biomass?

I recently ran some whole plant material that was severely mishandled from point of harvest. Growers basically stuffed fresh material with approximately 30-40% water weight tightly into trash bags and tied the bags shut. By the time I got the material it had been in bags for about a week. Upon opening I immediately smelled mold and a lot of the biomass in the middle of the bag was damp and slimy. Ive had success extracting material with bud rot (botrytis) using hydrocarbons and came out with clean product looked and smelled identical to my normal shatter/ crumble product. This time however I used 190 ethanol and went through my normal distillation SOP. When I reached my main body pass I noticed there was strange little orange/brown oil particles in my distillate. They didn’t mix in with the distillate but transferred over again when I tried to re-distill. I’m not sure but I’m speculating this was a byproduct of the mold reaction with the plant material. Has anyone had this experience or any experience extracting rotting material?

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unfortunately I have no idea what you’re actually dealing with from a chemical standpoint.

From a biological standpoint, assuming you used rm temp ethanol, you’ve extracted the contents of ALL the plant cells, rather than just the trichomes.

You’ve also extracted some portion of the critters that were busy digesting the biomass. Unfortunately you have no idea what those critters are, or if their ethanol soluble secondary metabolites are a health concern.

the correct response is probably to tell the customer they destroyed their product, and that there isin’t an appropriate magic for fixing it.

what steps do you have between adding ethanol to your biomass, and placing the crude in your SPD? an aqueous (water based) wash might do the trick.

However, I’m guessing, and an LLE doesn’t address the potential heath issues associated with extracting the contents of unknown microbes.

Reject that stuff from the beggining. By setting some intake standards you will save yourself a ton of time and trouble.


Thanks for the feedback. I should have clarified a little more. I extracted at -40 and did carbon scrub before devolotizing and distilling in a wiped film. I’m usually more picky about biomass but this was mostly nugs from a pesticide free source with a pretty high yield so I took the risk to experiment with it. After final distillation they passed COA’s but it was more trouble than it was worth to get clear distillate (3 extra passes in WF). In the future definitely going to reject material like this.

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