First Purchase for extraction equipment--please advise---

Hello, thanks for reading this. It is time for me to make my first extraction equipment purchase. I have limited experience in this and only on closed loop BHO/propane systems. Not afraid to invest in quality products. 1LB column max at the moment. Oven? Basically a first time shopping list. Would like a system that can grow with me. Thanks again.

need a little more in the way of details.
ideally a little more in the way of demonstrably having done your homework.

are you playing by the rules?
which ones? (licensed? which state?)
scale? (1LB once a week? once a month? 5x a day?)

explicitly stating hydrocarbons might be relevant. currently your query could be construed as solvent agnostic.

putting up a straw man (shopping list from BVV?) might prove helpful.

We are in Indiana. We plan on using this system with Hemp. The hemp that we plan on using passes the state regulation of .3% THC. I was also informed by the farm that a higher % of THC in the starting material will usually finish below the state limit. Indiana does not have any laws against processing the hemp into concentrates. We would eventually like to do all types of Hemp processing because NOBODY in Indiana is currently offering this service and we are starting to grow more and more hemp each year and with the Farm Bill coming I see an opportunity. Maybe I am completely wrong.

My experience is from Michigan on a caregiver facility that was also, “playing by the rules”. We used a 5LB column, dewax, multiple ovens and the owner had mining equipment but wasn’t very consistent in his results.

I am not a chemist major but I am intelligent and can follow instructions. I am not poor but I am also not spilling money all over the ground like the Monopoly man.

I was looking at the bidirectional closed loop system from BVV. As I type this out, I think I have my answers but then again I am no expert and do not even know what to expect will come out of this expensive experiment. I have thick skin and can take any and all criticism. Thanks for all the help.

1 Like

Seems like a lot of money for an extractor. By the time you add all HP clamps, a splatter platter and a jacketed spool…that extractor is $2400 without shipping. LOL Are extractor prices going up???

it’s about section 38 of the 2018 NPFA rules.

if you’re playing by them, you need to be running a “certified” extractor. ie one that has been signed off on by a 3rd party engineering firm.

if you’re doing hemp, I don’t recommend hydrocarbons. mainly for scaling reasons. processing an acre of hemp 1lb at a time or even 40lb at a time seems like doing it the hard way.

1 Like

The goal is to play by the rules. Trying to set an example here in the state.

Certified it is. The current max harvest was just this year @11.8 acres and the farmer has his own cold press method for some of the other crops he produces. Sunflower seed oil and now hemp seed oil.

Most other farmers will be outsourcing their crops to other states. So, today we do not need a massive setup. But if next year comes and I get a contract to buy all the material then I will come back and have to upgrade. I already have hemp flower.


you might chat with your local fire marshal before you push go. the requirements for running a CL hydrocarbon rig indoors are pretty strict.

in addition to being safer and cheaper. ethanol also scales better imo. and if you’re doing hemp, then scaling should be high on your list.

At least in CA, regulators would also really prefer you used ethanol.


I agree with @cyclopath and using ethanol. It’s the easiest scalable and easier to sell on local municipalities. To them ethanol is clean, sterile, safe, used in medical, etc. Butane, they think of kids blowing up. A small 1lb or 2lb butane system will never make due, you’ll hate it. Using extremely cold ethanol is the best bet, honestly. Especially if you are going to be processing for others

I’m not in the industry but wouldn’t a delta cup be good for running hemp or an alcohol still style extraction unit? Maybe c02 would be better for hemp too but I don’t really see the benefits of a butane/propane hemp extract.

I could be wrong

Sort of…

one needs a CUP and a still (or FFE) rather than or a still.

Also, although processing 15lb at a time makes more sense than 1lb at a time, most hemp processors a going to find the throughput on a CUP 15 or CUP 30 to be limiting very quickly.

From an upfront capital investment point of view, CO2 makes little sense when applied to hemp. it can certainly be done. see Thar.


A company that we carry in our store uses cO2. I definitely don’t know what is best here. I appreciate all the minds on this one.

In regards to C02 for hemp, The processor I use for CBD distillate is using a couple custom C02 machines and I think he said they run 50lbs an hour. It looks like mad work filling those massive colums and winching them in and out of the top of the machine. Seems far more difficult and time consuming than running a small conveyor into a reactor then draining and filtering through a centrifuge.
Now from my experience of having our flower run through Co2 machine vs me blasting in closed loop butane. I end up with about half as much oil via the Co2 as the butane.
My Co2 distillate supplier they are claiming that they are recovering 95% theoretical CBD in their machine. @cyclopath maybe you can chime in and tell us if it’s possible or not to extract that much or not via Co2 ?


I see lots of people selling distillate. If that’s the path I must take then that’s where I go. I know with THC cO2 is a smaller yield and more expensive, with my little experience… but I just want quality and state compliant processes.

I don’t see any difference in quality of the distillate I have bought due to the extraction process. It’s all in the filtering and distillation. It’s probably going to come down to what you county is ok with you doing in the facility you have available.

I guess one might legitimately ask whether that 95% yield is from biomass to crude, or crude to distillate? My assumption is they’re just talking biomass to crude.

There are lots of other folks here with a better handle on the extraction efficiencies and economics of CO2… @ExTek90?

However, if you look at (for instance) the numbers Apeks put in their ROI calcs, they are aiming at 90% cannabinoid recovery. Folks doing cryo-ethanol are usually aiming there too. getting the last 10% requires more work. or more correctly, more solvent. so it takes more time & energy as well. are they pulling 95%? maybe. It can certainly be done. question is, is it worth the extra effort? I assume they’ve done the math, and chosen their target appropriately. I assume they’ve also chosen their temps/pressures/flow rates to make it work.

if the object of your game is to extract CBD from hemp, for the commodities market, then you are presumably aiming at isolate. most get there via distillate.

alternatively, you could sell crude to downstream processors, or “boutique the shit out of it” and sell high quality full spectrum hydrocarbon shatters.

not making isolate means no interstate/international commerce.

It’s absolutely possible to get that kind of efficiency from CO2, the only issue is time.

Most people don’t bother using it for the sake of throughput, however, one can utilize “soak” time to drastically increase their extraction efficiency with CO2.