Guide to types of media and what they do?

Hello! I have been looking for a reference guide to no avail and was wondering if somebody could point me in the right direction. Iv been using a few different medias to find what works best for me. My problem is even the companies that make them don’t do a fantastic job at telling you what it does. Right now im using bentonite, alumina, and a few other things.

my question is does anybody have a link to a journal or guide that can tell me what silica does and why, bentonite, alumina, zialite, etc…

Thank you and sorry if im posting in the incorrect topic


I used this to get a footing on powders when CRC was getting big. It was on the suggestion of another fourm member. My boy still has it (if you’re reading this please send it back lol).


I agree companies have not been the best at providing all the info required so I apologize on my behalf. Being that we also have a lab in which we extract and do rnd daily, I have a good amount of information I can share with you

Silica 60: It is mainly used in chromatography and does not have any pigment remediation capabilities. The reason it is used is because when used as the first layer on top in the crc it will do what it is meant for which is chromatography. When this happens it will separate the oil into fractions going into the clay thus exposing the pigments to the clays first. For old material we’re the cannabinoids have degraded into other compounds, this is great since the pigments will be homogenized with the oils that have degraded thus making it harder to remediate with clay alone.

Bentonite: there is a variety of bentonite on the market. The reason for is that the clay is the main component in the crc. Since it’s doing the heavy adsorption, the user must dial in the parameters to achieve the desired results. For example, on live material you will not have many impurities therefor you will not need an acid activated clay as it could degrade your terpenes. A natural clay will be best in that scenario. For the opposite, old material will need an acid activated clay and high moisture as well to help deal with all pigments and gums that have been produced from the biomass aging or it’s storage conditions.

UltraClear: it is mainly used to remove excess moisture or acids in the oils. It helps improve color and clarity when mixed with other bentonite powders. Other use it to break the impact of the flow coming in and ensure an even flow into the filter. It warms up slightly in the beginning which can help avoid clogs for those running cold and it is also used to help increase permeability in filters exceeding 12” in height.

ChloroSorbs: these are carbon/bentonite blends that are mainly used to deodorize and improve bleaching. The carbon in these can hold onto thca so it is only used when required.

Alumina: alumina is great for removing the excess moisture in the oils that has been picked up from the clays. While the moisture helps in improving the clarity of the oil, it can also be a pro oxidant if not removed making your oil turn red/brown faster while in storage. Neutral alumina is also used to remove excess acids after using acidic sorbents. Leaving the oil acidic can have negative reactions on the terpenes when adding heat to the oil for example in the oven or in a diamond miner.

Copper: It is used to remove sulphur from extract. Here’s the link you need

Here are some SOPs for dealing with different biomass qualities.

Old material

Cured material

Live material

I hope this info helps. If there’s any others you want more information on, I’m more than happy to help. We are also doing a class this February 26-27 with @IlluminatedExtractor in San Diego where we will be doing a live extraction demo with their system as well as describing the adsorbents further.


theres a 800 page thread called crc on here and i cant figure it out so I buy premix like lustermax. does that have all those things in it?


I still would like read out exactly what the old Ws did and the new Ws bc theres like 4 of em or 5.

It would be nice to have enough r and d to find out exactly what each one was removing.

And I was there through the start of all the crc and I still don’t know exactly what each W does…and like some chunks ppl l.say mix lustermax and silica 60 1:1. I wonder why a starting darker red oil?

If this ever gets filled out we need to pin it to the top

The old Ws were all acidic and only 3 options. The new are now 5 options and cover the pH scale from 3-10 to allow the user to choose as needed. High pH(alkaline) conditions will remove pesticides through hydrolysis so W4 would work best in this case. Being that it’s a clay it will also remediate color when compared to silicate/magnesium which will only remediate pesticides. Some labs can’t use acidic medias(organic labs) so medias like W2 or W5 will be best in this case. W2 is natural and heat activated for more surface area to improve bleaching efficiency. W5 is acid activated but neutralized for a greater surface area as well. Low pH(acidic) medias like W1 or W3 will help in removing fats/gums but can also be used to help promote crystallization. Besides pH there’s moisture, particle size, and surface area that also play a role in filtration. The more activated a clay is, the more surface area there is. Think of it like parking spaces, you only need so many depending on your biomass quality. Too much and the flavor gets dulled down. With this information you can choose the correct medias depending on your crc size and what the product being filtered brings to the table.


If this were true you wouldn’t be able to make water clear with silica 60 with distillate and you can

Silica definitely grabs color, ill upload a picture of a column that I ran to remediate color on some disty. You can see the red bands


With enough solvent you can elute all the colors out


You can do that with any media though, which is why people have started reusing media

Flushing the column with clean solvent to make sure all the disty was removed didn’t effect the color of the bands. The silica definetly grabs color


The solvent type definitely plays a role. This information is mainly for butane/propane. In these solvents I have not seen color being held back by the silica. I believe what you are seeing are flavonoids being held back due to their polarity and retention time. Flavonoids will vary from strain to strain and can also vary by the environment they’re grown in.


Yeah when I add silica60 it pulls the reds…butane propane…it also had green colors on it


This is exactly what my column shows, I think it even has some green in it. I’ve ran a column using silica 60 that was pure green. That one was pretty crazy

When mixed with clay at a 1:1 ratio, i can see the colors showing up on the silica as well


I used like 100gram de. Then 125g t5 then 25-50silica60 running 12lbs gas over 1lb material I didn’t get any more product than running 6-7lbs gas per lb…

The silica would usually grab the greens and reds I was noticing I may be wrong I thought I flushed enough to wash the powders clean that’s on 3" crc

Now I wouldnt use the d.e. think it makes the orange flavor worse

Just straight w1 or we or straight lustermax

I wonder if maybe you’re just running cold enough not to pull any reds

Only time I get red is when water is involved when using a hydrocarbon


This was old material laced w kief I should note

DE has a lot of moisture in it and being that’s it’s the last layer used to catch everything, it can leave excess moisture in the oil. This can speed up oxidation and make the oil go rancid


Now I just use filters to catch everything I feel I get it all and my disk never see powders I love it

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I run room temp solvent usually but running cold will definitely help not pick up some of the reds


Are you running FF?