Industry Needs in Chromatography


I am inquiring about production needs of processors that work with or are looking to add solvent-free chromatography to their lineup.

Although I am an independent, I am part of a team that has successfully developed and deployed acid-retention chromatography columns and methods that boast a 30% loading rate and a stationary phase media longevity of at least 500 loads. This process is utilizes a hydrocarbon co-solvent, however.

I was recently contracted to aid in the development, design and engineering of a solvent-free, supercritical CO2 chromatography system by a large sCO2 OEM. Although I have extensive background and experience in sCO2 tech, extraction and engineering, my market knowledge in the solventless realm is lacking.

Hopefully there’s some info out there that can help guide our design process and timeline. We’re curious about what flow rates, throughputs, scale and fractionation constituents are most desired. What level of flexibility and process constraints must be met? Our builds are already cGMP and 21 CFR Part 11 compliant, but are there any other standards that are desired to be met?

This is a customer-driven project, as we want to meet the immediate needs of the industry without missing a beat or developing something completely out of the scope and budget of the processor.

I’d sincerely appreciate any feedback that you can offer!

Thanks in advance!!


Here we go with this again.

Hey could you explain to me how the CO2 is not a solvent in this instance, please?


Because we exhale it man…


Im intrigued, but slightly confused on your definition of “solvent free”.

Can you elaborate more on what you mean by that? Are you using solvent as a synonym for hydrocarbon solvents only?

In the current sCO2 vernacular, we refer to sCO2 as solventless. Yes, it is technically a solvent, but just as hemp became a misnomer adopted to differentiate between CBD and THC, so SCO2 becomes a non-solvent.


Well hey, at least you’re honest. Lol


I’m pretty certain @TharProcess has this developed already.


Yes, when we refer to sCO2 as being a solvent-free system, we mean that there are no co-solvents or hydrocarbons employed. Just pressure and temperature :sunglasses:

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I know Thar, as I used to work for them and on the development of that system. They are not hydrocarbon-free.

Bruh, you’re using C02 to strip cannabinoids… That is in fact the definition of solvent extraction… Just stop now before you get torn apart


Have you used this technology to isolate different THC isomers from each other?

Again, the argument of vernacular applies here.

Stupid hemp games are at play here. Not vernacular… Quit


Are you working with extrakt_lab? (their instagram username) I was going to reach out to them today to inquire more about their claims about their chromatography system

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I agree that using the word solvent free in relation to any sort of liquid chromatography is somewhat gimmicky


Hydrocarbon being ethanol? I was under the assumption they had co2x ethanol and co2 alone as options.

Thanks! A solvent is a solvent regardless of opinion.


Truly, chromatography is a very valuable tool that can solvent separations that otherwise have no better solution.

The problem with all the chromatography I’ve seen (ignoring solvent usage outright) is that its low throughput and the hardware is prohibitively expensive. So I mean, if you’re making an extremely affordable device then it could be really valuable for minors and groups confronting synthetic work. But, ultimately if you’re putting together another device that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars…its probably going to flop. If you’ve got a device that’s doing supercritical CO2 separation and it costs like $10-25k and can handle a few kilograms a day…that’s perhaps viable. But, if its another situation where people need to shell out $250k that they’ll never recuperate…then its kind of messed up to recommend anyone purchase that device and financially ruin their company.

edit: that is to say, what the industry could use are affordable and high throughput chromatography options, with low solvent demand…and sales people who are honest about its throughput and limitations. I’ve seen a lot of equipment companies promise the world just to make a sale, and then the company goes under because they were mislead.


Although we have solidified a THC retention method in the hydrocarbon chroma and we see it isolated as a flush collection, we have not worked specifically with THC isolation. We are seeing some incredible gradients and separations with CBD isomers.

We are pretty bullish about the sCO2 technology, as we are all geeks for sustainability and much lower material handling and facility costs. We have two sCO2 systems ready to fire up and start hauling out testing with our method and media, however.

Sorry but, Co2 is dead because its not selective, it pulls too much undesirables and that is exactly why your looking at chromatography, most have already figured this out and co-solvents are just not the answer were looking for, many of us have noticed that if we didnt pull the undesirables in the 1st place we dont have to deal with the post process headache’s