Limonene denatured ethanol UPDATE: denaturant R&D ROLL CALL

Just spoke with a rep at the largest remittor of federal excise tax in the nation, they are currently working on a new completely denatured ethanol blend that incorporates d-limonene as the denaturant this is specifically targeted to hemp and MJ processors- they are still doing research and negotiating with TTB and I think it would be fantastic if we could get a real food grade denatured ethanol for the processing industry.

My question is
How would a 5-10% limonene content affect extraction? Is there potentially another feasable denaturant that we might want to push for?

If I can get some solid opinions and better yet some real facts about this potential blend/product that would be great


As it is very nonpolar, it may extract more waxes. It’s boiling point is very high, so it’s likely to be retained in the crude extract and impart severe lemon flavors. Once i had diluted oil in limonene and even after removing solvent and two passes on wiped film it still smelled significantly of it.


What about crude meant for spd? Will the limolene transfer thru a 1st pass?

I dont mind paying 250/5 gal of food grade etoh. But I wouldn’t mind spending less on limolene denatured etoh as long as it works properly and is quite a bit cheaper

it will come out in your devol/terp pass

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Get er done!

Any issues running thru a panda spinner?

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It might. Will it come out in your terp pass? Yes, but it doesn’t take much to really make it fragrant, so if you miss even a drop you’ll notice. When I ran wiped film it definitely was reduced each pass, but there must have been some small residual because I still smelled it.

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I already have an issue keeping my.mains flask free of containments. I still get a very slight whiff of Terps in my mains.

I think limolene etoh may make it worse

D-limonen is a aliphatic hydrocarbon which it is UV active, its non polar and its great other then it has higher boiling point.

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It EATS plastic that’s for sure


My thought was it someone really really wanted to avoid tax they could just keep adding water until the limonene fell out of solution, then separate the layers and remove water via distillation or mol sieves or both (love the rotovap mol sieves trick someone here posted recently)

Makes zero sense for someone who can afford to get totes or barrels weekly to invest that kind of effort into it though, but could be valuable to someone just starting out and had a week to invest into getting a drum of ethanol up to snuff.

I guess my main interest in this lead is… if you could advise a large chem/solvent supply company on a denatured ethanol product that specifically caters to the MJ/hemp ethanol extraction community… what would YOU choose to be the denaturant agent? Why and why not? There is potentially an opportunity here to give feedback to someone and if they just say that limonene is what they are going to use and it turns out to be terrible, well that’s a big wasted effort and opportunity for all of us.

From what I was told, zero applications for specially denatured ethanol permits have been granted to processors, ever- they want us to have our own completely denatured ethanol and are willing to listen to reason but once they have decided what’s good for us that will be the final word.

@cyclopath @Photon_noir I would love to see your opinions on this.

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Will this be a denatured product not needing an sda?

What’s wrong with it mixed with iso?

Iso, even cryo temp iso pulls quite a bit of nasties vs etoh.

Seems like a lot of the denaturing agents do. Figured an alcohol would be the lesser of the evils

The more I think about it this seems like a terrible idea. Think about the stoichiometry here. Let’s say you use one gallon of 5% limonene in ethanol to extract one lb of flower, and you yield 20% in crude. That’s about 90g of crude. If you run regular evaporation parameters you use for ethanol, basically all the limonene will be left behind. One gallon of ethanol is about 3 kg – 5% of that is 150g. So you’ll end up with “crude” that is basically two thirds limonene. And either have to evap more at very high temperature (not very convenient) or have your whole 1st pass be one big heads fraction (that does not sound fun).

On the plus side, I don’t think there’s any azeotrope, so you could just distill all your limonene ethanol into regular ethanol.


Meh… d-limonene as a denaturant would only be okay if it were present in the trace amounts left in ethanol after extracting cannabis with 19p proof ethanol in the first place. Using 5 to 10% is asking for trouble, I think.

It a not a denaturant if it can be distilled off easily for beverage sales
So don t think it will work


i agree, i dont see how this could be a denaturing agent if it can easily be separated by distillation


If it can be distilled off without azeotropic effect, the TTB considers it a SDA, but not a CDA

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