Moving lots of (non-extracted) biomass around

So there are a few threads about moving spent/extracted biomass around. I’ve got most of that portion figured out now.

But I’ve recently been pondering less labour intensive ways of getting it into the extractor in the first place.

I’m thinking about something like this. Or possibly this.

I’m shooting for something that will move around 100lb / 100 gallons / ~14 cuft per minute.

Does anyone here have any experience with this kind of system? Or something better that I haven’t thought of?


You’re too modest…I’m just gonna say that in my experience, if you haven’t thought of it, chances are very few others have.

in this case, those others are probably so deep in hemp right now…

Both those solutions looks viable to me. given the number of those bags I’ve got lined up waiting for me to get that Bock 755 online, the bag based solution looks quite attractive to me.


Are you trying to move the biomass dry? In most of my facilities we move it in a slurry with pumps


@future what size pipes/hoses?

one still needs to get the biomass into a hopper and into that slurry. how are you achieving that?


I can understand doing this with the spent biomass but by the time it’s in a slurry isn’t it already in the process of a solid liquid extraction?

I suspect that is the point :slight_smile:

Yup I’m trying to move it dry into the extractor as part of a reasonably continuous process. Once it’s in there it’s easy enough to pump around.

It’s dry in the super sacks, it gets fork lifted above the hammermill hopper, flip and dump, the output from the mill gets mixed with ethanol and pumped to the next process.

4" piping for the slurry on the 2 I’ve worked on that were doing it this way.

Why move it dry when you can pump it wet?


The unhelpful but accurate answer is that my process requires it - I’m going to be doing things a little bit differently with my system than the rest of the industry is currently doing.

I plan on spending the holidays writing patents so hopefully they’ll be filed soon and I’ll be able to be less opaque in the new year.


Have you looked at something like this

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Watch a few episodes of how it’s made or something similar I always get a ton of ideas watching how common items are made industrially.

I know typically farmers dealing with volume will use conveyor systems setup for the item (boxed or with dividers or textured) and then adjust the height of the steps so that it works out. I know bags can be hooked and then moved around as well in a similar sense through a processing plant from room to room.


Yup, I’m actually looking at something not incredibly dissimilar to that for phase 2 of our facility when we build out at least the next 6 extraction rooms. Probably going to use a vacuum system but the same concept applies.

I just don’t have the funds to shell out for the full system right away, and it’s also more expensive than you’d think and difficult from a regulatory perspective because it has to be engineered to be within our “secured storage” area - all cannabis that isn’t in someone’s hands or in a room with an authorized person needs to be under lock and key.

It’s easier from a regulatory perspective to make pharmaceutical cocaine or ketamine than it is to work with cannabis. Go Canada.

Seems like the flexible conveyors like above are one of the best bets for now for each extractor until I get the whole facility dialed in.


how much milling do you require to have it move as a slurry? is it like a distillery or beer mash consistency. any increase in chlorophyll pickup due to reduction in bud size?

If your moving large volumes of dried product why not just use large duct work and blowers and silos? That’s how all the cereal factories Ive work in move product around…

We’re looking into something like that, the problem is that kind of system is somewhat problematic for various regulatory reasons here in Canada. We have to be able to know exactly where every single gram in our entire facility is, who is in control of it, etc.

Cannabis is more tightly controlled from a regulatory perspective than fentanyl.

I’m leaning towards some kind of pneumatic type system but not set on anything just yet.

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Damn, every batch i get you better believe im picking out a nug and smoking a blunt. Any room for that in your track and trace system?


I think the margin where the regulator starts to give you the hairy eyeball is something in the region of +/- 0.5-1% unexplained losses, so with the volumes we’re looking at a single decent nug per batch probably wouldn’t move the needle much.


What do you do about water weight, and dehydration?

Thankfully, we’re not on the cultivation side of things, so they’re not a huge issue for us. Though I think those kind of things are accounted for through measurement and process inspections and as such don’t fall under “unexplained.”

Losses are tracked on the cannabinoid side of things, so if you’ve got a process that consistently gives you 75% yield (for example mg THC in biomass to mg of THC in distillate) and then you’re dumb enough to have a repeat of that process give you say 25% yield because some went out the back door (or 125% because you brought some in), the regulator might come looking for that 50%.

So, theoretically, small amounts of variance are not an issue, but big ones are.

With cannabinoids in the legal market commanding 2-10x or more than their black market versions, the general thing they watch for is yields that mysteriously increase rather than when some that go missing though. I think two operators have now had their licenses pulled by shifting black market material into the legal supply. I guess when you can buy a pound for well under $800 and it’s selling in the legal market for at least $5/g wholesale, the temptation is pretty big.


Preference on continuous or batch?

Do you mind putting up a layout of your facility as is/planned build out, providing a link/copy of the ‘chain of custody’ regulation, and a rough estimate of feedstock volume per day you process. Also, if you could throw up some photos of how product is currently delivered to the facility that would help.