Solvent losses through CLS, especially the MEP??

I’m currently creating a document to justify my equipment choices and I’m trying to figure out the solvent losses for ExtractionTek Services’ MEP. Just some average losses to not look like a complete idiot regarding OpEx costs.

This matters because I’m recommending we go ethanol to distillate, but the solvent losses are high and add to the OpEx bottom line quite a bit.

I’m thinking it’s gonna be in the 10-15% of butane used per run, but that’s just based on my understanding of how things work in theory. Sooo yeah…guessing

the MEP has column top recovery (or it’s easy to add), so you should be able to approach 5% solvent loss if you really try.

that said, I think the guys currently running that rig here are averaging closer to 10% solvent loss, possibly higher. it’s our smallest machine, and I haven’t gotten around to optimizing it yet.


Pull a strong vac on the material columns, and then blast n2 from the feed-end to dry out your biomass to reduce solvent loss with hydrocarbon extraction.
As far as Etoh, the challenge is that alcohol is much heavier and therefore stays trapped in the plant material (this is especially annoying if your running dry trim mixed in with fan leaf).
There are two options I’ve seen used - 1. Screw-press 2. Centerfuge.
The screw press is the least expensive option but it essentially juices the plant matter along with the residual Etoh which creates the most difficult crude I’ve ever worked with (lotts of chlora and other plant feca etc.) You would need a good pre/post processing sop to clean that shit up into somewhat decent distillate.
The centerfuge is the best method although large scale are hard to find (especially explosion-proof). I’ve seen some bottom-dump basket centerfuge units on eBay that can do 55gal+ but the bidding starts at $45k and there’s no guarantee they will work properly (probably something you will need to have custom-made). There are some ghetto DIY ways to make your own but I doubt you are interested as it sounds like this will be a legal entity and not a black-market opp.
If you’re going to go the centerfuge route, it’s also important to look for something that can acheive 2k RPM’s + for best results.
Hope this helps.


Thanks, I’ll stick with 15-20% to stay safe with estimates and look like a hero when I (eventually) deliver 10-15%.

I’ll look into the top recovery, I’m not sure it’s something they sale on their website as an upgrade/ option.

We won’t outgrow this machine for a while… Hopefully one day I’ll get to say it’s our smallest as well.


Helps greatly, thank you.

Nope, only rated and blessed equipment in this lab. We can’t take chances with our license, I’m all in on this thing.

I’m looking at the Capna6, so I was leaning towards the centrifuge they sell. But I believe it’s only 20L and more to your point, only 1,900 rpms. I’ll keep an eye on Ebay going forward though.

if it was a mod we did, it was a trivial one.
single valve & hose on top manifold, leading to tee on molsieve inlet.
I doubt it was.
it’s a very useful feature.
one I would expect to see on most production rigs.

It’s missing on one of the rigs I’m working with now, and that’s next on my list.

back to the MEP. some folks choose to pull a vac on the column jackets. if you run coolant in them, then it’s harder to get all the solvent off the biomass. unless you run something like HC50 in both your heating and cooling circuits and can switch the columns between hot and cold.

I played that game with both the receiver and column on a 2015 PX1 I used to run. had to balance the reservoirs by hand. found some nice 3-way valves to solve that, but never got to install them due to permitting issues. :frowning:


I’ll look into adding the manifold on top, sounds like it makes things quicker. Quick is good.

My quote has an added Julabo FP50 heat/chiller circulator to keep things cooler on the way in, I guess this makes it even more useful since it will help recover the solvent as well. Investment to have cost savings. I like it.

manifold comes with the machine.
“column top” recovery is stock.
you might be able to see the tee on the left molsieve connected to a yellow handled valve on the manifold in the picture below.

got 101 lbs out of 105 back today (not on the MEP)

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