Spent Ethanol Extraction Biomass Disposal

Hey Guys, so I need to find a good way to dispose and ‘destroy’ spent biomass from Cold Ethanol Extraction. Where I am, Cannabis needs to be considered completely unusable before we can get rid of it and allow it to leave the site. However, internally we are not being allowed to bring anything that may introduce bacteria or biological pathogens to the facility, so alot of the options that I have thought up have been shot down. We are just starting out, but we are looking to be producing around 600+kg of biomass a week when we really get the ball rolling. Thanks so much in advance!

Where are you located? There are a few different routes to go with spent biomass.

FYI, ou will not get out 100% of cannabinoids from your biomass, I believe the ethanol standard is usually 1-2% of cbd left in the biomass.


Located in Canada, we have fairly strict, but incredibly vague guidelines on what to do with biomass. All they tell us is that it needs to be considered unusable before we can do whatever we want with it, whether that is landfill, organic recycling facility, or whatever else.

We are actually extracting THC from the Cannabis, but I do appreciate the advice.

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I would look into machines for making biochar out of your spent biomass, you could always go the 55 gal drum and bonfire route but with 1200+ lbs/week I think the labor expenditures would get real old real fast

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@greenbuggy Out of curiosity, do you know if these machines give off fumes at all? I know that that is a problem with the Canadian Government, as we cannot expose employees to fumes from the Biomass. If they do, biocharring our biomass is likely not an option, though we could mix it with Biochar to be considered destroyed. I am investigating it and Rice Hulls for combining with the Biomass to send to Organic Recycling Facilities

Making Biochar basically heats your spent biomass using electricity, natural gas or propane in a low oxygen environment and chars it fully. This is not something that you would operate indoors and certainly not in an enclosed space or anywhere near your extraction operation

Hmmm, that’s fair. There is actually a facility not too far from our facility that makes Biochar as well, so if I can get it past our internal regs, then we could go down this route.

Have you thought of checking with any natural process farms to see if they need medium for composting?

EDIT: grammar

The main issue is that it can’t leave our facility until it is considered destroyed, or unusable, or it needs to be going to another facility or company that can take it and dispose of it. It’s actually something that came up with shipping our biomass to a biochar company as well. Our internal regs are also keeping me kind of at a loss because they don’t want Biological Material on site for this, as they don’t want to introduce bacteria and pathogens that can affect our Cannabis that hasn’t been used yet. The vagueness of the government makes coming up with a solution that much more difficult.

Yikes, then that throws donating/giving it as a raw product to farms or anything. The bacteria issue would also negate composting it on-site and selling or giving away the end product.

If we had an area outside to compost it, I am sure we could’ve gone that route, but this is a Processing Facility, so we don’t grow the stuff at this particular Facility, only process it. Sadly, it isn’t that simple. If we were to mix something with the waste Biomass, it would need to be something that can’t be easily separable from it to abide by the requirements from the government, and they want something biodegradable and cheap.

Where abouts in canada?

British Columbia, Metro Vancouver area.

Perhaps the answer lies in exactly how “completely unusable” is defined and interpreted. Usable to whom? An average person or a chemist? I’d propose that your average person would not see it as usable if it were wet, because they would try to smoke it. So hose it down with water and dump it as compost for a nearby farmer.


In pharmaland, “unusable” means dump some kitty litter on it, document the lots to be trashed, and throw it out. Keep records and photograph.

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Yup, unusable and unrecognizable means grind it up with some other “stuff” and then you’re good to throw it away. We had some regulators inform us that they’d like to see Dawn dish soap added to the mix because it “completely destroys the chemicals in marijuana”. It took every fiber of my being to not laugh in their faces.

For what it’s worth, the shit that comes out of our extraction processes is already pretty “unusable and unrecognizable”. We just blend some sand/sawdust in and call it good.

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Thanks for the advice. I believe by unusable, they expect for the Biomass to not be smokable or extractable. Most of the time, I have just heard that we mix in a material that can’t be easily separable and we are good. Kitty Litter is the option we started with, but with how much Biomass we are going to be producing, this is not a sustainable option, especially because internally we want the kitty litter to be biodegradable.

Try a commercial shredding company and buy their paper by the gaylord

Thanks for all the help everyone. We might be going with the option of Vinegar or Acetic Acid, as this will not only denature the Biomass, but we can also use it for the Ethanol and Liquid Cannabis Waste streams as well