There are two reasons to vacuum the extractor: 1. create negative pressure to “pull” the butane into the extractor; 2. remove oxygen from the extractor to prevent potential explosive conditions. Follow the steps below. One step at a time, you vacuum out each segment of the extractor. The chart will show you the open/closed condition of every valve or on/off switch as you work through the steps. Final image - vacuum diagram

Step 1 – Pre-vacuum – turn on vacuum
Component # Component Name Abbreviation Open/On Closed/Off
1 Extraction Column Valve ECV x
2 Low Pressure Recovery Manifold RM2 x
3 High Pressure Recovery Manifold RM3 x
4 Purge Port PP x
5 Recovery Cylinder RC x
6 Vacuum Pump VP x
7 Recovery Pump RP x
Step 1.1 – Vacuum – open purge port (4)
Component # Component Name Abbreviation Open/On Closed/Off
1 Extraction Column Valve ECV x
2 Low Pressure Recovery Manifold RM2 x
3 High Pressure Recovery Manifold RM3 x
4 Purge Port PP x
5 Recovery Cylinder RC x
6 Vacuum Pump VP x
7 Recovery Pump RP x
Step 1.2 – Vacuum – close purge port (4) and open high pressure recovery manifold valve (3)
Component # Component Name Abbreviation Open/On Closed/Off
1 Extraction Column Valve ECV x
2 Low Pressure Recovery Manifold RM2 x
3 High Pressure Recovery Manifold RM3 x
4 Purge Port PP x
5 Recovery Cylinder RC x
6 Vacuum Pump VP x
7 Recovery Pump RP x
Step 1.3 – Vacuum – close high pressure recovery manifold valve (3) and open low pressure recovery manifold valve (2)
Component # Component Name Abbreviation Open/On Closed/Off
1 Extraction Column Valve ECV x
2 Low Pressure Recovery Manifold RM2 x
3 High Pressure Recovery Manifold RM3 x
4 Purge Port PP x
5 Recovery Cylinder RC x
6 Vacuum Pump VP x
7 Recovery Pump RP x
Step 1.4 – Vacuum – open extraction column valve (1)
Component # Component Name Abbreviation Open/On Closed/Off
1 Extraction Column Valve ECV x
2 Low Pressure Recovery Manifold RM2 x
3 High Pressure Recovery Manifold RM3 x
4 Purge Port PP x
5 Recovery Cylinder RC x
6 Vacuum Pump VP x
7 Recovery Pump RP x
Step 1.5 – Vacuum – Vacuum extractor to the maximum vacuum (~29″Hg)
Component # Component Name Abbreviation Open/On Closed/Off
1 Extraction Column Valve ECV x
2 Low Pressure Recovery Manifold RM2 x
3 High Pressure Recovery Manifold RM3 x
4 Purge Port PP x
5 Recovery Cylinder RC x
6 Vacuum Pump VP x
7 Recovery Pump RP x
Step 1.6 – Vacuum – close extraction column valve (1) and low pressure recovery manifold (2)
Component # Component Name Abbreviation Open/On Closed/Off
1 Extraction Column Valve ECV x
2 Low Pressure Recovery Manifold RM2 x
3 High Pressure Recovery Manifold RM3 x
4 Purge Port PP x
5 Recovery Cylinder RC x
6 Vacuum Pump VP x
7 Recovery Pump RP x
Step 1.7 – Vacuum – Wait 10 minutes and observe all pressure gauges for pressure drop, then check one valve at a time for pressure drop
Component # Component Name Abbreviation Open/On Closed/Off
1 Extraction Column Valve ECV x
2 Low Pressure Recovery Manifold RM2 x
3 High Pressure Recovery Manifold RM3 x
4 Purge Port PP x
5 Recovery Cylinder RC x
6 Vacuum Pump VP x
7 Recovery Pump RP x

 

As always, if you have any questions please post them in the comments section. Your questions and time are valuable and we will make every attempt to help you through your process.

It is essential to understand the pathways of the different braided stainless steel lines lead to in order to understand the flow of the butane.

The best suggestion to learn this, is to visualize it. If you can picture it in your head, you can perform it on the extractor. By the time you’re done with this series of posts, you should be able to safely operate an extractor in both your mind as well as in reality.

As will be explained in a later post, the high pressure side recovery manifold valve (3) is closed just far enough to keep ~100PSI. By keeping 100PSI, the gas phase butane is liquified because the pressure. That liquid butane can be cycled back through (D) into the extractor or it can pass through (C) and (B) back into the recovery cylinder.

Final image - plumbing diagram

Stainless Steel hoses
A 6 to 4 – vacuum pump to purge port
B 5 to 4 – recovery cylinder to purge port
C 4 to 2/3 – purge port to recovery manifold
D 2 to 1 – low pressure side recovery manifold to extraction column valve
E 10 to 7 – extraction collection chamber to recovery pump
F 7 to 3 – recovery pump to high pressure side recovery manifold

 

As always, if you have any questions please post them in the comments section. Your questions and time are valuable and we will make every attempt to help you through your process.

The biggest benefit to CLS over open blasting is safety. Operating a CLS safely requires close adherence to procedure and understanding the system you’re working with. This guide is made to introduce you to the procedure. Familiarize yourself with each of the components and learn each of the names, as they will be used throughout the guide.

Final image - component labels

Component Number Component Abbreviation
1 Extraction Column Valve ECV
2 Low Pressure Recovery Manifold RM (2)
3 High Pressure Recovery Manifold RM (3)
4 Purge Port PP
5 Recovery Cylinder RC
6 Vacuum Pump VP
7 Recovery Pump RP
8 Dehydration Column or Filter Drier DC
9 Extraction Column EC
10 Extractor Collection Chamber ECC

 

As always, if you have any questions please post them in the comments section. Your questions and time are valuable and we will make every attempt to help you through your process.

Hemp Hacker Glossary

Here are a few terms that will help you understand both the extraction process and components of an extractor. Please post your questions or any other terms you’d like to have defined – your feedback is always appreciated.

Process Terms:

Concentration – the amount of something (in weight) in a given space (volume) – e.g. pounds/gallon, grams/milliliter.

Contamination – any impurity in product – e.g. plant lipid/waxes, plant cell wall debris, water in extracts.

Continuous Shower – a top down shower of butane over a column packed with plant material. The butane is recycled from the extractor collection chamber in the gas phase. It is pumped through the recovery pump (RP) and passes through the condensing coil (CC). The butane changes from the gas phase to liquid phase, and passes through the recovery manifold (RM), and back through the top of the column. The plant material is then “continuously” showered with cold liquid butane. This strips the plant material of all its butane soluble molecules – i.e. cannabinoids, terpenes, and plant lipids/waxes

Cooling Bath – a mixture of ice and water or dry ice and ethanol that is used to cool down extractor components like the recovery cylinder (RC)

Fractions – different grades of trichomes/hash depending on amount of plant material contamination.

Gas Phase – butane is a gas

“Hg or inches Hg – signifies the vacuum pressure of the system in “inches” of mercury.Maximum vacuum is 29”Hg while zero vacuum is 0”Hg. It’s a way of describing negative pressure, just like MPa (metric system measurement – mega Pascals), KPSI (standard/US system measurement – thousands of Pounds Per Square Inch), or bar/atm (metric measurement – the pressure in terms of the number of atmospheres)

Liquid Phase – butane is a liquid

Risk based approach – examining the inherent risks involved in a process and eliminating risks to improve the product safety or process safety.

Vacuum – the vacuuming step is the first step in preparing the system for extraction. It is necessary to vacuum the extractor for two reasons. First it creates negative pressure that pulls the butane into the extractor. Second, it removes the majority of the atmospheric oxygen in order to prevent conditions where butane can ignite – remember that butane needs oxygen in order to combust.

Winterization – the process that removes plant lipids/waxes from an extract.

Component Terms:

Condensing/cooling Coil (CC) – a stainless steel coiled tube that acts as a heat exchanger. As butane gas passes into it, it cools down the gas and it changes over to the liquid phase – this is called a phase change of matter.

Dewaxing Column – a column that has cooling capabilities with dry ice and ethanol. It typically requires a 1 hour soak time to achieve dewaxing, although the process is often incomplete if not done under the proper conditions.

Gaskets – Buna, Viton, or PTFE “rings” that are placed between two sanitary fittings

High Pressure Side Recovery Manifold – the red side gauge and valve that opens and closes to allow gaseous butane to flow in to the manifold. The gas can be condensed into the liquid phase by maintaining a pressure of 100PSI and can be diverted back out the low pressure side or back into the recovery cylinder.

Low Pressure Side Recovery Manifold – the blue side gauge and valve, that opens and closes to allow liquid butane to flow into the extraction column.

Recovery Cylinder Liquid Side Valve – the valve (either blue or red) that has “LIQUID” printed on it. This valve opens up the extraction system to liquid butane. Different manufacturers have different conventions, so don’t assume you have the liquid side just because it’s blue.

Recovery Cylinder Liquid Straw – the tube that is attached to the recovery cylinder liquid side needle valve. The straw allows liquid butane to flow into through the valve into the extraction system.

Sanitary Fittings – individual pieces that make up the stainless steel columns and spools. Pieced together, they make the extraction column and extractor collection chamber. Sanitary fittings are held together by high-pressure triclamps

 

As always, if you have any questions please post them in the comments section. Your questions and time are valuable and we will make every attempt to help you through your process.

BHO-tard. noun. A person making butane hash oil that is aware of the following mistakes, but does not heed the warning:

  1. Blasting indoors
  2. Placing butane containers in the freezer
  3. Open blasting onto electric griddles
  4. Purging over an open flame
  5. Ignoring static electricity

BHOtard is a derogatory term. There’s no need to belittle people who make mistakes, but if they were aware of the consequences of their actions and ignored them, they might just be a BHOtard. Should something go wrong, the consequences could include potential death, 3rd degree burns, and multiple felonies.

Here are 57 pages of the icmag BHOtards thread. There are some common recurring themes in the thread and in the news. Here they are:

Blasting indoors.

This breaks the golden rule of hash oil extractions. Under no circumstance should anyone ever blast indoors. It is not safe. Under no circumstance should anyone ever blast indoors. It is not safe. Under no circumstance should anyone ever blast indoors. It is not safe.

A common element to all extraction disasters cited in the news is that people were blasting indoors. This is inexcusable. There is no reason to do this. It is unsafe. Butane molecules like to stick together and have a tendency to clump into a pool. It has a higher density than air, and therefore will fall to the ground waiting for the ignition source to spark a disaster.

Butane is relatively odorless and invisible – i.e. you can’t detect it with your 5 senses. There isn’t a safe way to get it out of an enclosed space if it accumulates. There are multiple ignition sources indoors. This makes blasting indoors extremely unsafe, even if you could sense butane’s accumulation.

Simply put, you put the lives of others in danger by blasting indoors. If that doesn’t compel you, your insurance policy will not cover such residential “manufacturing practices” – i.e. you are liable for any damages you incur, including bodily injury. DO NOT BLAST INDOORS!

Butane in the freezer.

Some open blasters try to replicate the process of making live resin by freezing their butane in freezers. This is a very bad idea. Numerous stories show that butane has the capacity to leak out from the butane can, fill the freezer with gaseous butane, and find an ignition source. This is similar to putting a bottle of soda in the freezer – it expands and explodes!

What happens is that part of the butane can is in the gas phase and the majority is in the liquid phase. Shake up a can of butane to prove it to yourself. There is a maximum allowable fill capacity for these containers. When they’re frozen, it increases the amount of liquid butane in the can. When butane in the gas phase turns to liquid, the liquid takes up more space than the gas. That liquid causes the can to expand and leak butane.

While cooling butane in a closed loop system with a cooling coil can be done safely, it can not be done safely in the standard cans that are used to fill butane lighters. The containers were never made to do this safely. DO NOT freeze cans of butane – you put other people at risk of burns and death. If you can’t think about the sake of other people, consider that most people who cause such accidents receive a felony arson charge and lose their liberty, along with some burns.

There is no excuse and no good reason to freeze the butane, regardless of how fire the extract will be as a result of getting cold butane.

Electric griddles.

Plenty of YouTube videos show people performing open blasting directly onto pyrex dishes. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, people make the mistake to blast directly onto these dishes while they sit on top of an electric griddle. It’s a very bad idea.

Blasting directly onto electric griddles is a problem because there is a high concentration of butane that is evaporating off the warm pyrex dish. Those evaporating clouds find their way to the power cord, where there is an electrical current, and the cloud ignites. Meanwhile, the person blasting is holding onto a glass or PVC tube that’s dripping with liquid butane with an open can of butane affixed to the top of the tube.

This leads to a situation where the person doing the blasting is exposing themselves to shrapnel from glass and metal. If you’re going to open blast, blast onto a pyrex dish over a hot water bath instead, and do it outdoors.

Open flame purging.

For fuck’s sake! Who would think to do this?!? Or rather not think about the consequences. Do they not think that lighter fluid is used to make flames when released in small amounts? Have they not imagined what a cloud of butane would do in comparison?!?

Some BHOtards, I mean people, have taken it a step past electric griddles – they use an open flame under a hot water bath, with that pyrex dish sitting on top. Under no circumstances should anyone ever have an open flame near butane. For the sake of your life, nothing that creates heat, electricity, or flame has any business near butane extractions.

Static electricity is real.

Although it’s not as prevalent as the other mentioned ignition sources, static electricity is real and can cause gaseous butane to ignite. It’s easily caused by synthetic clothes, where the fabric rubs against another charged surface. The synthetic garment can carry the charge and be discharged at the most inopportune moments. When static electricity discharges under the right concentrations of butane, it can ignite the butane.

Now I’m not suggesting that one needs to wear a static free jump suit that tethered and grounded, but I am saying wear something like cotton and leather soled shoes that won’t have the tendency to build up static.

Closed loop system disasters.

Closed loop extractors are a million times safer than open blasting. They contain the butane solvents rather than letting it escape into the atmosphere. Still, this is no excuse to blast indoors. Mistakes happen and all mechanical systems fail. There are a few wear items that every CLS operator needs to keep in mind.

The most common wear item is tri-clamp nuts. They repeatedly get torqued and removed. These cycles of wear reduce the ability of the nuts to hold a tight seal. They are wear items and every CLS should have a good supply of them on hand and replace them when the threads wear out.

The second most common wear item are tri-clamp gaskets. Just like the nuts, they get repeated cycles of wear from the force of being clamped down. These too should be in the spare parts box of your CLS.

The NPT flare fittings that secure your stainless steel braided hoses wear out over time. This occurs on both Stainless Steel Hoses and on the male side of the threads that are on the extractor and recovery pump. They wear out at a slower rate than nuts and gaskets, but you should still keep an eye on them and inspect from time to time.

 

As always, if you have any questions please post them in the comments section. Your questions and time are valuable and we will make every attempt to help you through your process.