Benefits of CO2 Extraction
What is CO2 Extraction?
The Supercritical Co2 extraction process creates phase changes in carbon dioxide utilizing temperature and pressure. Co2 is known as a “tunable solvent” making it extremely versatile for creating a multitude of end products by controlling temperature and pressure. These phase changes create an environment to drop out differing weights of components in the plant material.
The unique design of the Hi-Flo Series systems allow for separation and collection of these constituents during a single extraction. This enables collection of light essential oils separately from other desirable constituents and heavier lipids. Supercritical CO2 fluid extraction (SCFE) methodology delivers a clean, un-altered, consistent-yet-flexible product.
Why use CO2?
The primary reason is to create a pure, clean, quality oil that is safe to produce with little-to- no post-processing, unlike toxic solvents that may require many hours to purge the solvent trapped in the oil. In addition, multiple industries have proven that the highest efficiencies in commercial processing utilize CO2.
CO2 is efficient, inexpensive and is a “tunable” solvent. The ability to “tune” the extraction process can not be overstated - especially with a system that will separate constituents during an extraction. CO2 is also a sanitizing agent, prolonging shelf life and with the proper system and environment, yields food and medical grade oils.
Supercritical CO2 Extraction
One of the most amazing things about extracting with CO2 is the ability to separate individual compounds as the extraction is taking place. This also requires a system that will allow for stable temperature and pressure changes during a single run. Because of the stability and flexibility of the Hi-Flo, a crude fractionation can be accomplished with the Hi-Flo standard systems. For purer separation the Hi-Flo FX2 with fractionation is the perfect tool. Fractionation is accomplished in this system by having a series of extract separators in line. As the extract laden CO2 exits the extractor vessel it cascades through these separators. The first separator is set at the highest pressure in the series. The 2nd and 3rd separators ramp downwards in pressure. Different molecular weight compounds drop out at different temperatures and pressures thus allowing for the fractionation to take place in individual separators. In a standard fractionation scenario, waxes are dropped out in the first separator, heavy oils and resins in the 2nd separator and light oils in the 3rd. Eden Labs has also developed some proprietary fractionation methods for isolating desired compounds in unique ways.