Typically, extraction of desired chemicals and compounds is done with solvents that can be dangerous, flammable and volatile. Hexane and petroleum ether are two commonly used chemicals in this process as others. Since they are potentially explosive, environmentally hazardous and toxic, alternative methods have been developed to move away from their use.
Phytosols and their Uses
Phytosols describes a group of chemicals that are derived from non-chlorinated fluoro-hydrocarbons. You may remember hearing about refrigerants called chlorofluorocarbons; more commonly known as Freon. Phytosols are an environmentally friendly variant of that chemical that are still used as refrigerants in automobiles. They can also be used as a solvent for extraction. One of the most common Phytosols utilized in this manner is HFC-134a or 1,1,1,2 tetrafluoroethane.
Advantages of HFC-134a
HFC-134a holds many benefits over its extraction process competitors. It is classed as non-flammable and has no potential for ozone depletion.
At standard temperature and pressure (1 atmosphere and 60 °F), HFC-134a is a gas. Fortunately, it can be liquefied at relatively low pressures. This makes handling the liquid phase much easier than other chemicals so that it is ideal for being used as a solvent in the extraction process.
This low pressure and temperature combination also allow for an extraction process that doesn’t require the high capital investment in pumps, compressors and condensers that other processes need like supercritical carbon dioxide.
Finally, scientists in the USA, Japan and Europe have extensively studied HFC-134a. It is a well-understood, well-documented and safe chemical for extraction uses. The FDA considers HFC-134a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS).
The Advanced Phytonic Extraction Process
Processes will vary depending on the dry biomass that is going to be used but generally consists of the following details:
Dry biomass is placed into a extractor where the solvent is added. There is a percolation time as the solvent goes to work on extracting the desired compounds. Think of it like your tea bags steeping in hot water.
Once this is done, and the compounds have been dissolved in the solvent; heat and vacuum is added to boil off the solvent and leave behind the desired compounds. When using HFC-134a, it is imperative to capture all of the solvent as there are global warming concerns with this solvent.
Finally, the recovered is then vacuumed to remove any remaining solvent; the solvent is condensed and recovered.
The process can take anywhere from an to a few hours depending on what is being extracted.
Consider Advanced Phytonic Extraction for your Plant