Terpenes & Cannabinoid Separation
While cannabinoids are caught and collected by the internal condenser, a different, external condenser, maintained at a chilled temperature, can capture terpenes (which are lighter than cannabinoids). The terpene isolate is then collected in another, separate receiver flask. Depending on the composition of the feed material and the goals of the operator some quantities of terpene isolation are obtainable which can be very useful for various product formulations. Any remaining vapors which escape both the internal and external condensers and which may contain small amounts of solvents, water or lighter terpene components, are collected in a cold trap maintained at an ultra-low temperature. The trap serves the purpose of maintaining lowered vacuum levels in the still system and protecting the vacuum pump from contamination from the light vapors.
It is important to maintain a steady feed rate, body temperature and vacuum level. In the standard glass molecular still systems, feed rate and vacuum are maintained manually. Pope also offers positive displacement feed pumps, automatic flow rate controllers, automatic vacuum controllers and other advanced features including product discharge pumps, multiple in-series staged still unit skid mounted systems and computer/PLC control. As clients’ product production requirements increase, Pope can assist with technology consistent throughout the product line, allowing straightforward process equipment scale up. Equipment for processing 24/7 at more than 200 kg/hr is offered, well more than sufficient for any cannabinoid application!