CBG Biotech knows that manufacturers and researchers may have questions about waste solvent recovery. We’re glad to answer every question that comes our way. Below are answers to some of the most frequent questions we receive.
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The simple answer is that you need fractional distillation to obtain the high-purity solvents you need for your work. Fractional distillation can separate two or more volatile liquids from one another while yielding good purities. Simple distillation, by contrast, collects all of the liquids together without very much, if any, separation of the individual solvents.
Yes, in most cases with every cycle, as long as the system is operated correctly in accordance with the provided operator’s manual. The quality of the recycled solvent will meet or exceed virgin solvents and will not contain contaminant carry-over.
Yes. CBG recycling systems are UL2208 listed with additional built-in safety features. Automatic shutdown sensors and pressure-relief valves are standard on the TechnoClean® systems. For those customers who want to recycle, but need to do so in a recycler in a hazardous setting, CBG offers Class 1/Division 1 for these specific needs.
Approximately 15 minutes per day. This accounts for loading the solvent/waste into the recycler, closing the lid and hitting the start button. No further interface is required—the system operation is automatic and will monitor itself, even during the final shut down phase.
Tank liners are recommended for all recycling projects that contain a solid contaminant(s). The liners make it easier to dispose of the final solid waste.
Yes. Simply contact us and we will provide them to you.
Most states follow the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations found under 40 CFR 261.4(a)(8), which identifies the process as being exempt. Please also check with your local regulatory agency.
CBG recommends changing the thermal heating oil every 1,000 hours along with replacing the tank lid seal with each oil change. CBG offers preventive maintenance services and DIY maintenance kits to support these recommendations.
All industrial F Series recyclers come with a 12-month parts and labor warranty. All industrial S Series recyclers come with a 12-month parts warranty.
Purchase with payment terms and FMV (fair market value) leasing options.
Approximately 15 minutes on average to load, fill, start the cycle and unload the recycled product. This unit is totally automated and self-contained. CBG recyclers are designed for easy operation and don’t require highly trained technical staff to operate.
The actual length of each cycle depends upon the type of material(s) being recycled, the volume of the material, and the type of recycler being used. However, the following is a good generalization:
Bench Top and Standard, Cart-Mounted Models
Xylene and Xylene Substitutes
1 hour per gallon
1.25 to 1.5 hours per gallon
2 hours per gallon
|1 to 1.5 hours per gallon|
The unit is self-cleaning when operated correctly in accordance with the provided operator’s manual, and no cleaning is necessary. Wastes dispense automatically to collection containers for easy disposal.
Yes. CBG recyclers are approved to UL standards for distillation equipment and are safe to run unattended. If the unit malfunctions, it is designed to sound an alarm and shut down safely. Many labs start a cycle before employees leave for the day, that way they can arrive to fresh product in the morning. You will also gain increased throughput with this feature.
Recovery: 80% to 95% (depending upon solvent)
Neither the College of American Pathologists (CAP) nor the Joint Commission (JCAHO) requires any special testing of the recycled solvent(s) before use; you test and use the products, in the same manner, you would use vendor solvents. There is a hydrometer provided with alcohol recyclers to allow the user to check the concentration of the recycled alcohol. For xylene and xylene substitutes, there is a simple test in the operator’s manual to verify the purity. Contact CBG Technical Support for information on formalin testing.
No. In fact, the recycled solvent is usually a higher quality when compared to the vendors’ originally supplied starting grade, due to the purification that results from the fractional distillation process. The solvents themselves are extremely stable and generally do not show measurable decomposition, even after many years of storage at elevated temperatures.
Collection is the most important part of successful recycling. If different solvents are in use, each solvent must be collected separately and recycled in the appropriate program. Contaminants consistent with the use of that solvent (i.e., carryover of eosin into the alcohol rinse stations on the histology staining line) are removed in distillation. However, if your lab uses both xylene and a xylene substitute, they should be collected separately and recycled separately.
Fine mesh strainers that fit in the fill carboys are provided to allow larger particulate matter to be removed during the fill process. Units with fill pumps have an additional strainer as part of the pump assembly. Particulate matter, such as cellular debris, is not volatile and will be collected as part of the waste at the end of the distillation cycle.
Yes. If collected separately, absolute alcohol will yield a recycled product of 98 to 99% in concentration. This recycled product can be used in processing stations for cleaning and in other applications, depending on your laboratory operations. Due to the alcohol/water azeotrope, a 100% concentration cannot be achieved as a recycled product.
There is no vapor escape. The unit is approved to UL standards for distillation units and was developed in accordance with the rules and regulations in the Uniform Fire Code (UFC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
The interior components are a closed system. The main source of leaks is through improper use of spigots (i.e., a spigot left open on a recovery carboy). Should a leak occur, the recycler has a built-in containment compartment, so a spill would be trapped in the unit.
No. All solvent recyclers are air-cooled using multiple, internal fans. This feature, coupled with both the “no-pour gravity-fill” and “vapor-recovery” systems, ensures that no vapors or odors will be released into your working area.
Yes. Your sales representative will supply a form for you to enter the volumes and costs of the reagents you use, including the costs for disposal of those solvents. You can start the process here to determine the economic benefits in your laboratory.
CBG has a variety of programs that can work toward your individual needs. If you need cost savings, we can show you how to address this objective. For example, we offer short-term rental programs that will bridge the gap between the end of your evaluation period and the time when you're purchasing or leasing funds become available. The actual rental payments can come from a non-capital fund budget, and it will cost you less than you’re currently paying to buy new solvents and dispose of old solvents.
In some instances, a portion of your rental payments may be applied to your recycler purchase price. We offer operating leases that can be handled through a non-capital fund budget. The lack of capital funds should not be a hindrance if your facility wants to pursue its recycling journey.
There are numerous benefits to recycling. You simply use, recycle and reuse your solvents at the point of generation; they never leave the area. Your facility saves a lot of money through not having to buy new solvents and not having to pay someone to remove and dispose of your old solvents.
You will also save on the cost of storage space and storage lockers. Savings can also be achieved because you will no longer need to transport hazardous and flammable liquids in hospital corridors and you won’t need to store these solvents in a central location. Finally, recycling is becoming required as part of various federal, state and local mandates on waste minimization and sustainability. Waste minimization makes good sense as a way to avoid compliance
CBG offers a Total Replacement Policy (TRP). If the unit malfunctions and the problem cannot be resolved by our technical support staff over the phone, a replacement unit will be provided. CBG also offers standard and premium onsite preventive maintenance (PM) programs. Our Upgrade program provides trade-in credit for older models and provides for changes in volume and space.
CBG has been manufacturing distillation devices since 1995. Although distillation equipment has been used in laboratories for many years, we have become the market leader by researching the needs of laboratories and developing recyclers that meet those needs by dramatically improving their safety and ease of use.
The solvent is distilled from CBG’s SRS Series equipment at different rates of recovery, depending on your operating temperature. CBG’s SRS ITM unit runs at a default operation temperature of 130°C and has a solvent recovery rate of +/- 3 gallons per hour. Comparatively, the SRS IITM unit runs at a default temperature of 70°C and recovers 1.5 gallons per hour. In general, the rates of distillation are faster at the beginning of the process as compared to the end of the process when there is less solvent present in CBG’s distillation unit.
CBG’s SRS simple distillation tank is either 8 or 15 gallons and can connect to a larger tank or drain for solvent recovery.
The amount of solvent recovered per run can vary depending on the quantity of recoverable oil/extract or solids which may be present in the solvent when introduced into CBG’s SRS Series distillation unit. In general, solvent recovery volumes are 90-97%, depending on the amount of solids and/or extract/oil contained in the solvent when introduced into CBG’s SRS Series distillation unit.
The solvent output at lower temperatures from CBG’s SRS II unit is anywhere from 1.5 – 2.0 gallons per hour. If an operator of CBG’s equipment can run on higher operating temperatures, meaning above 130°C (SRS1), or above 70°C (SRS2), the solvent distillation and recovery rates will be greater than 3 gallons per hour recovery.
It should be noted that CBG’s equipment is versatile in that it can be used for multiple solvent streams. If you are using pure ethanol, isopropyl alcohol and other carrier solvents in your operations, you have the ability and flexibility with CBG’s equipment to recover all of these solvents (by running separate processing runs with individual solvents). This reduces your cost and aids the environment through this sustainable distillation process by recovering all organic solvents used in your operations.
CBG’s SRS Series simple distillation unit is geared for industrial and higher throughput applications. Our equipment is designed for demanding applications. Our equipment maintains a rugged industrial design, which will stand up over time to your growing requirements.
Assuming that oil/extract is introduced into our distillation unit together with ethanol, the amount of remaining ethanol in the product depends on your desired end product and its application. We have customers that drive and utilize our equipment to “dryness.” Other customers will retain residual ethanol in the oil/extract at the end of the process (removing in excess of 95% of the ethanol from the product) and then perform post processing steps which are appropriate for the oil/extract and its final end application.
In the case of CBG’s SRS I and II units, the electrical requirements are 220-240 V/1 PH/60Hz. There is one 30 amp power feed needed for the SRS I Series.
The SRS II Series equipment requires one 30 amp power feed for the recycler and one 30 amp power feed for the chiller.
The capacity of our distillation equipment is anywhere from 8-15 gallons. The 8 Gallon SRS I Series run time will be 3-4 hours, as the equipment will drive off +/- 3 gallons per hour of solvent through the distillation process.
By comparison, the 8 Gallon SRS II Series will drive off approximately 1.5-2 gallons per hour arriving at a cycle time for 8 gallons of solvent of approximately 5 hours.
In each case, our equipment and the temperature set points associated with our equipment can be adjusted. If you want to run at a slightly higher setting, then the evaporation rates will increase and the cycle times will decrease.
In general terms, the answer is yes.
On this basis, CBG’s equipment is ideally suited to support CO2 extraction. CBG's equipment is currently used by customers who are performing CO2 extraction. Our equipment is often used to Decarb Biomass product prior to the introduction into a CO2 extractor. Subsequently, post CO2 extraction, our equipment is used to drive off ethanol, which is used to purify and separate fats, waxes and lipids from the CO2 extraction.
In conjunction, post extraction, CBG's recycling equipment can be used to Decarb your valuable essential oils after solvent removal. Our equipment can and will effectively Decarb your essential oils post extraction, while your solvent is being removed and recovered. Many of our customers use CBG's equipment in this fashion to enable fast throughput. Through utilization of CBG's equipment in this part of the process, you effectively take two process steps (Decarb and distillation/solvent removal) and consolidate them into one stop, thereby simplifying your production and waiting time.
It should be noted that CBG’s equipment has the ability to Decarb both flower and stem product, which may be used for the extraction of valuable essential oils.
Currently, CBG offers the SRS I and the SRS II Series in 8 and 15 gallon configurations. CBG has the ability to increase scale depending on your demands up to a 30 gallon unit. It should be noted that processing times will increase with the volume of the equipment. That said, as CBG’s equipment is automated via programming and our controller, the equipment can be engaged and left to run until end of cycle. This is different from other methods of distillation, which often require constant monitoring, frequent attention and involve glass and glassware, which is breakable. Our equipment is able to perform this automated feature through a series of level sensors, sensors and controller which monitor the status of the distillation.
Yes, CBG’s SRS Series equipment is UL2208 and UL61010 certified. CBG’s SRS Series equipment is designed for safe operation, including protection of end users operating our equipment. All of our equipment comes complete with emergency shutoff capability. This is coupled with the internal safety features, including temperature and evaporation sensors, which interface with our programmer and controller, thereby providing additional safety in the design of our equipment.
CBG’s SRS I and SRS II Series are designed to be C1D2 compliant. This is supported by the safety features described above.
CBG’s SRS I and SRS II Series can be fitted to include C1D1 capability. This involves modifications to the wiring and certain electrical housings within the equipment. Therefore, with a C1D1 unit in the SRS I and SRS II Series, there is a modest upcharge for the C1D1 capability for these reasons.
In general, as is the case with most equipment, after operation, a cleaning of the contact parts (primarily the distillation tank) is required for CBG’s SRS I and SRS II Series. CBG’s distillation tank is a double-wall tank, which includes thermal oil used to heat the vessel. In general, the thermal oil is recommended to be changed every 1,000 hours of operation. This involves using a simple and easy to use flush solution, which first cleans the oil from the walls of the tank, while also cleaning the heating elements. After the flush is performed, new thermal oil is filled into the tank for another 1,000 hours of operation.
In addition, there are some contact parts which are recommended to be replaced on a periodic basis for proper operation of CBG’s equipment. In general, tank seals are recommended to be replaced every 6 months. Otherwise, CBG’s equipment is built with rugged structure and contact parts and does not require significant maintenance.
For our customers who want to have periodic maintenance, CBG offers Preventative Maintenance services in support of our equipment. Oftentimes our customers will have CBG perform this on an annual basis or an every-other-year basis to promote effective and efficient use of CBG’s equipment.
At the present time, CBG does not directly offer financing. With customers, we do have flexibility regarding payment terms and can work creatively with our customer to support our customers’ business objectives.
Some of our customers do have financing partners. CBG can work with your financing partners to bridge the financial needs of your company with your production needs by enabling and supporting the acquisition of CBG’s SRS Series equipment.
CBG’s SRS Series equipment enables you to improve the rates of your solvent recovery as well as your Decarb processing. Decarb processing is important and relevant prior to extraction, particularly CO2 extraction and enables you to increase your CO2 extraction efficiencies.
Post extraction, winterization is oftentimes utilized. CBG’s SRS Series equipment is to remove valuable ethanol (which can be recovered) and used for future processing and leaving the valuable oil/extract behind.
CBG’s SRS Series equipment can also be used to Decarb the extract/oil during the solvent removal process, should this capability be commensurate with your processing requirements.
The solvent will be distilled from CBG’s EPD=R System equipment at different rates of recovery, depending on the operating temperature. CBG’s EPD=R System runs at a default operation temperatures of approximately 40-60°C and has an average solvent recovery rate of +/- 2 gallons per hour. In general, the rates of distillation are faster at the beginning of the process as compared to the end of the process (when there is less solvent present in CBG’s distillation module).
CBG’s solvent recovery tank aligns with the size of our distillation module. CBG’s fractional distillation tank is 8 gallons and can hold 8 gallons of solvent for recovery.
The amount of solvent recovered per run can vary depending on the quantity of recoverable oil/extract or solids which may be present in the solvent when introduced into CBG’s distillation module. In general, solvent recovery volumes are greater than 95%, depending on the amount of solids and/or extract/oil contained in the solvent when introduced into CBG’s distillation module.
This reduces your cost and aids the environment by recovering organic solvents used in your operations.
The solvent output from CBG’s distillation module is anywhere from 1.5 – 2.0 gallons per hour. If an operator of CBG’s equipment can run on higher operating temperatures, meaning above 40-60°C, the rates of distillation and recovery of solvent will be greater – upwards of 3 gallons per hour recovery.
As oil/extract is introduced into our distillation module together with ethanol, the amount of remaining ethanol in the product depends on your desired end product and its application. We have customers that drive and utilize our equipment to “dryness.” Other customers will retain residual ethanol in the oil/extract at the end of the process (removing in excess of 95% of the ethanol from the product) and then perform post processing steps which are appropriate for the oil/extract and its final end application.
In the case of CBG’s EPD=R System, the electrical requirements are 240 V30A/1 PH. The extraction module will require one 30 amp power feed for the extraction tank and one 30 amp power feed for the chiller. The purification module will require one 30 amp power feed. The distillation module will require one 30 amp power feed for the recycler and a second chiller for the distillation module.
CBG’s EPD=R System uses ethanol as the main carrier solvent. Ethanol is a tried and true solvent that has been used for centuries to craft tinctures, essential oils and similar substances. In more modern times, alcohol is still among the most commonly deployed solvents.
CBG’s automated 8 gallon extraction module provides subzero temperatures to cool the plant material, while chilling the ethanol. When the ethanol is lowered below freezing temperatures, its pickup of soluble components is substantially slowed and the ability to attach to frozen water based components is nearly eliminated.
In accord, CBG’s automated purification module has been designed to preheat and filter the solution through your choice of activated carbon prior to distillation. In general, CBG’s EPD=R extraction yields are comparable to those used in BHO recovery and exceed those found in CO2 extraction.
CBG’s EPD=R system is engineered to deploy the combined and inherent capabilities of the physics of our EPD=R system to promote effective extraction from Biomass using Ethanol. The programming and engineering of the EPD=R system control time, temperature, concentration, weight and other processing variables. These values, in turn align with the Biomass’s characteristics and the Ethanol, enabling the Ethanol to interact with the Biomass similar to that of a non-polar hydro carbon solvent. This inhibits the extraction of fats, waxes and lipids from the Biomass during extraction using the EPD=R system.
The operating conditions, technology and parameters of the CBG EPD=R system enable extractions of oil/extract and leave fats, waxes and lipids behind. This is important, as this saves significant time in and with post processing work.
Chemical formula: Ethanol is a 2-carbon alcohol. Its molecular formula is CH2CH2OH. Ethanol is sometimes abbreviated as EtOH.
Physical properties: Ethanol is a volatile, colorless liquid that has a slight odor. It burns with a smokeless blue flame that is not always visible in normal light. The physical properties of Ethanol stem primarily from the presence of its hydroxyl group and the shortness of its carbon chain. Ethanol’s hydroxyl group is able to participate in hydrogen bonding, rendering it more viscous and less volatile than less polar organic compounds of similar molecular weight, such as propane.
Solvent properties: Ethanol is a versatile solvent, miscible with water and with many organic solvents, including acetic acid, acetone, benzene, chloroform, diethyl ether, ethylene glycol, glycerol, pyridine and toluene. It is also miscible with light aliphatic hydrocarbons, such as pentane and hexane and with aliphatic chlorides such as trichloroethane and tetrachloroethylene.
Medicinal solvent: Ethanol, often in high concentrations, is used to dissolve many water-insoluble medications and related compounds. Ethanol is present mainly as an antimicrobial preservative in over 700 liquid preparations of medicine including acetaminophen, iron supplements, mannitol and over-the-counter cough medicine.
Antiseptic: Ethanol is used in medical wipes. Ethanol kills organisms by denaturing their proteins and dissolving their lipids and is effective against most bacteria and fungi and many viruses. Absolute ethanol may inactivate microbes without destroying them because the alcohol is unable to fully permeate the microbe’s membrane.
Ethanol is used in many medicinal applications. Ethanol can be food grade alcohol found in spirits throughout the world. Ethanol is used in medicinal and food products as a antimicrobial preservative, antiseptic and disinfectant and generally is safe to ingest at appropriate concentrations and volumes.
Ethanol possesses strong solvent properties and characteristics (see What is Ethanol?). In accord, the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) lists Ethanol under Part 184 as Direct Food Substances affirmed as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS). This combination of strong solvent properties makes Ethanol an ideal extraction solvent.
Ethanol is a flammable liquid with a flash point equal to approximately 17°C. The flash point is the temperature at which Ethanol will catch fire if an ignition source is applied to it. Ethanol vapors are heavier than air, thus care must be exercised when handling Ethanol. In general, Ethanol is not explosive per se, as the ignition temperature for Ethanol is 425° C. Caution should be exercised when working with and handling Ethanol. Open flames of any kind should not be present when Ethanol is being used.
The Ethanol is recovered using CBG’s distillation technology. CBG has been providing industrial distillation capabilities to laboratory and industrial markets for 20+ years. Our distillation technology is integrated into the EPD=R system, enabling in-line Ethanol recovery.
Yes, the recovered Ethanol can be used for future extractions. This recovery and reuse will reduce your manufacturing, production and purchasing costs. This recovery also represents a sustainable environmental practice and will reduce your waste disposal costs. “Doing good while saving money™”.
The cycle times will vary depending on the following variables, which are based on customer preference and processing and extraction requirements:
CBG’s EPD=R System is built in a modular configuration. Therefore, as the extraction is completed and this solution is transferred to the purification module, the extraction module can be recharged with fresh Biomass. Thus, the system can run in cycles. We have customers who process +/- 30 pounds of Biomass per day using this approach, which is built into the design of our system.
CBG’s EPD=R System is designed with rugged Stainless Steel construction and can be used to extract essential oils from:
It should be noted this is important and valuable to end users as our equipment can be utilized to extract oil from trim/stem, which oftentimes is overlooked by processors or, in some cases, discarded. The same can be indicated for flower product processed using a CO2 extractor. CBG’s EPD=R ethanol extraction technology can be utilized to extract additional yield from that previously processed material, while recovering your valuable ethanol at the back end of our process and reuse.
Currently, CBG’s EPD=R System is designed on an 8 gallon platform. That is, CBG’s extraction module holds 8-11 pounds of biomass depending on mill size prior to introduction to the extraction module. The purification and distillation modules are equipped to handle 8 gallons of solvent. This is supported by a recovery tank coming off of the back end of our distillation module, which also holds 8 gallons of solvent. Thus, the sizes for processing are aligned to afford continuous cycling from extraction to purification to distillation to recovery and back to extraction with the recovered solvent.
Multiple processing runs can be achieved utilizing CBG’s EPD=R System. This is because as one step is completed, e.g. as extraction is completed, the extraction module can be recharged with fresh Biomass and a second extraction process can be started as the first extraction is being processed through the purification step. This enables staging of your production and higher throughput. Our customers are able to achieve extraction of +/- 30 pounds of Biomass during a normal daily production schedule.
CBG’s EPD=R System is designed to be C1D2 compliant. This is supported by the safety features designed in our equipment.
The EPD=R System utilizes UL certified electronics for use in Class 1 Div 2 Hazardous Environments. The system utilizes a closed loop design (once charged with Ethanol). Thus, Ethanol vapors are minimized.
In general, as is the case with most equipment, after operation, a cleaning of the contact parts (primarily the distillation tank), is required for CBG’s EPD=R System. CBG’s distillation module is a double-wall tank, which includes thermal oil used to heat the module. In general, the thermal oil is recommended to be changed every 1,000 hours of operation. This involves using a simple and easy to use flush solution, which first cleans the oil from the walls of the tank, while also cleaning the heating elements. After the flush is performed, new thermal oil is filled into the tank for another 1,000 hours of operation.
In addition, there are some contact parts which are recommended to be replaced on a periodic basis for the proper operation of CBG’s equipment. In general, tank seals and tubing contact parts are recommended to be replaced every 6 months. Otherwise, CBG’s equipment is built with rugged structure and contact parts and does not require significant maintenance.
Our customers who want to have periodic maintenance, CBG offers Preventative Maintenance services in support of our equipment. Oftentimes our customers will have CBG perform this on an annual basis or an every-other-year basis to promote effective and efficient use of CBG’s equipment.
At the present time, CBG does not directly offer financing. With customers, we do have flexibility with regard to payment terms and can work creatively with our customer to support our customers’ business objectives.
Some of our customers do have financing partners. CBG can work with your financing partners to bridge the financial needs of your company with your production needs by enabling and supporting the acquisition of CBG’s EPD=R System.