FAQ

Frequently Ask Questions and Advantages with Infinity


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Infinity is now offering a optional support cart for operators of the 10L Supercritical CO2 Extractor. The support cart holds a wet/dry vac, tools, pump vise, extractor vessel wrench, collection vessel holders, and ultrasonic seal cleaning device. This is the most advanced support cart in the industry. It’s a one-stop station for the operator to accomplish all extraction tasks, including machine (pump) maintenance.

Simplicity: Because our systems are not automated, you do not have to worry about software updates, system shutdowns (in the middle of a run due to power failure or software hickups), or problematic pressure control.

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Full Automation: After consulting with botanical extraction professionals, we have decided against moving forward with full automation with our CO2 10L system. Our customers are getting such great results with a semi-automated system, we believe it is not advantageous to deploy fully automated PLC systems. After talking with several customers, we do not believe that a fully automated system, is the best choice for a production botanical oil operation. With fully automated systems lights-out means when you lose power, or the software bongles, it automatically vents all your CO2 which can get very expensive, plus you’ve lost your extraction run.

FlowBar: We distribute CO2 over the length of the extraction vessel, and from the inside of the botanicals to the outside. The result is a much faster, and complete extraction. This means that you can run through 2-4 times more cycles than with the same size competition. With our system, you can do a extraction cycle in 1-3 hours. Faster extraction means more profit, so your payback is even faster with our system. To be conservative, just plan on a 3 hour extraction time, and experiment with your actual extraction time.

Electro-Static Precipitation System: We use the action of the CO2 flowing over food-grade plastic to produce a passive static charge. The tribo-effect charges the oil entrained in the CO2 gas so that it sticks to the first contact, which is the first collection vessel. Better collection equals less or minimal carry-over, which reduces pump maintenance.

Tube Size: We use 1/4 to 1/2 inch Swagelok tubes and components, which allow better flow of the CO2.

Silent CO2 Pump: We use a highly-modified industrial liquid CO2 pump, which runs using a motor. Operation is silent. Our extensive modification means very minimal maintenance, and seal replacement can be done by removing the pump head (about 5 minutes), cleaning the pistons (about 10 minutes), and replacing seals (about 10 minutes).

No Compressor: We do not need, nor use, a external pneumatic air compressor (or additional chiller to cool the compressor which gets hot from use). Compressor is so loud, that most systems which require it, will need a separate room because it’s so noisy. Noise produces extractor technician fatigue, that’s why we use a silent pump.

Swagelok Back Pressure Valve: We use a very precise BVP, which allows us to achieve very accurate pressures. We do not use valveless technology, which produces pressure swings.

CO2 Preheat: We use a heat exchanger on our motor-to-pump gearbox, which preheats the CO2 before it gets into the extraction vessel. By using the heat (byproduct of the gearbox), we are conserving energy and preheating the CO2.

Pressure and Heat Zone Feedback PID: We use compact PLCs to control the pressure (with a feedback loop via digital sensor) and three zone heat monitor, control, and feedback.

Less Complicated: The system we have is modular, on a sturdy industrial bolt-together frame, with casters, and can be wheeled through any standard door, hallway, or elevator. The modular cart is 24 inches wide, by 48 inches long, by 71 inches in height. You will notice the clean lines, minimal tubing, and logical layout of the components. This is designed to reduce complexity, and operation of the machine is methodical and logically streamlined.

Less Stuff Needed to Run: Our system requires a liquid CO2 supply (cylinders), and a small chiller.

Quality Extract: Our customers who perform extraction, say that their ultimate customers rave about the quality and aroma of the extracted oil. The quality terpenes that are extracted and ultimately preserved, make a quality end-user experience.

Questions and Answers

Do I need Training ?

Yes. This is high-pressure system, which requires operator training. We offer training through seasoned professionals to introduce you into the system operation, safety, start-up and shut-down procedures, and pump maintenance. You may require more than one day of training. We suggest you do several practice runs with the machine empty (no botanicals) and then practicing using hops, or some other lower cost oil-rich botanical. Without professional training, expect zero results.

If you want to be a successful extractor, please follow our guidance of starting with a empty machine and then using hops to practice with. If you want to fail fast, go ahead and use your trim or other botanicals, which will result in a longer learning curve, or failure.

If you want to use your own learning process, and use your poor quality trim or untested other material with low to no oil content, except poor results (if any). Without professional training, expect zero results.

Can I run the machine to leave most of the waxes behind ? Yes. Experiment with using lower pressures, and you will target the oil.

When I run hemp, what is the quality of the oil ? We recently had a hemp customer tell us that the CB D content of the oil was around 85 percent (crude oil out of the machine). It was almost virtually isolate and distillate quality. Perfect for mixing with a carrier oil, and selling directly to the consumer as a full spectrum hemp oil.

What is FlowBar, and how does it work ?

Infinity Supercritical is the first in the industry to introduce a device and method for faster deliverability and penetration of the CO2 (solvent) through the botanical. Every other manufacturer will introduce CO2 from one end of the botanicals extraction vessel, and exit from the opposite end. Since the CO2 has to migrate through the entire vessel, the term soak time was coined, which basically is the time it takes for the CO2 to start acting as a solvent to extract oil. It’s such an inefficient method of CO2 delivery, that some groups will actually reverse flow of the CO2, so that the botanicals get better exposure from each end of the vessel. FlowBar eliminates this issue, but delivering CO2 evenly through the entire length of the vessel, so the CO2 permeates the botanicals and can act faster as a solvent, to release the oil.

What is Electrostatic Precipitation (ESP) and why is it important with Botanical Oil collection ?

Infinity Supercritical is the first in the industry to introduce its patent-pending electrostatic precipitation collection, which enhances the rate and amount of collection of the Cannabis Oil extract. This means that more oil is collected in the vessel where you can access it, rather than having the oil have the opportunity to go through the entire system, potentially clogging the pump system. Oil carry over is a problem with all extraction systems in the industry, and is the leading cause to time consuming maintenance, pump failure, and continual replacement of valve and pump seals.

Do extraction systems have a specific yield ?

Extraction systems are not sold based on yield or performance, since ultimately the operator has full control of whether or not a system operates to any level of yield or performance. Training is available and encouraged for the operator to learn how to operate the system and utilize the full capabilities of the extraction process. Without proper experience or training, it’s unlikely you’ll get any results. Ultimately, yield will also depend on quality of your botanicals. Quality in = quality out. We recommend that you get your botanicals tested in a lab, before you start an extraction run, so you can see what oil is available in the material. This will give you a benchmark on what to expect from your system. Also keep in mind that high pressure systems claim to have a better yield, but that yield will also include lots more waxes and other compounds, which need to be separated out later in post-processing (winterization and distillation). Our system below 2,000 psi specifically targets terpene and oil production, while leaving the majority of waxes and other non-usable compounds behind.

Should I Fractionate at the Machine Level, or During Post Processing ?

The most efficient, profit generating extraction facilities do a primary CO2 extraction which results in a crude-oil. You then winterize, rotovap, and then can fractionate after that. While you can use the three collection vessels with optional additional BPV’s to fractionate, it’s more efficient to do so after the CO2 extraction process.

What are Terpenes ?

Terpenes are found in the essential oils (flavinoids) of plants, consisting of a large group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons. Found commonly in conifers and citrus trees. In hemp, terpenes are the oily compound, and the main building block of resin that contribute to the flavor, scent and color of the oil. Terpenes are volatile molecules that evaporate easily, and are oily compounds secreted by the plants Trichomes. Cannabin oids and Terpenoids develop from TH C and Terpenes that infuse the plants flower tops, and share the same biochemical precursor (Geranyl Pyrophosphate). Terpenes have the aroma, while Cannabin oids are odorless.

In extraction, Terpenes can be extracted separately than the Cannabin oids, and recombined at the end of the extraction process. Terpenes are generally extracted in lower pressure and no heat. The Infinity System extracts terpenes – just do the first run cold, since the system will run SubCritical or Supercritical.

What kind of pump do you use, and why is it different than others ?

Infinity Supercritical uses a high pressure, high flow, industrial liquid Cat CO2 pump, in combination with a VFD controlled AC motor and gearbox. The CO2 pump is the heart of any extraction system. Its smooth operation is key to smooth run cycles and reduced run time, and reduced downtime. The CO2 is heated by use of solid state electrical heaters.

How are extracts collected ? Can you run the same botanicals twice ?

Extracts are collected and taken from the three collection-separation vessels. Extraction is an art, and a combination of compounds is extracted when you vary the pressure, temperature and time. Extraction products may also vary if you decarboxylate the botanicals before doing an extraction run. Higher pressures and temperatures result in more waxes and chlorophyll. For example, you can run the first hour without heat, to extract terpenes, etc. More than 95 percent (depends on the extraction technique) is extracted on the first cycle/run. Depending on your target compound and/or end product, you may run once, or twice.

What is the material you use for the pressure vessels and system ?

All pressure vessels are stainless steel. All tubing and pipes are stainless steel. Hoses are industrial grade, pressure rated, and braided. All fittings and valves are the highest quality Swagelok brand. The frame is our own design Caster-Beam metal, which is bolted together for modular construction and easy add-on modification. The entire build is on four heavy duty casters (two which lock in place), and the footprint is designed so that the entire system can fit though any standard door, elevator, and hallway. All components have easy access for operation and maintenance.

What are the Maintenance Costs ?

The customer is responsible for all consumables, and any part failure replacement. The machine is fully pressure tested, and run-in tested (and documented) before it leaves the shop. In general, the consumables are o-rings and other pump-related items. If you run properly, and clean the machine regularly, you can expect to clean the pump about once a month. The record (so far) is two months without pump cleaning (running the machine almost daily), and they are in experts at running the machine. The machine has one moving rotary component, the pump assembly.

What Maintenance is needed ?

After every run, make sure the extraction vessel is cleaned. If you run with proper parameters, which result in all of the oil being collected, you don’t have to worry about carry-over and pump cleaning, other than routine seal change.

How Long is the Machine Down for Maintenance ?

Since the only moving part on the machine is the pump, that is the area of focus (aside from making sure the extraction vessel is clean after every run). To remove the pump head, and clean, replace seals, expect at most 1 hour downtime.

What is Preparation Time Before a Run?

Expect 30 minutes.

What is Energy Usage During a Run?

Expect 1-4 kW per hour during run time.

How Many People Does it Take to Operate the Machine?

One person can run the machine.

Learn Extraction Properly

Recommended Learning Schedule and Strategy: After selling lots of systems, and determining the best practice to learn extraction, we have developed a learning system to help you minimize pump maintenance, and maximize yield and successful extraction runs. If you follow our learning plan, and practice extraction runs on hops, you can expect proper system operation, low pump maintenance, and extractions up to the full oil content of your botanicals.

If you follow this schedule, you will learn quickly. If you do not follow this schedule, then you can expect pump clogging, building pressure issues, and lack of yield or extract. If you decide to not follow our plan, then you can expect to have pump problems (from improperly running the system) and little to no yield (extraction). To be clear, if you do not follow our recommended plan, you may get zero results. Prior experience on other CO2 extraction machines doesn’t make any difference to running a new machine, with a different configuration. To be clear, you need proper training, and follow a well thought-out plan to succeed if you want to have great extractions.

For Pro Tips and consultants, please see our page here.

Learning Schedule For Extraction
We suggest you do at least 10 practice runs with the machine empty (no botanicals – just CO2) and then practicing using hops (with known oil content). We recommend using 1 pound of hops in the extraction vessel, and doing at least 10 practice runs up to 1,400 psi. Adjust the extraction time from 1 to 4 hours, and compare results. You may also practice with doing the first 30-45 minutes without any heat, to collect terpenes. Practice on low value hops first, gain experience, then move on to your botanical. Hops have a 15-20 percent oil content, so they are good for learning. Not following this procedure will result in a very long learning curve, and most likely failure.

Improper use of the 10L system can result in component damage, which is not a warranty issue, it’s a flag for the operator to continue to learn, and train with the system for proper, profitable operation. Unless you have had your botanicals tested for oil content, we do not recommend learning on any botanicals with unknown oil content. To be clear, do not use your free low quality botanical to start with (unless you know the exact oil content and composition with a certificate of analysis).

Used Machines
Buyer beware. You have no idea if your machine runs, if you purchase from Ebay, or used, unless it has been certified/reconditioned and tested by Infinity. We do not provide support for used machines, unless you have either done a reconditioned/certification at our shop. Any recertification, parts, support, or any time, is extra, and billed on a customer and per-case basis. If your machine does not run, we may not support it at all (since we have no idea if it has been damaged, modified, etc.). There is no warranty for used machines.

Purchasing Used Machines: Any used machine may or may not be operational. It is your responsibility to determine the operability of the machine prior to purchase, or just assume it does not work at all. Please purchase a new machine with a warranty. All service, support, and parts are additional, and on a per-quote basis. All service and support is on a best-efforts basis.

If you have a question regarding a used machine purchase, please call us at the number at the top of the page, or please email: greg@infinitysupercritical.com