General Installation and Operation Questions for the 10L CO2 Extraction System
10L Setup FAQ
Q: What are the space requirements of the 10L?
A: The 10L’s physical dimensions are 24 inches deep x 50 inches Wide x 73 inchesTall. Most chillers will require a space that is about 3 ft x 3 ft. For operational access, plan to have 3 ft additional space on the back and two sides of the equipment. Five feet or more space in front of the system will give multiple operators space to comfortably work together. If planning to use the 10L Botanical Baskets, 10 foot high ceilings will be required. If not using the Botanical Baskets, standard 8 foot ceilings will be sufficient.
Q: Does the room temperature affect the 10L?
A: Yes. Maintaining your extraction environment to a temperature between 60F and 80F will make the system operate at its best.
Q: Can the 10L be used outside?
A: No. Although the 10L is constructed from robust materials, some of the electronics may be damaged by exposure to the elements. This system should be used in a protected environment on a solid, level surface.
Pro Tip: The 10L cart is designed to fit through any standard doorway, hallway, and elevator. It has heavy duty industrial casters so it’s easy to move. The tank-like frame is modular and very robust.
Q: Can the crate be moved by a forklift or a pallet jack? A: Yes.
Q: How do I remove the 10L from the crate?
A: Open the crate by removing the top, front, and right side panels. These panels will be screwed together and will require a T-25 screw bit to remove. All of the screws that need to be removed should be circled in black. Take care not to damage the panels. The right panel can be used as a ramp to roll the 10L out of the crate. There are two pieces of wood that are used to brace the wheels in the crate. After removing these pieces, they can be used to support the “uphill” side of the ramp. Support the right panel at the correct height so that it is flush with the floor of the crate. Place another piece of wood under the middle of the ramp so that it does not flex too much when the 10L rolls down it. When the 10L is completely out of the crate, the remaining panels can be separated from one another to save space. Keep your crate panels and bracing material in case you need to transport your system in the future.
Pro Tip: Save your crate for the first year in case you need any warranty returns. If you do not save your crate, we’ll charge you $1,500 to build and ship a new one.
Q: Can I use a forklift to remove the 10L from the crate?
A: Once the crate has been opened and the bracing material has been freed, it is possible to carefully lift the 10L out of the crate using a forklift. Please keep in mind that the 10L is top heavy. We do not recommend moving the 10L via forklift any more than is necessary.
Q: What electrical set up do I need for the 10L?
A: The 10L requires a dedicated 30 Amp, 220 Volt, Single Phase circuit. It ships with a male L14-30 NEMA plug. The cord is approximately 4 feet long. Most systems also ship with a 20 foot extension cord with the same L14-30 NEMA plugs.
Q: How is the L14-30 NEMA plug wired?
A: The Green wire is connected to the Ground pin (0v). The Black wire is connected to the X pin (110v). The Red wire is connected to the Y pin (110v). The White wire is connected to the Neutral pin (0V). The system is not compatible with 3-phase power.
Q: How much power does the 10L draw?
A: The 10L requires a maximum of slightly less than 30 Amps, but during normal operation draws about half of that amount.
Q: What electrical set up do I need for the Infinity supplied 220v (standard) chiller?
A: The 220 Volt chiller requires a dedicated 15 Amp, 220 Volt, Single Phase circuit. It ships with a male NEMA 6-15 plug.
Q: Where can I buy liquid CO2?
A: The two biggest national gas supply chains are AirGas: https://www.airgas.com/ and Praxair: https://www.praxair.com/. Many areas also have smaller or independent gas suppliers all of which should be able to supply liquid CO2.
Q: What do I need to know when ordering CO2 from my local supplier?
A: The 10L requires liquid CO2. The supply bottles must be bottom fed so that they dispense liquid instead of gas. The names “Siphon Tube, Bottom Fed, Down Tube, & Dip Tube” are interchangeable. If “Siphon Tube” bottles are available from your local supplier choose this version as the down tube may be slightly longer meaning less loss. We recommend using 100 pound bottles because they will require less frequent supply swapping. Smaller sizes including 75 pound and 50 pound bottles will also work, but supply bottles smaller than 50 pounds will be frustrating to work with.
Q: Can I buy empty 100 pound liquid CO2 Siphon Tube cylinders from Infinity Supercritical?
A: Yes. These are not an item that we stock, but we can supply them upon request. Please inquire for specific pricing.
Q: How much liquid CO2 should I have on hand to start?
A: We recommend having at least 200 pounds on hand when initially setting up and practicing with your 10L.
Q: How much liquid CO2 is required per extraction?
A: Initially filling the system from empty will require approximately 32 pounds of liquid CO2. Subsequent fills will require approximately half of that amount: 15-16 pounds. The temperature of your extraction environment, the manner in which the system is operated, and the amount of botanicals placed in the Extraction Vessel will all impact actual CO2 usage.
Q: Is CO2 Recycled ?
A: The vast majority of the CO2 is recycled in the system, and held in the onboard reservoir. Only the collection vessels and extraction vessel which have CO2, is vented to the atmosphere (out the vent line).
Some CO2 extraction manufacturers offer CO2 recycling systems, which cost $25,000 to $50,000 and have no payback. Keep in mind if you recycle the vented CO2 into cylinders, the CO2 supplier will refuse to use your cylinders since they are contaminated.
If your CO2 is around or less than $1.00 per pound (typical food-grade bar liquid CO2), then your cost per cycle is around $15.00 (your use may be less). Keep in mind that if you are processing 3 pounds of hemp flower in that one cycle, your hemp oil extraction should be around 100 grams. At $3.50 a gram wholesale sell price, that is $350 per cycle gross income, while your cost is $15.00. That cost of production is $5 per pound input, or $.15 per gram of extracted hemp oil.
Pro Tip: CO2 suppliers cheat you by product shorting. This is done buy using a down-tube or siphon tube that only goes down to maybe 75 percent of the bottle/cylinder. This means that effectively, you can’t use the last 25 percent of the liquid, unless you try to tip the bottle or somehow get the bottom liquid out (we’ve tried various methods, and the only one that works is a down-tube that goes all the way to the bottom of the cylinder. Some of you may have techniques to work around this product shorting feature (if you do, please share them wish us so we can post here).
Q: Is the accessory chiller required to operate the 10L?
A: Yes. The chiller is needed to condense the gaseous CO2 as it leaves the Collection Chambers and returns to the Reservoir. Without a chiller, the Reservoir pressure will slowly begin to rise to the point where the system will not be able to continue to operate safely.
Q: What chiller specs are required for the 10L?
A: The chiller needs to have a 10,000 btu or larger cooling capacity and 3.5 gpm or higher flow rate. It also needs an operable temperature range of 30F – 100F.
Q: Can I purchase a suitable chiller from Infinity Supercritical?
A: Yes. Most customers purchase a chiller from us at the same time that they purchase their 10L. Please inquire for current pricing.
Q: What should I fill the chiller with?
A: Please refer to the chiller manual for specific filing instructions. We use 50% water and 50% antifreeze. The reservoir on our chiller is approximately 1 gallon.
Q: Does the fluid in the chiller come in contact with the CO2, botanicals, or extract.
A: No. The heat exchanger on the 10L has a high pressure side containing the CO2 and a low pressure side containing the cooling fluid. The two sides are isolated from each other.
Q: How do I safely vent the 10L?
A: All vents and safety pressure reliefs on the 10L are plumbed to the Exhaust Manifold. On the back of the Exhaust Manifold there is a male -8JIC hydraulic fitting. It is also known as a male ½” AN fitting. The start up kit that ships with the 10L will include a 10 foot long hydraulic hose that will connect to this fitting. The other end of this hose should direct flow outside to a safe space. For permanent installations, this flex hose could connect to a ridgid pipe that passes through a wall or roof to the outside atmosphere. For temporary installations, the exit of the vent hose may be placed outside through a door or window. Do not vent into an enclosed space. Do not vent somewhere it is likely to be blowing directly onto people, animals, or plants. When installing the vent plumbing, do not run it near anything that can be damaged by extremely cold temperatures and/or condensation. Do not install any plugs or valves in the vent plumbing between the 10L and the vent exit; CO2 flow through the vent line must be unrestricted at all times.
Pro Tip: you will need a way to vent the CO2 to the outside atmosphere. If you are preparing your permanent installation it would be a good idea to install a rigid vent through your wall or roof. The plumbing material chosen should be able to withstand very cold temperatures (venting CO2 can drop to -110F) and over one hundred psi (at no time should the line be under pressure, but if it somehow became plugged we would not want it to immediately fail). 1/2″ diameter (or 3/4″ diameter over distances greater than 10′) black iron pipe or galvanized steel pipe should work well. On the inside end of the rigid pipe an adaptor should be installed so that the supplied hydraulic hose can connect to it. The pipe should end in a 1/2″ AN (aka -8JIC) fitting to make the connection. On the outside of the building the other end should be left open to the atmosphere and positioned so that it cannot collect rainwater. A screen of some sort to keep animals out may be a good idea. There should not be any valves or other blockages anywhere between the 10L and the outside atmosphere. The exhaust path needs to be open at all times so that the system can vent uninterrupted in the unlikely occurrence of an overpressure event. Do not vent into an enclosed space or directly into areas where people, animals, or plants are likely to be in close proximity to the exit. Also, make sure that the vent line does not chase any water lines that could be damaged by freezing temperatures.
Q: How can botanical extracts be cleaned off of equipment and surfaces?
A: It is a good idea to have food-grade Ethanol on hand for cleaning up extract residue.
Q: Do I need a scale to efficiently operate the 10L?
A: It is a good idea to purchase two scales. A table top lab quality scale with a 0.1 gram scale and 2+ kg capacity will be useful for weighing botanicals and extracts. A 400+ pound capacity scale with a 1-2 pound resolution floor scale will be useful for tracking CO2 usage.
Q: Do I need any specific equipment to empty the Extraction Vessel?
A: Yes. Purchasing a dedicated shop vacuum is a good method to quickly remove spent botanicals from your Extraction Vessel. Choose one that has a 5+ gallon capacity and 2”-3” diameter hose that is 10+ feet long.
Q: Do I need any specific equipment for collecting the extract?
A: A silicone scraper or spatula will be useful for removing the extract from the Collection Chambers. Silicon mats or containers will also be handy for temporarily containing extract prior to post processing. Stainless Steel and Glass containers are also a good method of temporary storage, but silicon is easier to clean.
Q: Is there any additional equipment that will make operation easier for the user?
A: A magnetic timer/alarm is handy to have placed on the equipment to monitor extraction times. A kneeling pad may also be a good idea, especially early in the learning stages of using the 10L when users may need to kneel down to reach valves and frequently check the Reservoir liquid CO2 level. A 2-3 step stool will also make loading and unloading the Extraction Vessel a bit easier.
Q: Is there any chart or software I can use to keep track of my extraction recipies or experiments ?
A: Infinity Supercritical Testing Database Solution
Infinity has developed a database solution using Filemaker, which runs on Mac/Windows and also on iPhone/iPad (using Filemaker Go Application). The purpose of the database is to allow your extraction machine operator to record data (even using a iPhone or iPad) including machine parameters, images, videos, and other data, so that runs can be duplicated. It also allows the machine operator to experiment with settings, and record the extraction results, by inputting photos or video. The database is provided at no cost. If you would like to customize the database, please contact Infinity. The database works with any extraction system.
- Download Filemaker Software or Filemaker APP for iPhone and iPad
- Download Solution from Infinity: Infinity Database Lab Results Recording Solution
Q: What is a stall and when do they occur?
A: Stalls are an infrequent but frustrating occurrence that result in little or no flow of CO2 through the system. During a stall, most aspects of the system may appear normal but extraction will have slowed due to decreased CO2 flow. Most stalling occurs when operating at higher temperature and pressure.
Q: What causes a stall?
A: There are two scenarios that will reliably cause a stall: running out of liquid CO2 in the Reservoir and filling the Reservoir more than 100% full. The first is usually caused by not properly following the CO2 filling procedure during start up or by increasing the Extraction Vessel pressure too quickly. During startup, do not increase the pressure above 1,100 psi before a strong return waterfall is visible in the Reservoir. When increasing Extraction Vessel pressure, bring the pressure up in 100-200 psi steps with a couple of minutes between each rise to allow the system to temporarily reach equilibrium. Operating at a high temperature, greater than 100F, for long periods of time will likely cause the Reservoir to overfill. The higher temperature causes more of the CO2 in the Extraction Vessel to expand and return to the Reservoir. When the Reservoir completely fills, liquid CO2 will start backing up into the Heat Exchanger which will prevent the Heat Exchanger from properly condensing additional CO2 vapor. Setting the Extraction Vessel target temperature to 95F or lower should make the second cause of stalling less likely to occur.
The third cause of stalling is the least predictable and most difficult to prevent. During normal operation the pressure and temperature of the CO2 in the pump fluxuates. At certain combinations of temperature and pressure some of the liquid CO2 may vaporize in the pump head and become trapped in the high pressure pump valves. When this happens, the pump will continue to cycle like normal, but rather than pushing liquid CO2 forward through the system it will continually compress and decompress the trapped vapor. Operating at lower temperatures and pressures will make this form of stall less common. Additionally, setting the chiller to the correct temperature based on the target pressure may also reduce the likelihood of encountering a stall. Below 1,500 psi a chiller temp of 45F should be selected. Between 1,500 psi and 1,750 psi use a chiller temp of 55F. Above 1,750 psi use a chiller temp of 65F. Customers who experience frequent stalling at lower pressures may consider using a chiller temp of 65F at all times. Be aware that higher chiller temps will lead to higher Reservoir pressures.
Q: How do I check for a stall?
A: There are 3 quick checks that can be performed to test for CO2 flow. The best check is to briefly close the Red #3 valve. If the system has good flow you should see the pressure in the Collection Chambers climb quickly and the pressure in the Reservoir slowly drop. If you witness little to no change in pressure when the Red #3 valve is closed then there is a good chance that you have encountered a stall. Be aware that this test only works when the system is at equilibrium. If the pressure in the Extraction Vessel has not equalized with the Back Pressure Valve setting, then any flow that currently exists will be used to increase Extraction Vessel pressure rather than flow past the Red #3 valve. The second method to check for a stall is to observe the “waterfall” of liquid CO2 returning to the Reservoir. If there is a strong waterfall, it is usually an indicator of good flow. If the waterfall is very weak or non-existent then there is a good chance that the system has stalled. The third method to confirm a stall is to compare the physical temperature of the plumbing line running into the Back Pressure Regulator from the Extraction Vessel to the plumbing line leaving the Back Pressure Regulator. During normal operation, the entering line should be warm to the touch and the exit line should be cold. If a stall has occurred and has been left to continue for a few minutes the temperature difference between these two lines will disappear and will feel very similar to one another.
Q: How do I recover from a stall caused by emptying the Reservoir?
A: If the Reservoir is empty, either CO2 needs to be added or the pressure needs to be decreased until the chiller and heat exchanger can catch up. If this occurs above 1,200 psi after quickly increasing pressure, reduce the pressure back to 1,100 and allow the system to run for 3-5 minutes, frequently checking for the presence of a return waterfall. If a strong waterfall forms and begins to refill the reservoir, wait until the Reservoir is about 20-25% full before attempting to rebuild pressure. Build pressure in approximately 100 psi steps with a couple of minutes between each step. As long as the reservoir stays more than 15% full you should be able to operate without adding additional CO2. If the Reservoir runs dry again following this method then there is probably not enough CO2 in the system. If the Reservoir runs dry the first time below 1,200 psi or after running at equilibrium for an extended period then it is likely that additional CO2 needs to be added. Start by turning off the motor/pump by pressing the Red stop button on the VFD. Then close Red valves #1, #2, and #3. With the CO2 bottle attached to the Fill Port, open the Supply Valve followed by the Yellow FP valve. Add CO2 until the Reservoir is approximately 25% full. You may need to briefly purge gas out of the Reservoir by opening the Yellow FV valve. When the Reservoir is 25% full, close the Yellow FV, Yellow FP, and Supply Valves. Open all Red Valves and press the Green Run button on the VFD to restart your run.
Q: How do I recover from a stall caused by an over filled Reservoir?
A: In most cases you need to reduce the temperature in the Extraction Vessel to overcome this form of stall. Begin by turning off the Extraction Vessel heat and setting the chiller temp to 45F. Then slowly reduce the pressure until all sections are equalized. If the pressure in the Reservoir or Collection Chambers begins to exceed 900 psi slow down your rate of pressure decrease. If it is not possible to keep the Reservoir pressure below 1,000 psi then there is likely too much CO2 in the system. Some will need to be released by opening the Yellow FV valve. Once all sections of the system have equalized below 1,000 psi, open the Green RC valve and perform a 5 minute recirculation phase. If the liquid level has dropped to 80% or less in the Reservoir by the end of the 5 minutes, you are ready to preset your Back Pressure Regulator and close your Green RC valve and follow the standard startup procedure to rebuild pressure. If after 5 minutes the Reservoir is still 100+% full, then you will need to open the Yellow FV until the Reservoir is approximately 80% full. Close the FV, perform a 5 minute recirculation and return to the standard startup procedure.
Q: How do I recover from a stall caused by gas trapped in the pump head?
A: The newest and easiest method to recover from a stall caused by gas trapped in the pump head involves the use of the Stall Recovery Valve which will be covered in a separate answer. If your system is not equipped with a Stall Recovery Valve or you have already been through the Stall Recovery Valve procedure without success then you can implement the following procedure. First, decrease your target pressure by 100 psi and allow the system to run for 2-5 minutes then check for flow. If flow has resumed, then you can begin increasing pressure back to your target. If you are still experiencing a stall, slowly decrease the pressure to 1,100 psi and allow the system to run for 2-5 minutes then check for flow. If flow has resumed, then you can begin increasing pressure back to your target. If you are still experiencing a stall, turn off all heat and slowly decrease the pressure until all sections of the system are equalized. Open the Green RC valve and perform a 5 minute recirculation. From there continue with the standard startup procedure.
Q: How does the Stall Recovery Valve work?
A: The Stall Recovery Valve allows gas that is trapped in the pump head to flow back to the Reservoir so that liquid CO2 can once again entirely fill the pump. When experiencing a stall, open the Black Stall Recovery Valve for 30 seconds then close it. While it is open it is normal to see the Extraction Vessel pressure slowly drop. After closing the valve you should see a pressure rise in your Extraction Vessel within 30 seconds. If 1 minute after closing the valve you still do not see a pressure climb, open the Black Stall Recovery Valve for an additional 60 seconds. Again close the valve and watch for a pressure climb in your Extraction Vessel. Use of the Stall Recovery Valve will quickly resolve the vast majority of stalls caused by gas accumulation in the pump head. If after a second attempt the stall has not been resolved, attempt the standard stall recovery procedures.
Q: My system does not have a Stall Recovery Valve, can I purchase a retrofit kit?
A: Yes. We are now offering a Stall Recovery Valve Kit which takes less than half an hour to install. Installation videos are available on our YouTube channel:
If you are interested in purchasing a Stall Recovery Kit, please inquire for current pricing.
Q: Can failed pump seals cause stalling?
A: Yes. Failed pump seals may cause stalling or inability to build pressure, but the vast majority of stalls are not caused by damaged seals. If your Low Pressure Pump Seals have failed, it should be obvious because CO2 will be leaking out of your pump between the head and the body. If the High Pressure Pump Seals have failed, typically you will still be able to build pressure up to a certain pressure but not beyond. If after multiple attempts it becomes apparent that you are not able to build pressure beyond a certain value and that other stalling issues have been ruled out, then it may be worth opening the pump and inspecting your seals. Be aware that every time the pump head is disassembled there is a risk of damage so unnecessary pump rebuilds should be avoided.
Installation Kit: 20200211-infinity-supercritical-10l-installation-kit
Q: How often should pump seals be replaced?
A: The internal pump components, primarily O-rings and seals, do not have a set replacement schedule. As long as everything is functioning properly, there is rarely a reason to disassemble the pump head. If the low pressure seals fail, it should be easy to diagnose because CO2 will be escaping from between the pump head and pump body. If the high pressure seals fail, it will typically present as an inability to raise pressure above a certain point. For instance, if the system can successfully start up and build pressure, but cannot proceed beyond 1,550 psi after multiple attempts and all other stalling and filling related issues can be ruled out, then it may be necessary to disassemble the pump head and inspect the high pressure seals. In this scenario, it is still a good idea to first inspect, clean, and repair issues with the pump valves and re-test before fully removing the pump head to access the seals. Unnecessary removal of the pump head and inspection of the seals may lead to seal wear and a greater potential for damage to the pump head components.
Q: What consumables are needed for standard operation?
A: The following items are advantageous to have on hand at all times to help facilitate efficient and clean extraction equipment operation. The quantity of each to have on hand will depend on how many runs the operator plans to perform per day/week/month.
Liquid CO2: Plan on 20# per run, but most runs should require 16# or less. Keep in mind that a 100# cylinder of liquid CO2 will yield about 70# of usable liquid.
Botanicals: 2# – 3# per run, if ground no finer than the consistency of oregano
Ethanol: Used for cleaning equipment and extract handling tools/containers
Latex / Nitrile Gloves
High and Low Pressure Pump Seals: Plan to have at least one additional set on hand at all times
O-Rings: Plan to have at least two complete sets of extra O-rings on hand at all times
Spray Bottle: To fill with ethanol and use for cleaning
Silicone Spatula: For collecting extract
Silicone / Glass / Stainless Steel Containers: For temporary extract handling and storage
Updated on 11 February 2020