The cannabis/hemp extraction industry has been growing at a rapid pace. As production scales, the capacity of machinery must scale as well. A major step of the ethanol extraction process is solvent recovery. This is where the ethanol needs to be removed from the extracted material, THC or CBD.
Ideally, one would want to recover their solvent, such as ethanol, in order to reuse it for more extractions. Recovering ethanol is a huge money saver, but it can also create a big bottleneck in your system when processing large amounts of material.
The RotoVap Limitations
For years, the industry standard for solvent recovery has been the rotary evaporator, or otherwise known as the RotoVap. A generic 20L RotoVap has a recovery rate of about 1.5 gallons per hour. For small scale setups this may suffice, but large-scale manufacturers have been forced to run multiple RotoVaps. The working capacity is only the beginning of the limitations of a rotary evaporator.
Moving, breakable parts
A rotary evaporator has moving parts that are mostly made of glass. This means there is a high chance of parts breaking. Many generic machines are made and built in China with low quality parts. Good luck finding warranties and customer service.
On top of that, they are very manually operated. The more machines you have to run, the more people you need to operate them. Running many machines with many employees significantly increases your production costs.
Long Residence Time
The amount of time your material is exposed to heat, the more chance you have of destroying fragile, yet critical elements of your final product. RotoVaps generally have a residence time of over 1 hour!
Enter Falling Film Evaporation as the Solution
Falling film evaporation is the most efficient, effective solution to solvent recovery. One machine can potentially fulfill the capacity of up to 20 RotoVaps!
The AutoVap Series from TruSteel are a good measure to compare what a falling film evaporator can produce. As a leader in the industry, TruSteel has developed a falling film evaporator that is not only effective and efficient at solvent recovery, but is completely scalable and built to last.
No moving, breakable parts
The majority of the AutoVap system is high grade stainless steel. The only glass parts are the site glass, which are made from Metaglas, which a high grade glass that is built to last.
AutoVaps are built in the USA with high quality parts that come with a 1 year warranty and excellent customer service.
The AutoVap30 is completely automated with a control panel for quick, easy operation.
Short Residence Time
Material is only exposed to heat for 30 seconds! Compare that with 1 hour for RotoVaps.
AutoVaps work in a closed loop extraction system. This decreases bottlenecks and automates most of the process.
The AutoVap15 can recover up to 15 gallons per hour, while the AutoVap30 can recover up to 30 gallons per hour. This all significantly increases your working capacity while lowering overal costs of your production.