If compare CO2 extraction with ethanol extraction, which one is better and why?

  • CO2 extraction and centrifugal ethanol extraction are the two most common method to extract CBD hemp biomass into crude oil, and they are also the safest and purest methods. If compare CO2 extraction with ethanol extraction, which one is better and why? 



  • 1. Supercritical CO2 extraction has a higher yield for cannabinoids. Considering the extract, the CBD yield is often above 85%, or even >90%. The extraction rate of low temperature alcohol is often more than 70%, even if the increase time is often not more than 80%.


    2. In the extract extracted by supercritical CO2, the content of other components other than non-cannabinoids is much higher than that of low temperature alcohol extraction equipment , especially the less polar oil-soluble components. But objectively, because the extract needs to be winterized, the most significant difference in the composition of the crude oil after winterization compared to the crude oil extracted by low temperature ethanol is that the content of non-dominant cannabinoids is slightly higher, and the content of terpenes is also higher.


    3. The operating temperature of supercritical CO2 is generally below 60 degrees, such as 50~55 degrees. The temperature of low temperature cryo-ethanol extraction  is generally -40 degrees. This affects the flavor of the crude oil. In the whole process, from biomass to crude oil / distillate oil / crystal, the heating of CBD must be as light as possible. We believe that the reason why low-temperature ethanol extraction can become the mainstream method of CBD product preparation is that CBD is less heated.


    4. After supercritical CO2 extraction , it has to be winterized and filtered. Low-temperature cryogenic ethanol extraction does not require winterization, and it is sufficient to filter immediately after alcohol extraction. Combined with the cost of supercritical equipment, the equipment cost and labor cost of supercritical CO2 production line are much higher than low temperature alcohol extraction under the same processing capacity.


    5. So If you want to prepare full spectrum crude oil and sell it to Europe, maybe supercritical is a better choice. If you're making CBD isolate crystals and your biomass isn't expensive, maybe low temperature ethanol extraction is better.

    Want to find reliable equipment to convert your hemp biomass into cannabinoid oil, distillate, or isolate, TOPTION as Chinese verified top manufacturer of extraction equipment has through ISO CE UL certification, meet GMP standard, contact info@toptionlab.com now to get factory directly sale price and technical support, help you save cost and time now.


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