Isolating and refining cannabinoids is an exact science. There are thermodynamics and a lot of chemistry involved that, frankly, fly outside of this writer’s depth. To understand the role of accurate temperature control in reducing process times, recovering solvents, and improving purity, Cannabis & Tech Today spoke with Georg Kiefer, CEO of Huber.
His company pioneered the development of closed loop systems for creating concentrates. These systems prevent solvents from being exposed to the air, allow them to be reused, and reduce the risk of explosions.
Huber has been specializing in high precision temperature control solutions for more than fifty years.
Cannabis & Tech Today: What are some of the major challenges facing extractors?
George Kiefer: Long process times, low solvent recovery, and product impurities are some of the challenges faced by many extractors. Stable, accurate temperature control helps resolve these issues and allows precise, repeatable methods to be developed.
C&T Today: Labs and extractors use containers of hot water, known as open baths, to enable certain chemical reactions to occur at high temperatures. Huber created Unistats as an alternative to open baths. How are they unique?
GK: We have a saying, no matter where you are in your process, we have a Unistat for that!
Unistats are circulation thermostats without a temperature control bath. A much smaller internal tank replaces the conventional bath and an expansion vessel compensates for volume changes occurring due to thermal changes for externally connected systems.
The Unistat is therefore hydraulically sealed and can be located under the table without incurring any level problem.
In practice, there are other concrete advantages which arise in your result: tangibly shorter heating up and cooling down times, improved stability and reproducibility of the whole processing chain, more security for expensive glass reactors and the substances contained in them, as well as comfortable operation.
They are one of a kind with no alternatives, thermodynamically speaking.
C&T Today: Extraction equipment can be expensive and time-consuming to repair. How can processors get the most value from their technology?
GK: Be sure providers offer a warranty and responsive customer service. Huber offers a standard three-year warranty. Just this year, we upped it to 4 years on our open baths and circulators purchased after January 1, 2019.
Many cannabis companies shuttered in 2020 and we hoped to alleviate some economic burdens some are still facing by adding an additional year to these lines commonly used in the industry.
C&T Today: What’s the next big transition that needs to happen for temperature control solutions?
GK: Eco-friendly refrigerants. We offer a large part of our product range with environmentally-friendly refrigerants as standard.
The extraction industry is moving towards sustainability and this is an area we have always found key to growth on a global scale. More than anything, we want to help our partners and customers grow into entities that shape the world. ϖ