Filtration in the Hemp and CBD Oil Extraction Industry
As cannabis legalization spreads throughout the U.S., the number of unique businesses entering the industry and shaking things up is rapidly increasing. One innovation that’s taking the cannabis scene by storm is the legal sale of products crafted from cannabidiol (CBD) oil, which appears in numerous forms.
Wondering how this could relate to M.W. Watermark’s filter presses? Keep reading, and we’ll dig into the relationship between the hemp and CBD oil industry and industrial filtration.
An Introduction to the CBD and Hemp Oil Extraction Industry
Before we connect the CBD industry to industrial filtration, let’s discuss what CBD is and how it’s extracted.
CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol, a chemical compound derived from the hemp plant. Unlike many other compounds associated with cannabis, the CBD found in hemp doesn’t deliver a high, and is instead used with the intent of treating an array of medical conditions. CBD products are now legally available in nearly every U.S. state in some capacity, and they come in many forms, from edibles to prescription drugs.
How Do Filter Presses Come Into Play?
When it comes to CBD oil, solid-liquid separation enters the picture when it’s time to extract the CBD from the hemp plant. There are many methods for botanical extraction, but most include employing filtration to help ensure a more pure, effective product.
Popular Methods of Botanical Extraction Involving Filtration
CO2 Extraction, also referred to as Supercritical or Winterization, is one such method which takes advantage of the differing solubility of waxes and cannabinoids at temperatures below the freezing point. Essentially, the frozen wax from the hemp plant containing cannabidiol oil is stripped from the plant using carbon dioxide. The wax is then separated from the solvent using a filter press. This separation step is often referred to as “dewaxing”.
Solvent Extraction, also known as Hemp Bio Mass, is another common method which utilizes a maceration process where ground-up hemp is mixed with a solvent such as ethanol, heptane or hexane. (Oftentimes, the extraction process is ultrasound-assisted, via an ultrasonic bath). The solvent strips the CBD oil out of the plant fibers, and then the hemp oil/solvent combination is run through a filter press as a slurry. The solvent is then distilled off, resulting in pure hemp oil. The oil can then be further distilled and purified, if desired.
Following extraction, the color of the product is generally dark brown or green due to the presence of chlorophyll. An additional step referred to as “activated carbon filtration” can improve the color without sacrificing quality. A filter press can also be effectively utilized for this step – accomplished when paired with specialized carbon-infused filter media.In summary, filter presses are being used for:
- Separation of biomass from solvent
- Separation of plant lipids and waxes following winterization
- Chlorophyll removal (activated carbon filtration)
- Removal of activated carbon from oil
Benefits of Using a Filter Press
Many businesses involved in CBD oil extraction from hemp are realizing multiple benefits from utilizing a filter press including increased speed of production and a higher-quality product.
For example, when a smaller operation moves from using basic filtration media such as brewery bags to the filter cloths found in a filter press, they are finding new levels of production efficiency and speed. Filter cloths are re-usable, versus brewery bags, which are designed for a one-time use. Also, brewery bags are hung up and the hemp is drained via the gravity method, which takes quite a bit more time than pressure filtration using a filter press. Ultimately, employing a filter press results in a more controlled production environment, contributing to a higher-quality product.
Our selection of easy-to-clean equipment includes a stainless steel manifold with tri-clamp fittings, which is designed to be quickly disassembled for nearly effortless sanitization.
Recent CBD Oil Filter Press Photos
Our filter presses can be custom-built to meet your specifications.
Different sizes are available based on the volume of your operation.
Industrial Filtration Experts
At M.W. Watermark, we design and build filter presses and other water and wastewater treatment equipment to separate solids from liquids across a wide range of industries and applications, including CBD oil extraction.