My biggest things I look for when assessing a butane extractor model:
I need to be able to see what I am doing. If sightglasses are not well positioned or large enough to get a good view, it’s a major turn off for me.
Water jacket design.
I once ran an extractor with a poorly designed water jacket. It was a huge drag. Water would go in hot, come out hot, but the bottom would get cold because of poor circulation to the underside. This is a huge drag, and a design flaw which costs tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run if you’re running a high capacity facility.
Heating and cooling of material tubes.
Frankly, having seen a lot of extractors, and I mean a lot of extractors, all the best designs I have seen have a comprehensive way of chilling their tubes down below -20 very quickly, and then raising that temperature back up to 100+F for solvent recovery at the end of the process. Often times the ways people do this are painfully inefficient and sometimes messy or even unnecessarily dangerous. You need to be able to do this without disconnecting any hoses, without changing any fluids, just flip switch and open a valve for hot, flip a switch and open another valve for cold.
If you don’t have a good way to swing between those temperatures to extract cold and recover hot, then that’s 100% a deal-breaker for anyone trying to produce top-grade product.
Ease of Swapping Biomass:
The most efficient facilities I’ve seen have a clean and easy way of getting biomass into and out of their tubes, without disconnecting tubes, moving tubes, draining and refilling tubes, etc. There’s a few ways to do this, but if your SOP involves moving tubes around off and on the unit, draining and refilling solvents or recirculating fluids from tubes into buckets, etc, then you need to find a way to clean that up and make it more efficient.
Ease of Cleaning:
So your unit can make some extracts, but how are you going to clean it? You need to have a good solid plan for disassembly and cleaning in an easy, ergonomic, and efficient manner.
Those are my big concerns when evaluating units.
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