Our botanical herbal oil extractor system is designed to effectively extract essential oils and
extracts from herbal materials using pressurized light-hydrocarbon solvents. This system is a
closed-loop type specifically designed for the use of LPG (butane) as the extraction solvent.
LPG solvent avoids the need to use extreme temperatures or pressures in the extraction process
and can be completely removed from the extracted solutes with basic evaporation techniques.
Certified: The system pressure vessels are manufactured and marked ASME certified for MAWP of
250psi @ 100°F, designed for LPG use. The accessories and hoses are rated LPG-350-PSI to meet
NFPA-58 regulations for LPG installations. ASME: American Society of Mechanical Engineers; ref.
BPVC Section VIII – Rules for Construction of Pressure Vessels Division 1 (BPVC-VIII-1 – 2013). NFPA:
National Fire Protection Association; ref. Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code (NFPA-58 – 2017).
Cleanable: The system vessels and accessories are manufactured of food-grade 304/316 stainless
steel and are electro-polished for producing pure extracts and ease of cleaning after extraction.
Rounded edges, seamless tubing and polished welds help ensure sanitation standards can be met.
Many tank models have bottom drains for easier solvent wash-down and sterilization.
Modular: The extractor design allows many variations on the basic extraction process. Available
connections, valves and accessories permit a variety of process steps to be used or modified. A wide
range of temperatures, pressures and dwell times are possible for different process steps. An enthusiast
can certainly develop one’s very own special process.
Flammable: LPG (liquefied petroleum gas: butane is extremely flammable and can create an explosive
atmosphere when mixed with air. LPG becomes explosive at as little as 2% content in air. Keep away
from open flames, heat, sparks, and hot surfaces – no smoking.
Leaks: Although this extractor system has closed-loop type design intended to operate without
leakage of the LPG, and to recover the solvent after extraction for reuse, some release of LPG must be
expected and planned for. The herbal materials may retain some LPG depending on how thoroughly
vaporized after extraction, which may be released upon removal from the unit. Some process steps may
release a small amount of LPG, as when purging air from a hose. One must plan for the possibility of an
operating error or improper seal allowing an outright LPG leak. Equipment must be configured with
shutoff valves on every nozzle of every pressure vessel to permit quick isolation of any component.
Heavier-than-air: LPG is heavier-than-air and will sink down to the floor or ground and collect in low
areas, corners, basements and crawl-spaces. The basic rule is to never allow an accumulation of LPG
at even one-fourth the explosive mix, or less than ½% – that is very little. You cannot smell LPG if not
Ventilation: The key to safety when extracting using LPG is proper ventilation. Where permitted,
operate the extractor system in an open area away from walls or low spots and away from any sources of
ignition. Where necessary to operate indoors, a properly designed hazardous environment facility
must be used, with suitable exhaust ventilation for LPG, explosive atmosphere electrical and fire safety
equipment, and proper storage of the LPG supply.
EXTRACTOR SYSTEM OVERVIEW
2gloves and eye or face
protection are always necessary. Clothing should cover all flesh and be rated FR for Flame-Resistant
(ref NFPA-2113). Besides a flash fire hazard, compressed LPG upon release is very cold and can cause
immediate frostbite of any exposed flesh. In addition to an explosion hazard, concentrated LPG can
displace air in a confined space and cause asphyxiation without warning. Indoor facilities should and
may be required to have LPG gas detector devices to warn of a leak or developing hazard.
Equipment: Electrical equipment within the hazardous area should be rated explosion-proof or
intrinsically-safe and be grounded to earth. Exhaust ducting should be rated conductive and be
grounded. Exhaust fans should be rated for LPG and be grounded. The recovery pump should be rated
suitable for LPG and set-up not to exceed the pressure rating of the recovery tank. The vacuum pump
needs to be suitable for LPG and vented outdoors unless only venting air or proceeded by a separator
or trap device to remove the LPG before the pump. Firefighting equipment should be ready; at least a
portable extinguisher and perhaps a sprinkler or extinguishing system (consult the local fire department).
Safety Valves: Pressure vessels come with pressure relief safety valves, to prevent an excessive gas
pressure build-up. They are set to the vessel pressure rating and must not be removed. Accessories,
pipes and hoses exposed to liquid LPG must be equipped with a hydrostatic relief valve between any
two shutoff valves, to release pressure from liquid expansion due to warming. They are set to 450 psi
and must not be removed. A separate new hose or pipe run needs to include a hydrostatic relief valve.
Regulations: The facility must comply with all state and local regulations and codes, which often refer to
national standards like NFPA and federal regulations like OSHA (consult the local building and fire
departments). For reference, an LPG solvent extraction area within a facility is classified a Class 1,
Division 1, Group D explosive atmosphere hazardous area (which may also apply to other areas).
Standards: The design standards for equipment and facilities, and the standard procedures for LPG
storage and operating equipment, have been developed to minimize dangers and improve safety. It is
critical that these standards and procedures are stringently followed to minimize risks and accidents.
Please give safety it’s proper due, so you can enjoy the fruits of your labors. Always, SAFETY FIRST.
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is vital for operator safety. Proper
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