Ethanol Solvent Recovery in Hemp or Cannabis Distillation

As the cannabis, and hemp, industries grow, many large-scale manufacturers are finding ethanol to be the most efficient extraction method. As an extraction solvent, ethanol has proven to be effective, efficient, and safe to handle.

As with any effective extraction solvent, pure ethanol can be quite expensive. This is why closed-loop extraction systems have become the norm for leaders in the industry. In a closed-loop system, you are able to recover a large percentage of your solvent and can reuse the solvent many times over.

The efficiency of Solvent Recovery

The idea of solvent recovery is not new in the industry of extraction and distillation. However, the process of recovering solvent and the machinery used has advanced over the years. It is now possible to recover 95-98% of your solvent, such as ethanol, from your extracted material.

As the extraction industry has significantly scaled up over the years, the speed of solvent recovery has become one of the biggest bottlenecks in the process. The evaporation and condensation of solvents, such as ethanol, require a balanced amount of heat and cooling to make the recovery efficient and effective.

The hemp and cannabis industry quickly turned to rotary evaporators, also known as a RotoVap. Basically, a RotoVap has a spinning flask that is in contact with heated water. As the ethanol evaporates it is passed through a condensing column and is recovered while your “crude” material remains in the flask.

The Bottleneck of RotoVaps

While the RotoVap may work for some, large-scale industries are seeing the limitations with this machinery as the general RotoVap can only process about 1-2 gallons of material in an hour. This forces the large-scale manufacturers to have to buy more machinery and have more employees working at the same task. Further, there are many moving parts that are made of glass and this machinery is known to break.

Falling Film Evaporation Breaks Bottlenecks

This is where falling film evaporators have come to break this bottleneck. Falling film evaporation is a process where the material falls through a heating chamber at a rapid pace and the evaporated ethanol is quickly condensed. This process has caught the attention of large extraction manufacturers.

The only issue has been to find a falling film evaporator that is designed to meet the parameters of hemp and/or cannabis ethanol extraction. The AutoVap from TruSteel has quickly become the leader in the industry in falling film evaporation. The AutoVap15 is able to process up to 15 gallons an hour while the AutoVap30 can do up to 30 gallons per hour of ethanol solvent recovery.

One AutoVap falling film evaporator can do the job of either ten or twenty rotovaps. Further, the machinery is made of high-quality stainless steel with very little chance of any parts breaking. Another benefit of the AutoVap is that the residence time, the amount of time the material is exposed to heat, is extremely short; 30 seconds.

Along with the fast processing time, the solvent recovery efficiency is outstanding with an average recovery of 95%.

The Growing Industry of Ethanol Extraction

As the extraction industry grows, so does the necessity of large-scale, efficient machinery. By focusing on solvent recovery, TruSteel has broken the bottleneck of ethanol solvent recovery with the AutoVap. These scalable models have allowed large manufacturers to quickly, and effectively, recover ethanol which is saving massive amounts of time and money.

Contact TruSteel by calling (877) 541-9633 or find out more by visiting


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