What is Circulatory Extraction?

What is Circulatory Extraction?

Extraction is a method of removing a target compound from a larger compound. This process generally involves the use of a chemical known as a solvent to aid in the removal of the target compound. Solvent extraction is widely used in industrial settings to extract plant compounds such as seed oils, CBD, and other desirable materials from specific types of plants that end up being manufactured into products that we all use. Olive oil, coconut oil, CBD tinctures, lotions, and other products are only a few examples of extracted compounds we all know and may use. Choosing the right solvent depends on the material you are trying to extract and also on the extraction process that you choose to perform. One of the most popular and effective solvent extraction techniques used is known as circulatory extraction.

How Does Circulatory Extraction Work?

Circulatory extraction works by allowing the solvent to be continuously moved through the material, thus making the process much more efficient.

The typical set-up involves a container with the starting material (which contains your target ingredient) and an appropriate solvent. Tubes and a pump system take the solvent from the bottom of the container and bring it around so it can be sprayed on top of the material, thus “circulating” it through the system. This process helps to evenly distribute the liquid throughout the starting material and avoids pockets of localized concentration.

Additionally, because it moves through the material, there is a lower likelihood of the solvent and material entering an equilibrium. Equilibrium occurs when interacting materials become stable and stop reacting to each other. In extraction, that means the starting material would become fully saturated by the solvent, and movement of the liquid (carrying the active ingredient) out of the material would stop.

What Methods Can Be Used With Circulatory Extraction?

It is important to recognize that circulation extraction is used in conjunction with other methods of extraction, which could include:

  • Maceration
  • Decoction
  • Infusion
  • Percolation

The added step of repeatedly moving the solvent through the starting material in these methods can help make the process go quicker. Adding this step may also help your extraction process yield a higher amount of the desired compound extraction.

Why Should I Add a Circulatory System?

There are several ways that including circulatory equipment makes extraction processes more efficient and cost-effective.

  • Space Saving = This equipment can allow for more extractions to be active at once, especially in large-scale operations.
  • Reduces Solvent Cost = By flushing the starting material repeatedly with the same solvent, less solvent is needed.
  • Low in Energy Consumption = Especially when used in conjunction with simple methods such as maceration, this process does not require much additional energy.

Need Solvents for Extraction?

Extraction Grade Solvents is a proud provider of solvents used in all types of extraction processes and techniques, including circulation extraction. For more information about different types of extractions or to talk with an expert about your chemical needs, contact us today!