Apeks Supercritical

By Hippy KK

 

Until recently, Supercritical CO₂ systems were known mainly for making essential oils, lavender specifically pops into mind. However, over the past handful of years, these systems have become quite popular to those that produce large quantities of Cannabis extractions.

 

“There are a lot of things supercritical Carbon Dioxide can do beyond extractions,” stated Andy Joseph, President of Apeks Supercritical. “There’s critical-point drying, which is an electronics component manufacturing process. There’s a replacement technology for dry cleaning that doesn’t use any hazardous solvents. It’s a disinfectant so it can be used for sterilization. CO₂ can be used for a wide variety of things besides extractions.”

 

Having designed their equipment around botanical oil extractions using CO₂, Apeks Supercritical offers six different size units, and also accepts custom orders to meet any size of production needs. All 5L and 20L systems are fully automated. Simply select an operating pressure, an operating temperature, an extraction time and push start. The system will do all the work for you, and requires no monitoring as manually operated systems do. The following is a list of systems currently available by Apeks Supercritical:

1500-1LV Venting Benchtop SystemCO₂ venting system designed specifically for light commercial use where limited power and/or space is available. Perfect for laboratory testing or small batch runs.

1500-1L Recirculating Benchtop Systemour most affordable production system.  Benchtop closed loop recirculating capability allows for small production operation on a tight budget and/or in limited space or power applications.

1500-5L Subcritical/Supercritical CO₂ System — Our flagship recirculating CO2 production system.  Typically used for lower volume production operations and pilot scale testing. Operates both subcritical (liquid) and supercritical CO₂. Well suited for high-value production, testing and product trials.

1500-20L Subcritical/Supercritical CO₂ system – Similar to the 1500-5L, except uses a 20L extraction vessel to allow for larger batch production operations.

5000-5L Supercritical CO₂ system — Higher pressure recirculating CO₂ production system allows for broader range of supercritical envelope which will produce a different product due to extracting higher molecular weight compounds compared to subcritical CO₂.

5000-20L Supercritical CO₂ system — Similar to the 5000-5L, except uses a 20L extraction vessel to allow for larger batch production operations.

 

All Apeks units are designed with their utility patent pending Valveless Expansion Technology (VET). This means there are no constrictions or regulating valves to cause clogging in the system between the extraction vessel and the CO₂ expansion separator. Flow of liquid CO₂ and dissolved oil travels unobstructed from the extraction vessel into the separator. When asked why it matters whether there was a valve or not, Andy walked me through the process of extracting botanical oil in a manner that I could easily understand: “The basic premise of how this works is, you compress CO₂ to the point where it converts into a liquid. When it’s put under enough pressure, it will convert into a liquid Carbon Dioxide. When you have it in liquid form, Carbon Dioxide becomes a solvent so it has the ability to dissolve oils out of plant material just like paint thinner can dissolve paint out of a paint brush. It dissolves the oils because it’s in liquid form under high pressure. So, then it carries the oils with it until you decompress it, so you convert it from a liquid back into a gas. It drops the oil right at the point of decompression.” Now, here is where the VET is unique: “Most systems out there use some kind of valve to accomplish that decompression conversion from a liquid to a gas. When you use a valve, and it doesn’t matter what kind of valve, they all have the same problem, they have a small passage, components, springs, diaphragms, and things like that when you drop in this oil out of the solution, that oil will collect inside the valve and ultimately clog it. It is a very common problem in all supercritical CO₂ systems.”

 

Supercritical CO₂ extraction systems are much cleaner and safer than other forms of extraction methods such as butane. CO₂ is non-flammable, non-toxic and Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA for use in food products and is safe for the environment. And since Apeks Supercritical uses a closed-loop system, meaning when the Carbon Dioxide is converted back into a gas, it is recovered after being used which saves on wasted or lost CO₂ and is then reused.

 

All systems come with a one-year limited warranty and Apeks Supercritical offers training at their facility that is included in the cost of each unit. However, if traveling is out of the question, for an additional fee, Apeks Supercritical will come to you and train your staff.  Delivery is in less than 4 weeks for all 1500-psi systems and typically 6 – 8 weeks for the 5000-psi systems due to the complexity of a higher pressure system.

 

Apeks Supercritical has been in business since 2001, and is located in Johnstown, Ohio. Andy Joseph is a United States veteran who knows the importance of supporting ‘Made in the USA’ companies and when at all possible, Apeks Supercritical buys local from businesses in Johnstown, Ohio and its surrounding area. Apeks Supercritical employs several family members, including Andy’s father who is a veteran himself.

 

URLs:

 

Apeks Supercritical: http://www.apekssupercritical.com/

14381 Blamer Rd

Johnstown OH 43031

614-354-4451

Apeks Supercritical on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/apekssupercritical

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