27 Aug How to Scale Up Your Extraction Business to Process One Ton per Day
Key Scalability Factors
Looking at ways of “how to scale up” your extraction business? Here’s a list of seven questions you need to ask yourself when doing scaling calculations for your current operation:
- What’s your total square footage of the extractor + infrastructure (chillers and compressors)?
- What’s the total number of amps of your current voltage for both extractor and infrastructure?
- What are the total number of pounds, or kg, you are looking to process per hour (input)?
- How many kilograms of crude oil are you looking to produce every hour (output)? This is called, “throughput.”
- Are there any restrictions on the amount of flammable solvents you can have at your location?
- How many people are required to run your current process?
- How much CO2 do you use per hour?
It’s a good idea to use averages, or ranges, for your input numbers (#3 & #4 above) and then adjust the numbers up, or down, depending on the input potency (THC%) of your trim or flower.
For example, for an extraktLAB 140, you will need to put 8kg (17.6lbs) of trim in per hour and the extractor will output oil on a w/w basis based on the quality of the trim you used. If you put in 8kg (17.6lbs) of trim at 10% THC, for example, you will get around 10% cannabinoids out, plus some wax at around 2% in about an hour totalling 800-900 g/hr. If you put 20% THC trim in, we would expect 20-25% w/w recovery per hour.
Performance Numbers for a Single 140 Machine
Here are the answers to the seven questions (listed above) for extrakLAB’s 140 extractor:
- 25 ft sq for extractor + 25 ft sq for chiller + 1 ft sq for the compressor = 51 ft sq.
- 63 amps for extractor + 15 amps (per extractor) for the chiller + 4 amps for the compressor.
- 17.6lbs/hr or 8 kg/hr.
- Trim @ 20% THC = 1,500-2,000 g/hr. Trim @ 10% THC = 800-900 g/hr.
- CO2 has no restrictions on amount as it poses no fire hazard. May need permit from city but this is (typically) a trivial process.
- Staff = three people per 8-hour shift. One person can run up to 6 machines, need one person for pre-processing for 6 machines, and need one person for cleaning/maintenance.
Scale up to 2,000 lbs per day.
Now for the scale up: want to do 2,000 lbs in a 24-hour period? Based on the numbers above, you will need the following equipment:
- 1,200 ft sq for extractors, compressor and chiller.
- About 500 amps at three phase and 4 amps single phase.
- You will need six of extraktLAB’s 140 extractors.
- Your throughput will be around 34kg per day of crude oil assuming 20-hours operating.
- No issues.
- You will need a staff of three people for every 8-hour shift.
- You will need about 120lbs of Co2 per hour.
Try it with your current extractor and see the extraktLAB advantage.
Using simple ratios, you should be able to scale your own operation. Here is an example for a typical low pressure system:
- 400-600 ft sq for one extractor + infrastructure.
- 300-600 amps per extractor + infrastructure.
- 5 kg every 4-6 hours, or, 20 kg/day/machine.
- Trim @ 20% THC = 250 – 375 g/hr.
- No issues.
- One person per machine per 8-hour shift.
- Approximately 20lbs per hour
Now scale it up:
- You will need 18,000 ft sq
- You will need 18,000 amps.
- You will need 45 extractors.
- Your throughput will be 6kg/day/machine or 270kg/day for 45 machines after 20-hours of operation.
- No issues.
- Approximately 20lbs per hour per machine (900lbs of CO2 per hour).
We encourage you to use your own numbers and do the calculations for yourself. You may find your technology is not scalable and is costing you more in resources/revenue than you thought! Call 651-600-0036 for more information about how we can scale your existing extraction operation, today!
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