Extraction: Past, Present, and Future
In this episode of extrakTALKS, Dr. Jon and Randall walk through the history of solvent extraction. They explain in detail what techniques were used in the past, the advancements of the techniques we use in the present, as well as innovations that are leading us into the future. In the hemp and cannabis industry. Solvent extraction has become widely popular and profitable for those looking to create their own extraction business.
Outside of this industry, solvent extraction has been used for decades, or longer. A common practice of solvent extraction can be found in essential oils extraction. In order to create essential oil products, solvents like ethanol can be used to strip the terpenes and other plant components from things like lavender, rosemary, lemon, peppermint and more, in order to create an oil that can be used in a variety of settings. This, like hemp and cannabis, is a very effective way to create potent, quality products from plant biomass.
Whether you are ready to start your own extraction business, or are simply curious about the extraction processes used to create hemp and cannabis products like tinctures, topicals, dabs, edibles and more, you need to listen to this episode of extrakTALKS to hear Dr. Jon and Randall’s’ take on the past, present and future of the extraction industry.
LISTEN to this episode:
[00:00] – Welcome!
[06:11] – What is extraction?
[09:25] – Common extraction examples
[11:08] – What makes an extraction technique good?
[12:57] – Criteria 1: Solubility
[16:42] – Criteria 2: Mobility
[20:53] – How to speed up extraction?
[22:34] – What is an extraction method?
[27:22] – Pros and Cons for different extraction techniques
[33:02] – Pros and Cons for different solvents for extraction
[40:21] – How do I optimize an extraction method?
[40:33] – Pros and Cons for different Equipment for enhancing extraction
[46:02] – The future of extraction
[49:29] – Are you excited to see where the variations in technique are going?
[52:45] – Facilities scalability from small to large
[54:47] – What about onsite processing?
[57:30] – With a small ethanol facility, what can we do to improve efficiencies, capacity, speed, and quality?
[01:02:00] – Final words
Welcome to extrakTalks with Dr. Jon podcast. Dr. Jon is CEO and president of extraktLAB and United Science, an industry leader in hemp, cannabis and the extraction industry. Listen closely as Dr. Jon talks about his experiences, CBD extraction methodology and the ins and outs of owning your own business. Dr. Jon teaches you healthy business practices, how to increase your profits and steps to take your CBD company to a whole new level. Let’s dive in.
Randall Thompson 00:33
Yes, Welcome. Welcome. Well, you know what, I hear what I’m saying welcome, welcome. Welcome. But you know, in watching that intro video, yeah, I think next week, maybe we should just wear all the garb
Dr. Jon 00:46
Randall Thompson 00:47
in the lab here. Oh, well, so yeah.
Dr. Jon 00:51
I will do that next week. It’ll make us look like scientists.
Randall Thompson 00:54
You guys vote? Do you want us to wear the garb next week? We’re in. Okay, yeah, thank you for being Hear thank you for those who are new if you get frozen, click on the red button, it won’t disconnect you and then bring you in like a lot of other technologies. We are here to help you. So lots of questions. This is a fun and safe place. ask lots of questions. No Holds Barred simple or tough questions are good. Simple for me. tough for him. Join the chat with questions about your friends. There will be a replay so we are good and today’s topic. extraction.
Dr. Jon 01:29
past present. future.
Randall Thompson 01:31
Dr. Jon 01:32
Randall Thompson 01:33
We should do sound effects. We totally should.
Dr. Jon 01:36
No you should do sound effects. You did one last last week. What was it? The disclaimers, right?
Randall Thompson 01:43
Oh, that was okay.
Dr. Jon 01:45
Okay. We made some calculators. We went over calculators last week.
Randall Thompson 01:49
Dr. Jon 01:49
And then at the very end we did some live disclaimers.
Randall Thompson 01:53
Yeah, the little disclaimer it was okay and it was like (sound effects) And you might die
Dr. Jon 02:02
and do not drive if drowsiness or death occurs
Randall Thompson 02:04
swim at your own risk.
Dr. Jon 02:08
We did a good job on disclaimers, they could hire us for that.
Randall Thompson 02:11
Yeah. So is that now part of our whole thing we have to do that disclaimer at the beginning of every show?
Dr. Jon 02:15
We should we should have it pre done so that these guys can put it out there. Oh, wow.
Randall Thompson 02:19
That’s not as fun.
Dr. Jon 02:21
Okay, we could switch it up. Yeah,
Randall Thompson 02:23
exactly. Yeah, it was just a disclaimer. Okay, so thank you for being here. Oh, by the way, Dandy Schneider. I think I’m saying that correct. Because in German, the second vowel is long Schneider. Yeah. schneider not Schneeder.
Dr. Jon 02:43
Randall Thompson 02:43
there’s two vowels
Dr. Jon 02:44
Randall Thompson 02:44
Dandy Schneider Kansas City Thank you, she one extraktLAB hat, bottle opener, lanyard and sticker pack. Good for you. All right, and stay active on social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube. chances to win for next week extraction past
Dr. Jon 03:03
extraction past present I think, what do we got on a Jared? What are we giving away this week. Okay. Give it away ICBC conference. Okay, we want to hold a surprise pack which is basically like tinctures. Yeah. Muscle rubs and things like that. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, giving gear. So stay in tune on a tuned.
Randall Thompson 03:29
Stay engaged to social Oh, and next week. Can I announce what we’re doing next week?
Dr. Jon 03:34
Randall Thompson 03:35
tinctures. Yeah, best. What do you How did you say,
Dr. Jon 03:38
oh, how to make the best tincture ever,
Randall Thompson 03:41
Dr. Jon 03:41
Randall Thompson 03:42
Dr. Jon 03:42
Yeah, this is we’ve we’ve actually had quite a few, you know, questions on Yeah. What What do you use? How do you do it? So what we’ll do is we’re going to create a calculator so that you can calculate, you know, how much to dose it number one. Yeah. So we’re adding value here.
Randall Thompson 03:56
Dr. Jon 03:57
We’re going to do unique combinations. We’re going to take testing right on. Oh yeah, it’s gonna be great.
Randall Thompson 04:03
You’re gonna give me all the no flavor.
Dr. Jon 04:07
No, it’s gonna be good. It’s gonna be good. We’ll we’ll show you how to use the different kinds and what would be the benefits or or maybe disadvantages or advantages of one over another.
Randall Thompson 04:17
Well, I think that that’s good because you know, like guys work you know, we can do that. That’s what we do we say, this is horrible taste this
Dr. Jon 04:24
Yeah. Oh, we tasted
Randall Thompson 04:28
terrible. Yes, it is.
Dr. Jon 04:29
Like pickle chips or salt and vinegar. Salt vinegar chips. Oh, that’s horrible. I’ll try to get but these will be good.
Randall Thompson 04:38
Yeah, these will be good. So join us next week. So today extraction past present future Yeah, this is gonna be fun. It is. It is it is. Because there’s a lot of questions about where we’ve been, and how did we get where we are? And where do you think we’re going? Right? That’s cool. So you know, the all the different things you know, where did we grow up in the industry and I know you’ve got some things you want to chat about. So I’m I’m gonna launch it to you for an intro on that and then I’ll just be here for color. Okay? If If, if your eyes start to glaze over we put some levity
Dr. Jon 05:12
there’s never any fear of that. I admit, I admit that I did get slightly technical. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to try to make it super accessible, no eyes glazing over. We’re going to we’re going to try to make it very accessible
Randall Thompson 05:26
Dr. Jon 05:27
I’m going to try not to use any any Yeah, just just try to keep it all
Randall Thompson 05:31
could you dumb it down for me?
Dr. Jon 05:32
I’m not dumbing anything down I’m just trying to explain it so ever. You know everybody would
Randall Thompson 05:36
Dr. Jon 05:37
Even you. Okay, let’s let’s get going with this topic. It’s gonna be kind of fun. So I woke up today at 730 and I put this presentation together this morning before the show
Randall Thompson 05:51
you slept in?
Dr. Jon 05:52
Yeah, I did. Yeah, I did. Well, yeah, I did. Actually I did.
Randall Thompson 05:55
What the heck?
Dr. Jon 05:56
Well, I had a kink in my neck.
Randall Thompson 05:58
Because he slept too late.
Dr. Jon 05:59
Probably Okay, so let’s do it. Can we cut to the presentation? How do I do that?
Randall Thompson 06:06
Don’t Don’t cut the presentation. Oh, sorry.
Dr. Jon 06:11
Okay, I like that screen and screen a picture screen screen. That’s if we can do that. That would be really awesome too. Is that possible?
Randall Thompson 06:19
See this is him making it simple.
Dr. Jon 06:21
Alright. Oh, he did it. Sweet. Nice. All right, there we are.
Randall Thompson 06:25
I see you.
Dr. Jon 06:26
Now you can you can play the peanut gallery. Okay, what what do you mean?
Randall Thompson 06:30
Play you I am the peanut gallery.
Dr. Jon 06:33
Okay. So let’s get going guys. This is going to be fun. First of all, I just wanted to do just kind of an intro to what extraction is and it shouldn’t be too hard. I got I got a bunch of pictures here and I’m going to try to explain it in the easiest sort of way. Okay, so you can see here let me see if I get my cursor. This is this is a resin okay in in in there, those little white dots that’s THC or CBD and then The gray dots are something else okay? And then in reality there’s actually thousands of these other else’s in there,
Randall Thompson 07:08
Dr. Jon 07:08
But but we want to, we want to get out for example the those those thcs and those cbds are the other cannabinoids and the terpenes Okay, so we have a goal and so our goal is to selectively remove those compounds that we want out of this resin resin matrix and and remove them so that we can do stuff with them either you know, make a distillate or make an isolate, whatever. So, extraction is a separations technique. In other words, we’re separating out these target molecules here and we’re separating them out from what’s called the matrix or or the resin
Randall Thompson 07:48
Dr. Jon 07:49
People have been doing this for centuries, okay. They have been extracting coffee for example, right? I mean, you you have pour hot water over the coffee and you grind it up so that the the coffee is nice and dark and black and very rich tasting. And in that way you’re getting a coffee extract. \
Randall Thompson 08:08
Yes, but you do it in the reverse order.
Dr. Jon 08:09
Yeah. No, yes of course
Randall Thompson 08:11
You grind it first and then you pour the water
Dr. Jon 08:12
you’re just this this is thank you for that.
Randall Thompson 08:16
Just to clarify.
Dr. Jon 08:17
So this is different. You guys have heard about chromatography, maybe you have maybe you haven’t. in the, in the hemp world and in the cannabis world, people are wondering, Well, how do I get the THC separated from the CBD? Now, that’s different than extraction. Okay, that’s where you’re trying to separate out two compounds. That’s uh, you’re in other words, you’re getting you have a, a solution now that has two different types of compounds and you’re trying to separate out say the, the grays from the whites, okay. So that’s that’s kind of that’s a chromatography. It’s different. I’m not going to go into that today. It’s also different than filtration, you know, where you’re trying to filter out that like, for example, you’re trying To filter coffee beans through a filter, right? I mean, that’s a different set. That’s a different technique filtration. So I’m not going to go into that, okay? But extraction can apply to, you know, separations of gases. And I’ll kind of go show you a little example that separations of liquids like I just said, like THC from CBD, liquids from solids, gases from liquids, you can imagine all the different combinations and then acid and base I’m not going to go into any of those. I’m going to kind of focus on hemp and what it means for you guys in hemp.
Randall Thompson 09:31
Okay, excellent. Yeah, my body separates from gas regularly. TMI?
Dr. Jon 09:38
Oh Geez okay, we’re moving on from that gas-gas separations. Okay. So gas-gas separations, you guys have seen those oxygen, you know, things that that people put under the nose because they have a pulmonary condition. Okay, that’s basically enriching oxygen from the air. Okay. And it does With, usually with a method and some equipment in some sort of consumable, say molecular seive or, or something along those lines, okay? So imagine there’s always a method, there’s always some equipment and there’s always a consumable, you also have liquid-liquid separations. I’m not going to go into that liquid-solid. That would be a good example of like coffee, cannabis, hemp, for example, where you’re trying to put a liquid over the solid, which is cannabis and therefore extract cannabinoids and terpenes gas liquid separations, you know, typically those are where you’re taking gases out of liquids. For example, like oxygen out of liquids deoxygenated liquid, for example, you can do that just by boiling it. boiling the water, for example. Here’s a little factoid for you. Do you know how many parts per million oxygen are in water at 25 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure
Randall Thompson 10:52
is this a multiple choice?
Dr. Jon 10:53
If anybody knows they put put it in there. If anybody knows how much there is in the next, you know, maybe a minute, no cheating, how many ppm of oxygen and water at standard temperature and pressure, and then we’ll get a prize from me personally, okay? Solid gas. That’s basically where you want to get the terpenes out of the stuff. So these are just some common extraction examples. So a lot of people want to know, you know, what makes an extraction technique? Good.
Randall Thompson 11:23
Dr. Jon 11:23
okay. And when people are trying to buy equipment or understand, you know, what method they should follow, or, you know, what, what makes one thing better than another, they come up with a what, they come up with a bunch of parameters, okay? And they’re trying to compare different techniques with those different parameters. Okay? And what I have in this presentation is a whole bunch of comparisons, for different solvents for different extraction techniques and for and then combinations thereof, and just kind of showing you Okay, here’s what makes it good. And here’s how they compare to one another. So When I look at an extraction technique, from a point of view of, you know, an operator or a farmer or, or an investor, I’m going to want to know about cost, I’m going to want to know that it’s economical. I’m also going to want to know, hey, am I gonna have to deal with toxicity, risks for toxicity? Am I going to have to deal with residuals? How easy is it to remove the solvent is in an energy intensive process. And then as the solvent that I’m selecting is, is going to give me what I need in terms of solubility and selectivity. And by the way, is there gonna be a lot of waste and hazardous waste associated with that, that’s something you got to so you can see that it can get really confusing for people who want to get into the business of extraction. There’s, there’s this all of these different parameters, and you have all the different people trying to tell you which one is the best in so it can get very confusing because it’s very hard to compare apples to apples. So what we’re going to do here is we’re going to try to get some apples to apples comparisons and there They’re pretty broad strokes. But I’ll I’ll first kind of go over just the fundamentals of extraction. Okay, what’s the first thing you’d have to have in order to have an extraction in the first place? Well, it’s solubility and what that means is that the compound that you’re trying to get out of the hemp, it has to be soluble in the solvent that you’re using.
Randall Thompson 13:24
Dr. Jon 13:24
Okay, that means that for example, if you pour water over hemp, and, and and then you measure the amount of CBD in the water, how much do you think is going to come out?
Randall Thompson 13:35
Dr. Jon 13:36
basically almost zero.
Randall Thompson 13:37
Dr. Jon 13:38
Okay. Unless, unless you heat that water up, okay. You might for example, the water might be green however.
Randall Thompson 13:45
Dr. Jon 13:46
that’s because it’s extracting chlorophyll,
Randall Thompson 13:48
Dr. Jon 13:49
Alright, so it so again, like dissolves like, okay. So here what I have is a couple diagrams. Here’s here again is our hypothetical trichrome. And here we have some CBD or THC molecules in them. And here’s some solvent here on the outside, see it’s attacking. And you can see all of a sudden now it’s dissolving itself and it’s migrating through and now it’s dissolving and migrating, and actually dissolving those molecules. You can see that right? So that’s what solubility is. It’s the ability of this of this molecule here, which is essentially a solvent to go in there and solubilize or in other words surround the target molecules.
Randall Thompson 14:35
So the Orange is the biomass Yeah, itself and inside that biomass, you have the
Dr. Jon 14:41
right so so the orange Yeah, yeah. So the trichrome is a little tiny little hairs that they look like little mushrooms in fact that are on the flower in their resinous and they’re really sticky. And that’s where all the THC and CBD is that Yeah. And then oh, The other stuff that’s not in the trichrome’s Of course, the like the leaf fan leaves and the stocks in the stems. There are small, small, small amount of trichomes, but it’s not worth not worth really, you know, economically viable
Randall Thompson 15:14
so the solvent goes into that and it dissolves into it, boom, and then it pulls it all out.
Dr. Jon 15:21
Yeah, pulls it all out. In fact, it’s it’s a really simplistic picture here because what it’s doing is it’s actually dissolving the matrix A matrix itself, which is it’s dissolving the orange to
Randall Thompson 15:32
Dr. Jon 15:33
it’s dissolving everything got Okay, as opposed to this would be an example here would be ethanol or like co2,
Randall Thompson 15:39
Dr. Jon 15:40
Ethanol would come in here, dissolve the whole it would dissolve all this and it would it would go flow away. In this case, this is an example water so water doesn’t really like that resin, you know, water doesn’t dissolve plastic, right. So it just kind of sticks on the outside. It doesn’t do much. It doesn’t certainly doesn’t go in here and dissolve all of this. It just flows over. It probably will dissolve other stuff. Not Not, not.
Randall Thompson 16:03
Dr. Jon 16:03
Not that. So that’s the that’s what solubility is. And the idea here is that like dissolves like so if you have a solvent that is, you know what they call polarity, nonpolar, nonpolar does, like you know will dissolve nonpolar things. So like nonpolar solvents will dissolve on nonpolar resins, for example.
Randall Thompson 16:23
Dr. Jon 16:23
Okay. Um, and there’s some partition coefficient for you science types. This is really just a note here. This is all solubility is a thermodynamic parameter, obviously. And it’s all driven by surface tension. If you go look at the partition coefficients, it this is all about surface tension. So in surface energies, and you know, how those work so I’m not going to go into that but just suffice it to say that that’s that’s the science of the matter.
Randall Thompson 16:51
You have left surface tension today.
Dr. Jon 16:54
Randall Thompson 16:54
I think it’s because you slept in.
Dr. Jon 16:56
Oh, that’s good. I do have a surface energy.
Randall Thompson 17:00
You’re doing a great job.
Dr. Jon 17:02
Okay? So here’s criteria number two.
Randall Thompson 17:05
Dr. Jon 17:05
so now you got all of that stuff and it’s migrating out, right? Or it’s dissolving, okay? You really need to have mobility once it gets in there. Okay, so this is what’s called, you know, scientists call this mass transfer, but really you can think of it as mobility it’s got to be able to move okay?
Randall Thompson 17:22
Dr. Jon 17:22
so here’s an example that you’re you starting off with again, this, this resin and you have the CBD and THC in here. And of course, the the the solvent here the blue has to migrate in and solubilize or surround this this molecule here. It’s not proper to think of this as a as a key lock mechanism. Yeah, some people on the internet are saying that it is it’s not that’s not the right way to think of it. It’s not a key lock. It’s more of a general action. Okay. key lock is really selective in in the case of in the case of this You know, this like, this is ethanol, it’s not selective, it’s going to dissolve everything. Everything that has energy, whatever’s there is going to dissolve. Right, right. Yeah. So, okay. And then so this right here, this migration into it is called diffusion. So you can see it’s, it’s basically, it’s getting in there and then it’s slowly migrating here.
Randall Thompson 18:21
Dr. Jon 18:21
And I have a little bit of an explanation there. What causes this to go from here to here? It’s called it’s an idea called chemical potential. Don’t worry about it. It just happens. Okay. And that is different than say, if I was stirring it, that would be mechanical convection.
Randall Thompson 18:41
Dr. Jon 18:41
So you can see there’s two different mechanisms for being mobile. One would be diffusion. The other would be mechanical. Gotcha. Okay, so here you go. You got it. It’s moving in here. It’s dissolving it and then once it’s dissolved, it has to move out. Okay. And you can see here that This diffusion and this is really affected very heavily by the viscosity. So what is viscosity? Well, okay, you know how water like thin water is, you know, and you can pour it and everything, okay? That’s not very viscous. That’s like what they call one centipoise. Okay, something like that. If you have like oil, and you’re pouring it, you know how like thick it is, okay? That’s more viscous. And then if you have like molasses, and you pour it, you know how thick it is, that’s super viscous, that’s very, very viscous. Well, so you can imagine that the better. The, the lower that viscosity is, the less thick it is, the better the diffusion, the better mobility, you’re gonna have,
Randall Thompson 19:39
Dr. Jon 19:40
the better the better your extraction technique is gonna be. So this is the kind of idea of keeping up with me.
Randall Thompson 19:46
I am and I’m just thinking of it is, you know, the lower the viscosity.
Dr. Jon 19:51
Randall Thompson 19:51
Okay. Yeah, the more
Dr. Jon 19:53
the better the diffusion,
Randall Thompson 19:54
the better. The diffusion and mobility occurs because it’s slippery
Dr. Jon 19:58
Randall Thompson 20:02
Dr. Jon 20:03
All right. So there it is, it’s coming out, it’s more slippery or it comes out and then in then this is just basically okay. Look, convection would be just the conveyance of all of that away from from this other mass here. That’s right here that’s not dissolving. So, so a couple different things, convection and diffusion, add mobility. So you got mobility and solubility, that’s what extraction is. Gotcha. So if you want to really get to the point where you’re optimizing or selecting your techniques, these two concepts are really fundamental, in order to really understand what’s going on with with anything related to extraction, whether it’s hemp or coffee or anything
Randall Thompson 20:41
this is the basics, the basic fundamentals of all extraction,
Dr. Jon 20:45
Randall Thompson 20:45
Dr. Jon 20:46
Right. So, yeah, so, let me see here. So the question would be in everybody, when they think about new techniques in extraction, they’re always trying to figure out okay, well, how do I what are the levers and those fundamental techniques Do I use to to speed things up?
Randall Thompson 21:03
Dr. Jon 21:04
Okay, and you don’t have very many different types of tools there, you only got a couple. Either you can improve diffusion, or you can improve convection.
Randall Thompson 21:12
Dr. Jon 21:12
One of those two. Okay. So when you improve diffusion, you’re basically lowering the time for diffusion. And you can do that with temperature effect. If you if you heat things up, they move faster. There it is. Right. So that so a lot of people focus on different techniques to heat things.
Randall Thompson 21:29
Dr. Jon 21:29
Randall Thompson 21:30
Dr. Jon 21:30
And that produces a lot of confusion in the marketplace. I’ll tell you about how that works. Because it’s like, wow, have you heard about this technique? Wow, have you heard about that? That’s so cool. It’s like NASA, okay. all they’re doing is they’re eating stuff up in a different way. Just okay. A lower viscosity temperature. That would be basically the the higher the temperature, usually the lower viscosity. Okay, so that makes sense, right? If you take, for example, molasses in you heat it up, it’s gonna be a lower viscosity. Bam.
Randall Thompson 21:59
That’s what you want.
Dr. Jon 21:59
Yeah so that’s what you want, right? So
Randall Thompson 22:01
I heat butter
Dr. Jon 22:02
butter is good.
Randall Thompson 22:03
You heat it up
Dr. Jon 22:03
you heat it up and you can pour. Yeah, that’s it. Okay,
Randall Thompson 22:06
lowers the viscosity.
Dr. Jon 22:07
There’s also some things that are assistance, you can assist the fusion by a like an ultrasonic method. Okay? So that’s where in this in this matrix here, where normally would only move by diffusion, you can try to speed it up by adding energy to it, it’ll start to vibrate in there, it’ll move it out,
Randall Thompson 22:27
Dr. Jon 22:27
shake n bake Yeah. So how to speed it up, you really only have a couple different ways to do that.
Randall Thompson 22:33
Dr. Jon 22:33
Okay. So a lot of people, there was a question last week of how do you go about improving your extraction method? Okay, so I’m gonna kind of talk about what is an extraction method in the first place, and then we can we’ve already talked a little bit about how to improve it. So number one, the technique is chosen Okay, as a gas gases, gas liquid, I already told you about all the different types of techniques is the technique. Usually you want to look at the economics of the technique right? To get it because you can you can do a technique and try to get it done. And if it’s not viable economically, why do it at all? So, typically, academics do not have this restraint. So they skip that step. And what happens is they’ll they’ll do techniques that have no economic viability, but they’re always looking to do something new. And so they’re getting funding for new things. So they’re always
Randall Thompson 23:29
Dr. Jon 23:29
got it. Okay. solvent is chosen. In other words, you choose the solvent, you develop the method and then the variables are selected. Okay, am I going to mess mess with time? Am I gonna mess with temperature, I’m gonna mess with pressure. Then, once you get that selectivity, once you have achieved Okay, look, I got all the cannabinoids out of that out of them, then then you go check to see if it’s reproducible and it’s reliable and then you validate your method. So those that’s the process that you would use to optimize your method for a cost for printing. performance or any of the other parameters that we had discussed, just in the in the first slide.
Randall Thompson 24:04
And first off, I want to compliment you on your color choices here. This is very, very nice sweeten the color a
Dr. Jon 24:13
complimentary, I think, yeah, there’s a triad
Randall Thompson 24:16
and this is very simple. So you choose the technique and then you make sure that it’s economically viable right then you go to you know, you whatever solvent you’ve inherited because some a lot of people we’re talking to have inherited something and they they’re trying to make it better or improve their methods and and then they can start adjusting the variable
Dr. Jon 24:38
Randall Thompson 24:39
to get a better output or faster output
Dr. Jon 24:41
Randall Thompson 24:41
Dr. Jon 24:42
Yeah. And then and then once you have that variable, then you can develop your method and you know, that is that is by choosing Okay, what temperature and what time am I going to try? You will measure the output and that that really is you’re measuring the selectivity of the technique. Am I dissolving everything or am I dissolving just what I want It’s better to dissolve just what you want rather than everything.
Randall Thompson 25:03
So is there a Is there an interesting comment that we can talk about? Because we do have a lot of chemists on today, and we have a lot of business people on. And you mentioned earlier that in the theoretical world, they don’t have to worry about the economic right or things. And you can always make it better, but it’s not viable. Right, right. But so when you marry those two, isn’t it vital that they communicate effectively, right, and say, okay, we can’t do it this way. Let’s bring it into the real world. Right? So how to make money.
Dr. Jon 25:39
How do we make money? Yeah, I think you have to start there. I mean, for for any operator or investor that’s looking at a process. You know, like scientists typically will want to try to try something brand new, or kind of flashy, because they read a paper about it and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it has to be economically viable at the same time. So there’s, there’s a whole industry out there creating new techniques, okay. And the new techniques are they sound really cool because they give them great names, because they wouldn’t be able to get funding if they didn’t have great names. Okay. So this is I mean, there’s, that’s a part of it. Okay. And, and, you know, they wouldn’t like for example, I wouldn’t set up a research program at any given University, based on a technique that has been well developed, you know, I’m going to go for the next thing, right. So, and I don’t really care if it’s viable, because that’s not one of my goals from the standpoint of commercial commercial advisable. There are millions of papers out there that are commercially not viable.
Randall Thompson 26:46
Dr. Jon 26:46
I mean, there’s whole journals of filled with sensors for example, that are that you never couldn’t make or you can only make once or is not reproducible, believe me. I know because because I have I have first hand experience there. Okay, so, you know, at the end of the day, you just need to make sure that you know, it’s commercially viable. And then, you know, go through this process of what is the extraction method? Okay, so here’s where this is what I specialize in, wow, this is this is it, this is I do this like, okay, so so what I’m synthesizing here is all my experience, vast experience. And I’m comparing different separation techniques now, as a function of some criteria. Okay. In all of this, this course is up for debate, because there are different techniques under which conditions under which these would not be true. So, but I’m taking it in context of an investor, a operator, a producer of hemp, and in my goal is to make the lowest cost hemp the highest quality hemp with the highest quality, whatever to go go to the market with farm CBD product or for my THC product. Okay, so Oh torrefaction is spelled wrong sorry about that torrefaction is the process of burning or pyrolysis Basically, that’s where you would it’s a very old is
Randall Thompson 28:12
pyrolysis also misspelled
Dr. Jon 28:14
it might be, is it?
Randall Thompson 28:15
No, it’s not even at all.
Dr. Jon 28:18
But you everybody knows what that is because they smoked a joint, okay. Or got it or smoked a cigarette or some sort of action? Yeah. torrefaction like cigars. cigars is torrefaction Okay. If you want to get the nicotine, you gotta you got to inhale. The the smoke coming from the
Randall Thompson 28:35
so I’m not taking a draw. I’m I’m I’m experiencing torrefaction.
Dr. Jon 28:39
Yes, I think we should have a turnout for a faction session with some nice cigars.
Randall Thompson 28:44
Okay. As long as there’s bourbon or scotch as well,
Dr. Jon 28:47
oh, yeah, we do that and it’s no problem. That’s, that’s a given Of course.
Randall Thompson 28:50
Okay, on this chart, sorry. I’m jumping ahead.
Dr. Jon 28:53
Randall Thompson 28:54
What did the pluses stand for?
Dr. Jon 28:56
Okay. Yeah, so consumable costs. plus one plus means okay. It has a less desirable consumable costs in the more pluses it is the more desirable it is from the standpoint of consumer of, you know, cost, for example, on this top one. So torrefaction consumable cost, solvent extraction depending on the solvent you you could use a could be very expensive or maybe not so expensive. So, maybe you could, there’s a wide very variation, the consumable costs with like membranes, if you have to use the membranes again and again after they foul, then then that consumable costs can be really high. The distillation cost right here, like for example, if I’m doing distillation, it doesn’t really have a lot of consumables, so, that consumable cost is very favorable. Okay. And in solid phase extraction, I have I have a typically a material that’s the solid phase that’s doing the extraction, and that’s probably costly and I have to use it and throw it away. So that’s costly. reliability. You know, you have very, very positive things on reliability, there’s solvent extraction techniques have been around forever, they’re very reliable. I wanted to try to draw a distinction between solvent extraction techniques and membranes. In reality, they can be combined, okay, like I can have a solvent extraction technique and then use a membrane to get the stuff out afterward. Or it can have distillation plus membrane or I can have solvent extraction plus distillation plus solid phase. So there’s all there, you know, there’s an endless number of combinations. Oh, yeah, a lot of variables. I think. I mean, the main thing, though, when I think about, like, for example, most of the people that are listening here have seen some sort of solvent extraction, that’s what they’re doing, whether it’s co2, ethanol, you know, butane or something like that. They’re they’re looking at some sort of extraction with water. Okay, so you got solvent extraction, and then there’s been a techniques out there lately on membrane separation. I have a lot of experience with membrane separations. Then I’ve did that for almost like six years of my career, just doing membranes. The issue with membranes is that they foul out A lot and they’re fouling takes place over time. And then you have to either clean them or replace them. And that’s a big issue. So, the other thing would be with solvent extraction, you can see you have specialized equipment byproducts or if it’s really not creating a lot of byproducts, okay, but with torrefaction obviously, you would create a lot of byproducts because you’re burning stuff. So you know, there’s there’s smoke, right? So that’s creating a lot of byproducts. distillation because you’re heating it up a lot. Sometimes you’ll create byproducts, for example, okay? And solid phase is pretty, pretty benign, it doesn’t create bio products, all of them require specialized equipment, the recovery of the target molecule, you can do that very nicely with some selective solvents, for example, so you’re okay on that. You really have to design the membrane in this case to recover the target. Okay, so it This could range from either one plus or four plus, and then distillation is pretty good on that scalability. I You see, I didn’t finish it here. I’m gonna I kind of ran out on that one but you know, I, my main point was okay look you’ve got all these separation techniques so you got torrefaction you got solvent extraction, you got membranes, you got distillation, solid phase, your technique can actually be anyone or any combination of those got so yeah, but most people just stick with solvent extraction mostly because of these benefits that I have right here. In I’m really I can see that in this case, I’m really hard on membranes as a as a membrane scientist, you know, with with actually some patents in membrane science. You know, I think there’s there’s a lot of challenges associated with membranes, even though they’re beneficial in terms of byproducts and things like that. So there’s there’s that that now let’s talk about the solvents. So now I got the first one. We just talked about the techniques.
Randall Thompson 32:49
This is awesome.
Dr. Jon 32:50
Now we’re talking about solid. Okay, this one actually is more. That’s the very first thing I woke up in the morning. That’s the first thing I did. Okay, here’s my criteria on this side right here. High solubility selectivity. This is the stuff that we’ve been talking a lot about. Yep. And these are the different types of solvents that you’ve seen in the marketplace. Basically, some people are trying to use foreign solvents for example to extract. Okay, I don’t think that’s a good idea. For one main reason I can just summarize this chart, you you really can’t measure very well solvent, like chlorinated contaminants like branched contaminants, you can’t measure them they’re not they’re hard to measure from an analytical standpoint. So you can’t really tell what, what is going on with your residuals so you can’t see the residual can’t see them. And it’s very, very, very difficult. So those of you who are in in like Georgia or Louisiana, or in Minnesota, for example, know about p FOSS and P fo. This is a this is a fluorinated compound that’s a environmental contaminant. In fact, everybody listening to this program right now all 37 of you, you have p FOSS in your blood. And that’s because it gets into your bloodstream and it just stays at bio magnifies. It’s an endocrine disruptor. So I just don’t like foreign solvents. So we get rid of that. But it some people have used it. Oil like edible oils. Some people have used edible oils to extract like olive oil, or, you know, vegetable oil,
Randall Thompson 34:26
Dr. Jon 34:26
coconut oil. Yeah, so it has a high solubility, it’s got positive there, it’s not very selective, it doesn’t have that high mobility. So if you wanted to really kind of speed things up the mobilities not so hot for that, you’d have to really heat it up. And as soon as you heat it up now you’d be talking about, you know, secondary reactions and things like that. It’s not toxic preservation of extracted compounds that does pretty well. It could be scalable, it’s probably not very energy efficient because you got to really heat all that up. But the main thing with oil is, you’re not really once you get out of oil. You You have it all there. You’re You’re separate How do you make it more potent? Sure, it’s very difficult to do once it’s in there, you can’t really get it out to make it more potent. So an oil extraction from that standpoint has has a negative. Um, no, there’s no there’s, I mean, anybody listening to this knows that I, I, I’m not a big fan of like ethanol extraction. And mostly it has to do with lack of selectivity, presence of residuals, lack of economy, and, you know, also side reactions that take place and lack of scalability. So, we’ve had, how many? How many podcasts on that?
Randall Thompson 35:34
one or two?
Dr. Jon 35:35
Okay, so I’m not going to belabor it, you guys can go back and look, and I’m happy to answer any questions that you might have. But a lot of different ways to do it. It’s it’s an easy technique. A lot of people do that. But it I don’t think it’s a very good extraction solvent, especially for scalable processes. So, butane is pretty good. You know what I like about butane is that besides negative associated with explosion. But other than that,
Randall Thompson 36:03
just a slight negative
Dr. Jon 36:04
no, yeah, it’s pretty, I mean, it’s not toxic, it’s, you know, it’s pretty selective, it’s got high mobility, it can turn into a gas and get out of your out of your extracts, okay? And it’s pretty energy efficient, the equipment cost is low, but it’s just, it’s not scalable. And so if you want to go up to, you know, large, large quantities of say hemp or whatever, you’re not really able to scale that that up because of the explosive properties of it well, easily without a lot of a lot of infrastructure. So, okay. Also, no, no surprises here. I think that co2 shines on all of those. And I think it really is borne out by the data. And, you know, as I was reading a couple papers this morning, I mean, there are a lot of people that are just, you know, in different industries that agree with me, I mean, it’s super economical. It’s not going to blow up on you. It has high mobility high selectivity residuals are basically almost non existent. And it’s very energy efficient. So some people are also using hot water. And I actually wrote my PhD dissertation on hot water separations. Oh, yeah. So, yeah, so it’s one of those things, we don’t do hot water. Mostly because it’s, it’s a, it’s a, you have to marry it to a secondary technique like distillation, or you have to marry it to membranes and those have other issues like fouling, or they have other issues like, you know, energy intensity. So that’s why we don’t do that. Okay. In in large scale extract.
Randall Thompson 37:38
That was a great chart. Yeah, thank you for that. And john did have a question on tetrafluoronate. Oh, yeah. For us. And yeah, to me, yeah. 134 140 is that a good example of
Dr. Jon 37:52
Ah, yeah, I think so. There’s, there’s a whole bunch of different like fumbling would be a In example solve a select CES their manufacturer there’s also manufacturer in Japan and you know I think that you can and also three m obviously is and DuPont Sure. Interestingly enough I know that that three m kind of shut down all their fluronated you know manufacturing most of it and move to offshore Oh, so all that pollutants now it’s not it’s offshore, but it’s not really offshore because it’s still here, right? Yes, the deal is that this stuff doesn’t go away, you know, very easily because it’s so stable, so good. Um, yeah. 134 a would be would be that. So
Randall Thompson 38:37
thank you, john. This is I love the whole direction that you’re going and you know, as we have this conversation about and I appreciate all of the depth of you know, what is extraction and what are the properties What are we doing next? How are we doing it because we see and hear, the benefits of And municipalities are learning what that’s about. Right? They don’t want something that’s going to explode in their communities, right? They don’t want something that’s going to exude bad toxic waste right in their communities.
Dr. Jon 39:11
Right. Right. Right. Right.
Randall Thompson 39:13
So there’s a big strong push to all of that.
Dr. Jon 39:17
Randall Thompson 39:17
And we need to make sure that we’re good citizens, also. And so making sure that we have products that don’t generate toxic waste or toxic gas or
Dr. Jon 39:31
high amounts of consumables, so you have no harm
Randall Thompson 39:33
the public in some way.
Dr. Jon 39:35
Right. Right. Or just energy efficiency in general, right. I mean, like, if I have to, you know, if I have to boil off, you know, 10,000 gallons of ethanol, that’s a lot of energy.
Randall Thompson 39:46
That’s a lot. Yes.
Dr. Jon 39:48
So, you know, you’re gonna have to upgrade your transformer and everything. So, yeah, um, so how do I optimize I think I’m going to not do this one. Maybe we’ll leave this for next time. Okay, cuz I wanted to go into this because I do have, I do have that we’re this this this is past, present and future, right?
Randall Thompson 40:07
Dr. Jon 40:07
Okay. Everything I’m telling you right now has been beat to death like crazy in the literature. And there are there are thousands of different techniques out there. You don’t papers and stuff like that. So I wanted to go over one other aspect and that was advantages and disadvantages of different equipment. Okay, so a lot of people remember when I said that people want when they want to make something better they want to improve the mobility. Remember that? Yep. And the way to do that is with heat right? Or by increasing the temperature because you’re decreasing the viscosity increasing the diffusivity. So it’s really awesome. Okay, so, how to do that? Well, like for example, if I take a bow pot of water and I put it on the stove and I turn the flame on and it’ll boil right? Okay. If I take that same amount of water and put it into a Microwave, I can bring it to a boil right?
Randall Thompson 41:02
Dr. Jon 41:02
Okay. It may be a little bit faster in the microwave than it is in the on the stove on the stove, perhaps maybe it just depends on the surface area, how much it is if I took one cup and I put it into a cup and I put it in them, put it in the microwave, and then I took one cup and I put it into a big pan that has a big surface area that it would probably boil faster in the pan than it would in the microwave. Right.
Randall Thompson 41:22
Okay, got that.
Dr. Jon 41:23
Right. So, so, yeah, there’s a lot of different, you know, trade offs. Okay. My point here is that when people go about trying to enhance mobility, they’re they’re trying to either heat it in a different way, or they’re trying to add some sort of energy into the process of extraction. So, basically, what we have there is ultrasonic, which is basically trying to add in some energy into the process of extraction, thereby increasing the mobility thereby increasing the efficiency of the extraction microwave by heating it faster. Okay. And then regular old heat exchangers. These are tube-in-tube. People use them all over the place they have for a long, long, long time. And then active electric electrical heat, you can see they’re identical. I could have almost deleted this column altogether and just did a three. That’s probably what I’m going to focus on right now. Okay, so all of these techniques will reduce if you use a heat exchanger, it’ll reduce the time for diffusion. So because you’re adding in the heat,
Randall Thompson 42:22
Dr. Jon 42:23
okay. it in, you can really use the heat exchanger to do the exactly the same thing as ultrasonic. But if you say that your technique is ultrasonic, it’s much more cool.
Randall Thompson 42:34
Yeah, well, that’s true. You’re seeing a lot of advertisement for microwave and ultrasonic and
Dr. Jon 42:39
right, yeah, but essentially, you got to keep in mind what what all it is is heat, energy.
Randall Thompson 42:45
Dr. Jon 42:45
Randall Thompson 42:46
Dr. Jon 42:47
Yeah. Same stuff. Okay. Um, let’s see here improves convection. Okay, it’s also improving the convection the bulk actor, okay, let’s go to the some of the negatives. Okay. So you can see there, they’re all the same here. See if I can get over Here, okay, they’re all the same on these three reducing the viscosity. So these are the things, all of these things are pretty much the same, they all do the same thing and that is adding, but there is a couple differences between like a regular heat exchanger and ultrasonic and microwave and that has Is it a bulk actor? In other words, does it that ultrasonic has like a horn, and at the end of the horn, that’s where all the ultrasonic energy is. That means I have to put all of my material that I want exposed to that Aditya energy within a very short distance of the horn. Even if the horn is big, maybe even like one inch or two inches.
Randall Thompson 43:32
Dr. Jon 43:33
It’s still you still have to push everything through that that’s totally it’s a it’s not a bulk actor, okay. The microwave is the same way. Like if, if you have you know, it’s kind of directional, like if you have a big bowl of something, like if you if you take those little mini potatoes and you put them into your microwave and you try to the one in the center will will will cook and then all the rest of the ones on the top will be raw. You know me because it’s it that’s why it’s spinning. it around, right? Okay. All right. And sometimes even then it’s so it’s not a it’s not a very good bulk actor. Okay unless you have it in the right spot there’s in because of that you get gradients and and so we should
Randall Thompson 44:13
have a three dimensional spinner for a microwave.
Dr. Jon 44:15
Yeah, we could do that like a spinner. So
Randall Thompson 44:16
that would be cool. a gyroscope.
Dr. Jon 44:18
Yeah. So you can see here there’s low cost, maintenance, reliability, selectivity, side reactions, of course the ultrasonic and microwave are you’d use for reactions. So I can actually create other compounds using those things. So, you know, think about it, if you’re adding an energy in if you want to preserve the plant, you know, why would you use microwave ultrasonic for that because you’re inevitably going to get side reactions?
Randall Thompson 44:42
Dr. Jon 44:42
Okay. So, and then safety, of course, you know, ultrasonic is safe, microwave. It depends on microwave definitely can be safe, though, you just have to design it properly. So it’s really hard to compete though with the old heat exchanger, in my view. Because it’s low cost, it’s super effective. It does all the same things. It just doesn’t have the super cool name. So what if I had an ultrasonic extractor versus just an extractor? Which one would you want to learn about? Well, you want on about the ultrasonic microwave extractor?
Randall Thompson 45:16
Because it sounds new and exciting.
Dr. Jon 45:18
Yes, exactly. So there’s a little bit of a marketing thing going on here. So here, here’s my point with all of this here, here’s all the listing of all the different techniques. Here’s all the enhancements and here’s all the solvents, right. Okay, that we just talked about the number of unique combinations of those. This is why professors have an infinite amount of work to do. It doesn’t if you don’t have any criteria on the top for being like cost effective or anything. I could, for example, come up with a torrefaction technique that uses a fluorinated oil with a secondary membrane. distillation that uses pressure swing and active electrical heat.
Randall Thompson 45:57
Oh my gosh.
Dr. Jon 45:59
I mean Talk about it. And it would be unique. Yeah. And it would and then people I could publish on it, I get a couple other people to publish on it. And then all of a sudden, while everybody’s like, Wow, that’s really awesome. But it really you’re not. Okay, you again, you’re just, you’re doing some enhancements. How does it? How does it really compare to say something that is tried and true and low cost and out in the marketplace and running every day. So as an r&d guy, and as an r&d scientist, I really like the technology. I really like the different techniques, you got to know them all because as you have different problems in the marketplace, sometimes you need to use different techniques to solve those. And sometimes there are really good reasons why you would use microwave, but not just because it’s a cool name. Okay. And you can see also just the number of two factor hybrid techniques. I mean, there’s 680 different combinations. So Adam Smith in the invisible hand has made some selections for us. Okay, so they’ve kind of just said, Okay, look, we’ve got ethanol, we’ve got butane, we’ve got co2, why are those selected? Well, because in the way they do them all basically bulk both, you know, right. Both extraction setlist, why is that? Well, just because the cost effectiveness, you know, all of those things, you know, labor and all that jazz, so
Randall Thompson 47:25
Dr. Jon 47:26
anyway so that when we talk about the future of extraction, what is going to happen is these what is it 3,359,000,000 different techniques are going to be explored in some way by professors in the future. In fact, it’s an infinite amount, and they’re going to publish on them. And because there’s lots of professors out there and lots of research to be done, and at some point in time, maybe there’ll be a great combination that, that that they figure out that wow, this is the best, right? So that’s the that’s the way I view the future. is a lot of a lot of, you know, churning and a lot of, you know, unique combinations and they’re, they’ll get funded for those combinations from the NIH, NSF, whatever in the industry is going to stay in a stasis until there comes a technique along that really displaces in terms of cost and performance, like orders of magnitude better. So, that’s, that’s the future and you’re gonna see all kinds of papers and people are gonna go to talks that, you know, there’ll be talks at conferences around the world on combinations of those things. For the next Forever,
Randall Thompson 48:40
Dr. Jon 48:40
basically. Yeah, so that that’s a that’s it’s
Randall Thompson 48:43
an exciting future.
Dr. Jon 48:44
Yeah, it is an exciting future.
Randall Thompson 48:46
Because we’ve got a long way. Okay. So past you hear about the old directions when people were, you know, doing this stuff in their bathtubs?
Dr. Jon 48:55
Randall Thompson 48:56
Yes. So what did that look like?
Dr. Jon 48:58
Yeah, so in the past. And this is something that I have some books, okay, showing how to extract a weed basically, in benzine Oh, and it gives you a method of how to do it. Of course we now know this book was written in the 60s. We now know the course that that that is not, you know, this toxic, right? You wouldn’t use benzene, right? So because the benzene residual in there and yeah, so or people using it, you know with just like alcohol, okay, and in doing that you get a nice thick oil. You can do that, but it’s just not very desirable oil from a standpoint of taste, and purity and potency and all that. So anyway, yeah, I mean in the past also, I mean, each of those like ethanol, butane and co2 have all advanced from the standpoint of their energy efficiency from their reliance standpoint and reliability, they definitely have
Randall Thompson 49:56
Dr. Jon 49:57
and repeatability also in you know, learning about Hey look What are the infrastructure that’s needed to do it safely?
Randall Thompson 50:02
Dr. Jon 50:03
I mean, I think that the whole industry has advanced along those lines, for sure. And a lot, even in the last five years, there’s been a lot of advancements. And I would think that those are basically variations on the theme there. They’re there, you have a base technique, and then that they’re all advancing, you know, and they’re saying, Okay, now it’s getting better and better and better and better. So, you know, so that that’s what’s happening there.
Randall Thompson 50:24
So we and, and we go through all of that when we when we start, you know, all the way back in the past, which was the good old days. Right,
Dr. Jon 50:32
Randall Thompson 50:33
Scary. The scary good old days. Apartments blowing up.
Dr. Jon 50:37
Yep. We always hold a high. No, I mean, just just what, two weeks ago in Los Angeles. Yeah. So yeah, that was gonna be interesting to see how that that goes. I was. It’s reported to have both ethanol and butane in there. So you know, but that’s happened before. I mean, that’s not new.
Randall Thompson 50:56
So and municipalities are, that’s one of the reasons they’re getting away From more explosive enhancements,
Dr. Jon 51:03
and solvents yeah, right?
Randall Thompson 51:05
So my question is, when when we’re going from that we know where we are, I mean, everybody, we have a good idea of, you know what we’re doing today. Right? Right. But this, this multiplicity of future of extraction and all of these different variations and things, that’s going to be kind of exciting to see what on unrolls
Dr. Jon 51:25
I think so. I mean, you know, it’s going to be interesting. You know, there’s going to be hybrid techniques, for example, like, they’ll use a, you know, maybe they’ll say, Okay, look, we can get a point of better extraction efficiency if we use an ultrasonic in addition to a solvent, okay, sure. So there’ll be the way I see research really occurring is just baby steps. It’s just continuous baby steps going forward, forward forward, forward
Randall Thompson 51:52
Dr. Jon 51:53
based on techniques that are already economically viable,
Randall Thompson 51:55
Dr. Jon 51:56
because without that without the economic viability in the first place, you Wouldn’t even do it.
Randall Thompson 52:00
Right. So, so even out out there, you know, we had, you know, the direct selling method in the past. Right. Right. And then we have, you know, and the direct building and making and manufacturer and now we have we we still have a cottage industry of processors and producers out there. Right,
Dr. Jon 52:21
Randall Thompson 52:22
And then we have this whole group of people who are really putting in large facilities, right, all the way. And then integrated facility, right. I mean, we’re, we’re watching plans that are going, they’re doing the grow in house, they’re doing the processing in house, they’re doing everything in house, right. It’s crazy, right? It’s going on, right? It’s big, right? I mean, we’re talking about, you know, 510 a day facilities, that’s some, some with their own grow some with everything,
Dr. Jon 52:48
right. So that’s where that’s where the idea of scalability, you know, and everything I just said, we’re related to the technique, the solvent, and then the separation technique. Those those are, those are the things you really got to be judicious. In your selection, and in do it from the standpoint of the science is great, but the business is better. You have to, you know, on the science is great. You can’t let your scientist run your business. you just can’t do it. You gotta you gotta you gotta have your business man, look at it and say, Okay, well, what are the real economics? What are the – What are the operating costs? What are the, you know, because, I mean, scientists are trained in science, and they’re trying to look at the next new thing, and you know what I mean? And then somehow, sometimes that gets there’s a false sense of economy that comes with that.
Randall Thompson 53:33
Okay, so what do they need to do to perfect the process?
Dr. Jon 53:35
Yeah, so perfect. The method and believe me, I know, I mean, I’ve had I’ve had all those. I mean, we had lots of business models that failed on, you know, before I started this business that were based on, you know, like, the latest and greatest technology, you know, that were that was, you know, people like, wow, it’s this is the best thing that ever happened. Nobody else can do this. Oh, except for us. Okay. You know what I mean?
Randall Thompson 53:58
And then I also see there Another question here from Austin earlier on about on site processing? Yes, I would talk about that just for a moment
Dr. Jon 54:07
Well, I think that, you know, the deal with on site processing is essentially, there’s, first of all, there’s a license issue. So you have to make sure that you’re legal to do that. And one thing with mobile processors, for example, has always been kind of licensed, we’re licensed for facility, we’re licensed for a location. And then also with the mobile idea, you’d have to have some sort of, you know, what are the certifications that come with that usually facility and the processes and the procedures are all related to the facility and then the people that are in the facility, so you know, the idea of having something mobile or just go out and stick a bunch of ethanol in there or some or co2 out in the field and do that do that on site is is difficult.
Randall Thompson 54:52
Dr. Jon 54:53
You know, there is However, one thing that it’s a total honorable mention and that would be, you know, like mechanical techniques. In some people, like for example, freeze the material with either like liquid nitrogen or with co2, they tumble it and then they break off all those trichomes and get like a kief. Okay? The only the issue that I know about that is the recoveries quite low. In other words, if I have a say I have a 10% cannabinoid, right? Yeah, and per pound, okay, in 10% weight per weight, I may be recover half of that with like a kief for something like that. And then I also have a high consumable cost with a lot of, you know, obviously, I’m taking a biomass and taking it down to like minus 100, or whatever. So it’s very expensive.
Randall Thompson 55:40
That’s very expensive, lots of loss and increased costs,
Dr. Jon 55:44
right. So you may, for example, had, you know, so you had 100 acres in you know, equivalent of basically taking right off the bat 50 acres and just throwing it away. Well, that’s not you know, why not just forget the cost of growing the hundred acres in the first place, and do 50 and do it right, you know so there’s a there’s some of those things and you know those techniques I think will incrementally improve to very very small baby steps. And in you know, a lot of like I see like it a lot of flashes in the pants you know, like although in this industry a lot of people are chasing seems like they chase a lot of like those flashes in the pants You know, there’s a flash over there all over here all we got to find out what that is and, oh, I gotta go over here and find what that is a little bit of a you know, yeah, little shiny Penny syndrome. It happens it happens. I’ve been there done that.
Randall Thompson 56:36
As a stormie agreed, you know, there’s a lot of regulations, municipalities are really cracking down on a lot of things. So we need to be made sure that we’re on that. So let me also ask, you know, with their an ethanol, a small ethanol facility, is there anything that stormie can do to improve those efficiencies or improved capacity and speed and quality
Dr. Jon 57:00
Well, I in small ethanol labs, I think, well, I would let me see here. Well, I just make sure in terms of your efficiency of your most of your costs are basically coming from your electrical and then your solvent a loss. Okay, so those that’s those are the two Apocalypse, the horsemen of the apocalypse, okay, there’s two of those, okay, in the solvent loss really is, so do everything that you can to get more solvent out of your raffinate or your biomass after extraction is going to help you sure. And then also, you know, just kind of make sure that you’re in a jurisdiction that’s, that’s okay with what you’re doing, you know, and so you don’t deal a lot with like, you know, unit, you know, inspections and things like that. You have a less of a less of an regulatory burden on your business. So I would start off if you were doing ethanol, I start off by doing, you know, I a very favorable jurisdiction. I keep it really Small, so it’s not gonna be a scalable operation. And then I focus the number one cause clearly is reuse of the solvent. And also getting that getting that ethanol out of the biomass so that you don’t have a problem. Now, there’s a lot of like salad spinners and or, you know, things like that, but you’re still losing, you know, five, five, to 10%. And then you also have evaporation losses. So those are the things those losses on the ethanol really add up to a lot of money. So you just kind of make sure that you are, you know, watching that carefully. That’s the number one thing, watch it carefully watch where your ethanol is going.
Randall Thompson 58:35
Absolutely. and on the other side of that, you can improve your revenue, okay. And the way to do that, especially in the cottage industry, with small labs, make sure that you’re doing it right. Make sure you sell on the fact that you’re at least food grade, I would even potentially if you could bounce to organic now you have a premium product go out there don’t commoditize and now just like all of these, you know bourbon shops or Small breweries or to cottage, it’s gone from giant down back to cottage. So you can if you’ve got a really good following, and you’ve got good flavors and good everything in your process and you’re selling it that way that can increase your profitability by raising your prices. That’s a that’s a good business model. Okay, stay small stay cottage, but then make adjustments that improve the ability to increase your pricing.
Dr. Jon 59:28
Randall Thompson 59:28
Dr. Jon 59:29
Yeah. So differentiate your product. Yeah. I mean, clearly, I mean, yeah. And so if you can, yeah, if you can, yeah, price prices, everything. It really is. I mean, you know, a lot of people want to race to the bottom, but let me tell you, if you are operating already at a, you know, high fixed cost relative to your or high operating costs relative to your competitors, and then you lower your price. Your margins are less and it’s going to be really hard to eke out you need the margin. You have to have that markup to make money. You got to have the gross margin. to fund sales. I mean, it’s fundamental to fundraising,
Randall Thompson 60:02
marketing, sales to grow for scalability,
Dr. Jon 60:06
inventory, all that stuff. So yeah.
Randall Thompson 60:09
And oftentimes just another business aside, that is, you know, you’re either you’re either strengthening your business or you’re growing your business, it’s very difficult to strengthen and grow at the same time. Because when you’re growing, you’re spending money. Right? When you’re strengthening, you’re amassing cash and planning for when you’re going to do your next growth spurt. So make sure of that. As we close up one final question, and that is the Thompson behind us. Is he a good shooter?
Dr. Jon 60:37
Oh, yeah. It’s great. I can write my name in the side of the wall, Johnny T. Yeah, and yeah, no problem at all. No problem at all. Yeah, I think I think he’s 45 ACP and
Randall Thompson 60:52
Winston with the Tommy in the background. That’s a That’s awesome. Yes, Bob. Thank you for asking that question. Any other thoughts or comments? Before we close,
Dr. Jon 61:01
no, it just looks like we got to we have a bunch of questions we didn’t get to. Yeah, we’re going to get to those. Thank you for sending in your questions to ahead of time. There’s some of them that I’m we’re going to talk about next week. Also, I spent, I don’t know, I spent maybe three, four hours writing FAQs, to all the questions that we hadn’t answered. So you can find those on our website. There’s a whole bunch of FAQs that we’ve added in there. So a lot of those are your guys’s questions. So yeah, go ahead and take a look at them.
Randall Thompson 61:28
Absolutely. Get to the calculators, the calculators are out there you have really embraced. Thank you and comment questions, love them, keep bringing them in, check out the social media, Instagram, Facebook, everything
Dr. Jon 61:41
we had 1000 visits on our on our calculator
Randall Thompson 61:45
things are going crazy. And I know we do this live but there’s a replay and we get you know hundreds or thousands of people are watching and clicking on on these every week. So so thank you for that. I appreciate that. And many these are all on our YouTube channel or You know, go to our website, we’ve got our full blog and white, you know, white papers, articles, a lot of in depth. Get on social media. Again, congratulations to our Instagram live winner dandi Schneider in Kansas City. So thank you for that. And next week’s topic is how to make the best tincture
Dr. Jon 62:19
Randall Thompson 62:20
Dr. Jon 62:21
Randall Thompson 62:21
That’s awesome. Good deal. Thank you for being here. And we’ll see you next week. There is a replay invite your friends, thanks.
Dr. Jon 62:30
And make sure they don’t hot mic us this time.
CBD Jam Session 62:32
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