Green Mill Supercritical has announced that validation tests measuring its Real-Time Winterization (RTW) process for THC extraction in a full production setting confirmed results previously achieved with CBD.
Extraction operators no longer need ethanol winterization, which is a time-intensive and costly process. Instead, winterization is accomplished with the same CO₂ used during the primary extraction, and it is accomplished in real-time. RTW brings production times down from days to hours and saves hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to the cost of building and operating a traditional extraction and refinement laboratory while creating a simple, ethanol-free, mono-solvent workflow.
“There are a lot of industry insiders who thought this was not possible and they are doing a double-take right now,” said Jeremy Diehl, CTO and co-founder, Green Mill. “Where other CO₂ equipment companies are turning to co-solvent injection of ethanol or hydrocarbons to patch deficiencies in their system designs, we never gave up on what we knew was the true capability of CO₂.”
Green Mill’s testing partner for the THC validation tests is Organic Remedies, a vertically integrated clinical research licensee located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Their cultivation, manufacturing, and research center is a 250,000-sq.-ft., state-of-the-art facility.
“Throughout my career in the cannabis industry, I have operated in all roles associated with manufacturing, product development, and lab set-up consulting,” said Organic Remedies’ Chief Science Officer Mark June-Wells, Ph.D. “I have always trusted Green Mill’s SFE Pro because of its robust nature and the company’s attention to detail. But even I was skeptical about winterizing with CO₂. Now that I’ve worked with Green Mill to validate Real-Time Winterization for THC, I believe this technology will truly change the face of the cannabis oil manufacturing industry. Their approach to innovation builds on past features and functionality, and they deliver on the claims that they make.”
Some of the problems caused by ethanol winterization and solved by RTW are:
- Days of post-extraction processing
- Expensive lab construction and equipment purchases
- High labor costs
- Costly regulatory requirements to manage large volumes of ethanol
- Introduction of undesired solvents that can leave a residue in the final product
- Inherent cannabinoid loss
“The typical THC extract producer that winterizes with ethanol is losing 5-8% of their valued compounds, or about $150,000 per year, just in the act of transfer and processing,” said Green Mill Director of R&D Jesse Turner. “Merely by plugging that cash leak, RTW pays for itself. And that does not count all the other ways an operation experiences efficiency gains.”
While other platforms are pursuing workarounds that introduce co-solvents to boost the amount of biomass processed on a given day, that does not address the underlying limitations of the machine’s engineering, and it comes at a cost beyond the price for additional equipment.
“You lose the essence of what makes CO₂ such a great solvent when you ‘Frankenstein’ your extraction process with co-solvents,” Diehl said. “You lose the ability to target your desired compounds and you up-end your entire lab’s workflow.”
Special pricing is now available for orders placed as part of Green Mill’s Flagship RTW Producers program, with initial equipment delivery planned for Q3 2021.