Press Release – October 2, 2018

Pressure gauge

Canada’s First ASME Certified Extraction Equipment Manufacturer

Vitalis Extraction Technology Raises Bar, Sets New Standard in Growing Cannabis Industry

KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA,CANADA , October 2, 2018
Vitalis Extraction Technology, the largest supercritical CO2 extraction equipment manufacturer serving the international cannabis industry, today claimed the title as Canada’s first and only American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) BPV certified extraction original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in the cannabis industry. The announcement comes on the heels of the company’s rapid expansion that doubled its production capacity.

While all Vitalis Extraction Technology equipment has always been designed, fabricated, and tested and certified in accordance with the latest ASME and CSA codes, the recent ASME certification now allows Vitalis to manufacture its own certified pressure vessels in-house, owning the process from start to finish.

“Becoming ASME certified to manufacture fully-certified vessels in house was a huge undertaking and an even bigger accomplishment,” said Pete Patterson, COO and co-founder of Vitalis Extraction Technology. “ASME completed an extensive audit of our fabrication facility and processes and found our methods and procedures to be excellent. Being able to produce certified vessels in house is unprecedented in our nation’s industry. Reaching this goal was a true team effort that involved everyone from our founders to engineers and fabricators who all knew what it would take to keep us ahead in this competitive and growing market.”

Founded in 2016, Vitalis Extraction Technology produces the most sophisticated high-flowing, industrial-scale, supercritical CO2 extraction systems for the cannabis industry. Renowned for their reliability, scalability, and continuous operation, all Vitalis systems are designed and manufactured in accordance with ASME and CSA Standards for Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Pressure Piping Construction. Each vessel is stamped with a CRN and NB registration number confirming that the vessels meet both US and Canadian code requirements.

“Simply being ‘designed-to-code’ isn’t enough when you’re handling a high-pressure system,” said Joel Sherlock, chairman and co-founder of Vitalis Extraction Technology. “Extraction systems are a required component in cannabis oil production. With something so imperative yet potentially dangerous, safety is critical. Owning this process allows us to continue to build certified, ‘future-proof’ machines, designed to expand for increased output and volume as a customer’s demands increase.”

With full legalization on the horizon, tightened regulations are inevitable. Vitalis' ASME certificate affirms that each system is built in accordance with the latest regulatory codes, eliminating downstream problems for customers by helping to ensure compliance with their local jurisdictional requirements for installation and operation. Voted Top Extraction Equipment at the 2017 Lift Canadian Cannabis Awards, Vitalis is on the forefront of emerging Canadian and global markets. On track for a 105% increase in sales this fiscal year, these accomplishments confirm Vitalis’ place as the largest commercial supercritical CO2 extraction equipment company in the cannabis space in North America.

PRESS CONTACT

For Additional Information, please contact

Judy Campbell, Campbell Consulting
judy@campbellconsulting.com, 541-410-9113

The Importance of Certification for Pressure Vessels

Air tank with pressure gauge.

Do you work in an industry where the use of pressure vessels is common?

Then, explosions may be something you worry about. You want to stay safe at work and go home at the end of the day in one piece. Have you ever looked at a vessel and wondered how it can keep its pressurized contents safely in place? Who makes sure that these vessels are safe? Have you ever noticed the stamp or plate on a vessel and wondered what it means?

Let's find out!

What are Pressure Vessels?

If you don't work in a field that routinely uses pressure vessels, you may not know what they are. Simply put, they are containers that hold pressurized contents.

This means that the container holds its contents, either a gas or a liquid, at a different pressure than the atmosphere. It is critical that this vessel maintains its seal. Otherwise, the sudden pressure change will cause an explosion.

The vessels were originally invented to handle the steam needed to operate a steam engine back in the day. But now these vessels are very useful for a variety of applications. Everything on the following list uses these vessels in some manner:

  • Recompression chambers
  • Mining operations
  • Nuclear reactor vessels
  • Distillation towers
  • Submarines
  • Spaceship habitats
  • Petrochemical plants
  • CO2 extraction systems

These vessels are also routinely used for storing liquefied gases like propane, butane, LPG, chlorine, or ammonia.

Safety

As you can imagine, safety is a huge concern with these vessels. If you've ever popped a balloon with a pin, you have an idea of what would happen if a pressure vessel suddenly lost its seal.

Safety is the number one reason why proper certification is so important. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) put into place their rather stringent standards in 1914. Before this, working with these vessels was very dangerous.

The vessels often failed and exploded. These explosions often severely injured or even killed anyone that was nearby. Obviously, this was not ideal. So the ASME put into place inspections and certifications that these vessels had to pass.

It didn't start out this big, but now the ASME's code encompasses 28 books and over 14,000 pages. It covers residential and industrial boilers and every pressure vessel imaginable.

It is an international code that everyone should adhere to. After all, it doesn't matter where you are on the planet. Physics is still physics, and a vessel will still explode under the same miserable conditions.

ASME Certification

Not all these vessels are created equally. They can handle a wide range of PSI. Thus the ASME construction code has different standards that apply to the vessels. Regardless, though, any vessel that will handle more than 15 PSI is subject to the ASME code.

The vessels are divided into three groups. Those that handle up to 3,000 PSI, up to 10,000 PSI, and those that handle pressures over 10,000 PSI.

The ASME has guidelines for the types of materials that can be used to build these vessels. Some requirements apply to all vessels. Others only apply according to how much pressure the vessel will handle.

Once the vessel has been approved, it gets a stamp or plate that boasts ASME certification. Many insurance companies will only cover a company that uses pressure vessels if every vessel has this ASME certification.

Of course, it's possible that any pressure vessel can fail. Don't assume that a vessel is foolproof just because it has been certified. But, meeting the certification standards greatly reduces the risk of failure and a potentially serious tragedy.

Good Design

In addition to the materials that can be used, the code also covers how the vessel should be designed. The ASME clearly lays out design standards that a vessel must meet or exceed to get certification. Even the shape of the vessel is essential for proper construction.

This also extends to the fabrication process. Manufacturers should follow certain procedures during fabrication that will help ensure the integrity of the vessel. Manufacturers must also follow a quality control regimen to ensure that the vessels they produce are solid.

The ASME also keeps an eye on the manufacturer's track record. The vessels that a manufacturer produces must consistently meet the ASME standards.

Transportation

While a pressure vessel can explode at any time, they are particularly dangerous during transport. The vibrations and jostling about that happen during transport can be just enough to cause the vessel to fail.

Imagine the devastation if a vessel explodes on a public roadway.

For this reason, the Department of Transportation also gets involved here. They issue an R-stamp that is very important. If a vessel needs repairs, the welder must have this R-stamp certification.

The welder (and the shop) have to undergo strict testing to receive this certification. Once they obtain it, they have to stay in good standing with the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.

Improper repair of these vessels is a hazard to the public that is taken very seriously. This certification ensures that everybody stays safe.

Stay Safe

Who knows how many lives have been saved because of the ASME standards. But the only way to ensure that they keep saving lives is by following them.

Now that you know what ASME certification is and why it's so important, it helps to ensure that your vessels meet all the codes and standards. If you see a pressure vessel in use that doesn't have the proper certification, say something. You could potentially save someone's life.

Would you like to learn more interesting tidbits about chemical or mechanical engineering? Be sure to check out our education page. We've got great bits of interesting information about the exciting world of engineering.

Liquid CO2 Pumps vs. Gas Pumps

Bottle and liquid nitrogen in a laboratory. Chemical experiment. Flask with water and dry ice boiling chemical experiment p

The business opportunities are seemingly boundless as new markets open up.

Before you can run off and join the extraction gold rush there may be a few questions you need to be answered regarding production.

The truth is, you're going to need the right equipment in order to be successful. Maybe you've heard someone tell you that liquid CO2 pumps outperform gas ones, but you have no idea what that even means. If you're interested in extracting the plant oils (and you should be), you will need a good CO2 pump. If you're new to the game, then maybe you don't even know where to begin or what questions to ask.

Here you'll find information about the pros and cons of each system, so you can make a decision for yourself as you embark on this new and exciting business venture.

What is Supercritical CO2 Extraction?

Wait, let's slow down for a second. Maybe you don't even know what a CO2 pump does?

CO2 is a "tunable solvent." You can control the pressure and temperature of the fluid in order to extract certain compounds from plant material. This makes CO2 a versatile solvent, allowing you to extract whatever it is you want. At the right temperature and pressure, CO2 becomes a supercritical liquid, meaning that it has properties of both a liquid and a gas. As a supercritical liquid, CO2 can dissolve materials within a solid. Because of this, the supercritical liquid CO2 is an ideal solvent that leaves behind no toxic residues in the finished product. This is the same process that has been used in recent decades in order to remove the caffeine from coffee beans in order to make decaffeinated coffee. It eliminates the need to use toxic chemicals, such as butane, in order to obtain the desired extraction.

Vitalis offers a range of CO2 extraction machines that will leave you with the desired products that will draw a crowd of people to your storefront.

Density of CO2

One of the most important factors you'll need to think about is the density of CO2. The density of CO2 varies widely with differences in temperature and pressure. This will cause the CO2 flow to vary and will affect how efficiently you can pump the CO2. When you perform a CO2 extraction, you want to maximize the solvent density without sacrificing quality or quantity of the product. If the density of CO2 is right, the extraction process will be quick and efficient.

When the CO2 is stored in its gas form, the gas is subject to density instability. This means that the density of CO2 gas will fluctuate in the tank. This can make for an unpredictable, fluctuating flow of CO2. A liquid CO2 pump offers the user a much more efficient and consistent flow.

Liquid CO2 Pumps Take the Crown

Not all CO2 pumps are created equal. While gas CO2 pumps are much easier and cheaper to design and manufacture, liquid CO2 pumps outperform these machines. When it comes to design, liquid CO2 pumps are more complicated and expensive to produce. However, the benefits of these systems vault them to the top of the game. With a liquid pumping system, extraction times are shorter, less product is lost, and the quality of the end product is much higher.

Additionally, liquid pumping systems are far less frail and can perform longer and harder. This is good news for your production numbers, your wallet, and the overall quality of your product. This means that you can produce more high-quality product in a shorter period of time. This is good for everybody involved.

By comparison, gas pumps just do not offer the same quality yield that liquid pumps do. Because of the low density of gaseous CO2, it is difficult to move it quickly enough for a quick and efficient extraction. Gas pumps are also subject to damage by terpenes, which harden when they are compressed. Liquid CO2 extraction machines avoid this problem.

With higher pressures inside the liquid machines, terpenes remain liquefied and can easily be separated from the rest of the materials. In short, if you're looking for a CO2 extraction machine that will be worth your investment, a liquid CO2 pump is the obvious choice. Vitalis has become the leading manufacturer of industrial supercritical CO2 extraction machine. We offer a range of machines that will ensure that liquid CO2 extraction is quick and efficient and leaves you with the high-quality extracts you and your clientele expect.

Certifications for Pressure Vessels

As with any business, it's important to have the proper certifications if you want to be successful. Operating these machines come with their share of potential safety hazards. Although CO2 extraction is much safer than other methods of extraction, such as butane, that doesn't mean all CO2 systems are created with safety in mind.

Vitalis systems are designed to meet the standards set forth by ASME and CSA. We want to make sure that your investments are insured. Adhering to industry standards ensures the avoidance of injuries as well as the smooth and efficient operation of your business. When you invest in a Vitalis system, you are investing in the future of your growing business.

Are You Ready to Get in the Game?

Now that you know a little bit about the benefits of using liquid CO2 as an extraction method, we know that you're excited to get started. You can request a quote from us to find out which of our models is best suited to your needs and what it will take to get your business off the ground.

INFOGRAPHIC | The Dangers of Butane

Stay Safe when you're extracting

Each week, more and more of these explosions make the news. Take a look at some real headlines from the past couple months alone.

Despite being an effective solvent for cannabis, butane is flammable and dangerous. Countless individuals are severely injured every month due to butane extraction labs, often located in densely-populated residential areas.

 

Butane Explosions

INFOGRAPHIC | Safety First – Does Your Pressure Equipment Have This?

Worried about your pressure equipment?

Certified equipment is vital to the continued success of your business.

Take a look at our infographic to learn about some of the certifications required to stay compliant and operational.

Certifications

Extraction Systems: Why Certify?

Certified Pressure Valve

As legalization approaches across North America, interest in extracting cannabis or hemp oil is exploding. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is becoming a popular choice for cannabis oil extraction because of its low environmental impact and the non toxic nature. However in order for CO2 to become an effective solvent it must be pressurized somewhere between 400 to 5000 PSI. These high operating pressures can pose significant hazards if the extractors are not suitably designed, which is why it is imperative to ensure your extractor’s pressure vessels are properly certified, otherwise your business operations can quickly grind to a halt.

When purchasing and operating a piece of machinery with pressurized components, your and your team’s safety must be considered. The pressure differential between a pressurized system and the atmospheric pressure is dangerous; even the smallest hole will cause the pressurized gas to be violently expelled from the vessel, which can lead to serious and sometimes fatal accidents. Studies by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) have shown that only 33 percent of pressure vessel and piping failures are caused by third-party damage, such as poorly tightened fittings or improper maintenece by the operators. This means the majority pressure vessel failures emanate from inadequate design or manufacturing. Consequently, pressure vessel design, manufacture, and operation are now regulated by engineering authorities backed by legislation.

Proper Certification

Both Canada and the United States use the ASME standards to guide pressure vessel usage, which focuses on the safe design, construction, and operation of pressure equipment. What’s more, Canada, under the direction of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), has additional standards which American manufacturers often do not take into consideration, rendering their equipment unusable in Canada without modification and/or recertification.

The CSA also requires pressure vessels, piping systems, and fittings in Canada to be registered with CRNs (Canadian Registration Numbers). However, plenty of pressure equipment currently used in Canada was never registered with valid CRNs and is in-use unlawfully. Much of this equipment comes from U.S. manufacturing facilities who do not know to register their products in Canada. These products are often uncovered during authorized-inspector visits or insurance audits. If unregistered or substandard equipment is discovered while it is in use, then all operation must be stopped immediately, and the equipment must be properly registered before operations can recommence. If it cannot be registered, it must be replaced, as unregistered components are illegal in Canada. Often this requires the extraction system to be disassembled until suitable replacement parts can be sourced and installed, which can negatively impact insurance and will halt operations completely.

Choose Certified Equipment

To avoid this nightmare, simply ensure your extraction equipment meets all safety standards and is properly certified. By choosing a manufacturer compliant with ASME and CSA standards such as Vitalis Extraction Technology, you can protect your team, your investment, and your passion.

Ensure the safety of your team

Read more about Vitalis' adherence to best-in-class manufacturing, and full certification.