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 maintenance by the operators. This means the majority of 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.

Extraction Systems

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 that do not know how 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 operations 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.