KRISTA KULCZYCKI PROVIDES INSIGHT AND BACKGROUND ON YIELDS
Vitalis Technical and Scientific Writer, Krista Kulczycki has just published the second of a three-part series dedicated to understanding the concept of yields – a contentious topic in extraction circles. The piece, published in Cannabis Science & Technology magazine, focuses on the impact of material preparation, and the effects particle size can have on extraction.
The article highlights several factors that influence extraction output and provides a thorough explanation of the science involved.
Particle Size and Packing Efficiency
It seems intuitive that by keeping particle sizes small, you’re able to maximize the amount of material that can fit in any vessel. A common example is rocks versus sand fit into a jar. The smaller the size of the particle, the more material that can fit in a given volume, as the smaller particles are able to fill out the space more efficiently with less empty space.
Time to Reach the Center
With smaller size, the distance from the outside of the particle to the center is less. Another intuitive concept, the ability of a solvent to reach the center of a plant material particle in shorter time can improve the overall extraction. The faster a solvent can fully soak into a particle, the sooner and more efficiently the chemistry behind dissolution of molecules can occur.
Surface Area to Volume Ratio
A concept that needs a little more explanation, the smaller the particle size the greater the ratio of surface area to volume. The greater that ratio, the more avenues of interaction between the solvent and the plant material are available. That interaction has a significant impact on the overall efficiency of the extraction process.
Coextraction of Other Compounds
The final point in the article raises the question of coextraction. With the additional pre-processing required to get smaller particles, the general cell structure of the biomass can be disrupted. This can increase the coextraction of other non-targeted and undesirable compounds. In this case, the key is to manage and monitor extraction and post-processing times to ensure the most profitable end-result.
This article series is a specific conversation on Yields, and the many factors that can have an impact on extraction and efficiency. The first part, published in April 2019 examined the component make-up of the original feedstock material, and provided an overview of the mathematics of percent extraction efficiency.
To read the full article, please visit Cannabis Science & Technology, and watch for Part 3 in the July/August issue.