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_The subject of automation for supercritical CO2 extractors has been a topic of debate for quite some time. As the world rushes headlong into automating everything from industrial manufacturing processes to driverless cars it is only natural that business owners would be interested in automation options for their botanical extractors. Before addressing the pros and cons of various types of automation, it's important to understand the process of using a supercritical CO2 extractor from start to finish.
How Supercritical CO2 Extraction works
The first stage of CO2 extraction is preparing the herb for the extractor. This begins with drying the herb. CO2 is greatly affected by moisture that changes its PH and polarity. Water turns CO2 more acidic and more polar, meaning it will be more likely to pull chlorophyll and less efficient at dissolving oils. After drying the herb to less than 10% moisture it must be ground up to a powder. Usually 1-3mm diameter is ideal. The dried, ground herb is then poured into the extractor vessel and the cap of the extractor vessel is secured down.
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