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In the current hemp and cannabis processing market, efficiency is one of the keys to success. Where labs and facilities once scaled into large falling films and pot stills, over time operating expenses have proved to be too great for many processors to maintain a viable business model. The solution?

Enter the X-Spiral Membrane System for Solvent Recovery and Dewaxing

Membrane filtration systems have gained popularity recently in cannabis and hemp processing due to serious, and numerous, advantages. SciPhy systems is extremely excited to offer the X-Spiral Membrane System by Molecular Forces LLC, because this system represents the very forefront of membrane technology – and its already in the field helping processors recover solvent and dewax at unbeatable cost efficiency.

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The X-Spiral concentrates extracts to a 2:1 solvent to oil ratio with a cutting edge membrane-based approach, or performs room temperature dewaxing.

x-spiral models4

Why is the X-Spiral Different? Cross Flow Filtration

The X Spiral membrane is the first affordable nanofiltration membrane system in the hemp market, packing an incredible amount of continuous solvent recovery or dewaxing capacity into an unbeatably small footprint. Membranes use precisely sized miniscule pores in a surface to allow compounds of a select size to pass through, while retaining larger ones. Many processors are familiar with separations using expensive cartridges that need to be replaced due to their rapid clogging, or filter bags. But the X-Spiral’s membranes do things distinctively.

The defining feature of the X-Spiral System is its cross-flow filtration membranes. Conventional filtration is typically of the “dead-end” type forcing fluid through a filter bag, plate, or packing while building up a cake or sludge of whatever is being filtered out of solution. The problem with this approach is that it is inevitably subject to diminishing returns: the more you filter out the more clogged up the filter gets and the slower your solution flows. Dead-end filters often necessitate expensive bag, cartridge, or media replacements with the added cost of labor and down-time to boot. Even some membrane filters rely on this same inelegant design.

membrane diagram

The X-Spiral’s continuous cross flow filtration membranes work differently. In a cross flow filter, the membrane is tightly wound in a coil with limited space between layers - a spiral for the solution to move along. This means that material is fed parallel with the surface of the membrane at a high velocity. Pressure forces a portion of the solution through the membrane sheet, while the remainder is recirculated and additional fresh feed is added to the loop .

The result? Extremely fast feed flow that continually washes away any buildup due to its parallel flow with the membrane.

membrane diagram

But if it's only a pressure differential pushing the feed through, do you need heat?

No Heat System

The X Spiral Membrane accomplishes room temperature solvent recovery due to the unique design characteristics of cross flow filtration membranes. The pressurization and circulation of the feed solution is the only work happening, and thus the only heat generated is from slight inefficiencies in the pumps. The minor heat load of the system is readily removed by a small heat exchanger, keeping temperatures down below 35 degrees Celsius at all times. No heat means that degradation and oxidation of the material is reduced, and product quality is preserved at its finest

So, despite the high pressure, this is the gentlest, safest method to remove solvents possible.

xspiral in shop

That makes the X Spiral particularly well suited to processors trying to produce high terpene or higher acid-form cannabinoid products. The cost savings of a no heat system are notable, and the increased quality of product due to higher control and no increased degradation are huge advantages.

In some comparisons we found the X-Spiral’s energy usage to amount to a mere 5% of similarly scaled systems. In states with higher kilowatt hour costs like California, the savings can be profound. Many processors can expect to save thousands of dollars per month just from switching.

But What About a Falling Film?

Affordable off the bat and easy to acquire, falling film evaporators are the industry standard for industrial scale solvent recovery. But as many processors will tell you, there is considerable utility load associated with these systems, and ongoing operation can be costly.

The X-Spiral lessens cost with a dramatic overall reduction in energy consumption at a competitive up front price. In a falling film evaporator, every solvent molecule must go through a phase change – it has to evaporate. And the energy cost of creating this transformation is staggeringly high when compared with the room temperature approach of the X-Spiral, which also can create a higher quality product due to less degradation from heat. While falling films were the industry favorite, membranes are quickly replacing them for scale ups, new operations, and cost crunching companies due to these advantages.

But the X-Spiral is Not Only About Solvent Recovery.

xspiral in shop

Dewaxing (VS Winterization) – All the Same Benefits and More

Simply by being outfitted with different membranes, the X-Spiral becomes a powerful dewaxing system that uses its unique thermal capabilities to an advantage. Most processors dewax using popular winterization methods, which require an big temperature swing. Winterization systems chill the waxes which separate out from the solution at a set very low temperature. (See dewax results in image to the right)

The X-Spiral requires no temperature change to dewax. At a molecular level, the waxes are a different size than cannabinoids. The waxes are the larger molecules, so they are left behind, and the terpenes, cannabinoids, and solvent all travel through the specially selected dewaxing membrane, which has pores smaller than the waxes. The lack of low temperatures makes this a far more efficient approach, but also this technique captures the waxes more successfully and has a more efficient workflow. In a standard filter approach, operators are left with a clogged loaded down cake or a solid brick of wax. In the cross-flow filtration approach of the X-Spiral, instead you produce a continuous flow of concentrated slurry with very little cannabinoid content which is pumped out to waste containment continuously, or at the turn of a valve.

That ease of use extends further to the cleaning cycle

Simply by being outfitted with different membranes, the X-Spiral becomes a powerful dewaxing system that uses its unique thermal capabilities to an advantage. Most processors dewax using popular winterization methods, which require an big temperature swing. Winterization systems chill the waxes which separate out from the solution at a set very low temperature. (See dewax results in image)

The X-Spiral requires no temperature change to dewax. At a molecular level, the waxes are a different size than cannabinoids. The waxes are the larger molecules, so they are left behind, and the terpenes, cannabinoids, and solvent all travel through the specially selected dewaxing membrane, which has pores smaller than the waxes. The lack of low temperatures makes this a far more efficient approach, but also this technique captures the waxes more successfully and has a more efficient workflow. In a standard filter approach, operators are left with a clogged loaded down cake or a solid brick of wax. In the cross-flow filtration approach of the X-Spiral, instead you produce a continuous flow of concentrated slurry with very little cannabinoid content which is pumped out to waste containment continuously, or at the turn of a valve.

That ease of use extends further to the cleaning cycle

Easy Cleaning and Fully Continuous Output

The goal of the X-Series and the ARTISAN X-SR200 is to help processors with the most central key pain point - cost per unit of product. The unique combination of Molecular Forces X-Spiral membranes and the Artisan Rototherm® allows SciPhy Systems to deliver a system unlike anything before it. From the ability to get from crude to saleable product in a single compact continuous system, to the low resulting cost per unit of product, the X-SR200 is designed to do what we do - help processors succeed. That's what it's all about.

HEADER X SPIRAL

Conclusion - Doing More With Less

The X-Spiral was designed to make processors' lives easier, and to provide them with all the benefits that membranes can offer in an extremely manageable footprint. Like the SciPhy team, creator Zev Feinstein has a true love for the plant and for chemical processes, crafting this system to address so many key pain points for processors. It's no surprise that these units are flying out of production and making immediate impacts on processors’ bottom lines. Our number one goal is helping extractors and processors upgrade or start up with the most effective and efficient possible equipment setups. The X-Spiral’s advantages are too numerous and standout to miss, that’s why we’ve been integrating these systems into our end to end equipment projects.

Interested in learning more about the X-Spiral?

SEE THE MAIN X-SPIRAL WEBPAGE HERE or

GET THE INFOSHEET HERE:

X SPIRAL bulk solvent recovery information

A downloadable form for the X-Spiral Membrane System

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