Winterize - degum - crystallize

RX | Multipurpose Reactor

System overview

Aptia Engineering offers premium Multipurpose Reactors to enhance the clarity, purity, potency, and marketability of your final products. Specially designed for industrial hemp production operations, the reactors are ideal for several sanitary processes including winterization, degumming and crystallization.

Every reactor is constructed with high quality stainless steel, and comes equipped with an industrial duty agitator driven by a C1D1 group D explosion proof motor, an efficient heat transfer dimple jacket, and a glass manway for easy process observation.

Available in three standard sizes – R35, R110, R175 – Aptia’s reactors can be configured to accommodate diverse processing requirements.

Standard Sizes

Product Tank Size Winterization Degumming Crystallization
R35
35 Gallons
R110
110 Gallons
R175
175 Gallons

**Multiple reactors can be combined to scale and expedite your process. 

A scalable multitool

The Multipurpose Reactors are specifically engineered for efficient extract refining operations. They can be configured to perform various refining processes such as winterization, degumming, and crystallization, providing your operation with a valuable multitool.

Collaborate with an engineer at Aptia to specify the Reactor equipment package that best suits your requirements.

  • Winterize
  • Degum
  • Crystallize

RX | Winterization

Winterization is a common extract refining process in which long-chain plant waxes and fats are separated from hemp oil.  By chilling extract that has been dissolved in a solvent such as ethanol, these undesirable compounds can be forced out of solution and filtered away. If these materials are not removed, the final appearance and taste of extract may be negatively impacted. 

Historically, hemp processing facilities have used a notoriously labor-intensive method involving countless buckets and non-explosion proof drop freezers to winterize their extract.  In addition to being time and labor intensive, this approach requires large amounts of ethanol to be stored in freezers at all times, and is increasingly coming under intense fire marshal scrutiny and criticism.

Aptia Engineering’s RX Multipurpose Reactor provides an efficient winterization solution that drastically streamlines the winterization step while improving safety, efficiency and repeatability of your process. Available in multiple standard sizes to suit various scales of production, the RX reduces labor requirements, reduces spillage, decreases open-air solvent handling and fire risk, and increases total lab productivity.  

KEY Features FOR WINTERIZATION

  • Reactor jacketing provides extremely efficient heat transfer, allowing solutions to be chilled in much less time than conventional methods
  • Tank mounted, explosion proof mixers ensure that the solution is evenly chilled and reduce cooling time
  • Bottom drain allows for an easy, sealed transfer to a filtration system to remove the fats and waxes
  • Large manways provide access to the reactors for cleaning and CIP can be installed for even easier cleaning
  • Consistent temperature and agitation setpoints yield higher quality end products and greater batch consistency
  • Bulk processing offers higher production capacity and reduced labor requirements
  • Fully contained processing decreases fire risk and employee exposure to solvents
  • Elimination of manual transfers and handling prevents spillage and product loss
  • Sealed processing dramatically reduces the risk of product contamination
Batch Capacity* Run Time*
6 - 106 kg
1.5 - 2.5 hours

*Capacities and run times are dependent on Reactor size chosen, material and operational procedures.

To meet larger production requirements, Aptia offers multi-reactor systems that are more energy efficient and can process upwards of 1,000(+) kg per day. If you’d like to learn more, ask us about our Custom Solutions.

RX winterization process

1. Incorporation – Rapid heating, precise temperature control and vigorous agitation within the reactor ensure that mixing the ethanol and extract is completed in record time.

2. Cooling – After mixing, the process can be immediately switched to cooling, and the tank is rapidly cooled to a low temperature setpoint.

3. Low Temperature Chilling – From there if desired, the process can be further chilled. Liquid nitrogen, dry ice, or low temperature refrigeration system can drive temperatures that satisfy the most stringent process requirements and ensure complete separation of fats and waxes.

4. Filtration – The solidified fats and waxes are then easily separated from the refined extract in a filtration system such as the Aptia Dynamic Wafer Filter (DWF).

RX | Degumming

Liquid-Liquid Separation is a common refining process in hemp oil processing.  It can be used to ‘degum’ or remove undesirable compounds from extract such as co-extracted phospholipids, sugars, proteins, and other water soluble compounds – collectively referred to as ‘gums’.  Liquid-liquid separation utilizes two solvents which are immiscible (will not mix), such as heptane and water.  When extract is dissolved in the heptane layer and agitated to create contact with the water layer, compounds will move towards the liquid layer in which they are most soluble.  Multiple washes may be necessary but this method can effectively remove the undesirable gums from the extract. 

The degumming process is important to consider if downstream processing includes high temperatures such as molecular or short path distillation because gums are prone to charring on high temperature surfaces.  The char will eventually build up, resulting in poor heat transfer and damage to moving parts such as gear pumps. 

The RX is designed to run an efficient, scalable degumming process with advanced agitation, convenient bottom drain port and robust, high quality stainless steel construction.

Key Features For Degumming

  • Reactor jacketing allows for rapid and even heat transfer to the solution during the incorporation step
  • Efficient, explosion proof, tank mounted mixers ensure thorough liquid-liquid contact is achieved to increase separation efficiency
  • Controllable mixer speeds give operators precise process control
  • Completely sealed containers ensure that no volatile gases are released during mixing which protects operators
  • Consistent temperature and agitation setpoints yield higher quality end products and greater batch consistency
  • Bulk processing offers higher production capacity and reduced labor requirements
  • Fully contained processing decreases fire risk and employee exposure to solvents
  • Elimination of manual transfers and handling prevents spillage and product loss
  • Sealed processing dramatically reduces the risk of product contamination
Batch Capacity* Run Time*
5 - 84 kg
1 - 1.5 hours

*Capacities and run times are dependent on Reactor size chosen, material and operational procedures.

To meet larger production requirements, Aptia offers multi-reactor systems that are more energy efficient and can process upwards of 1,000(+) kg per day. If you’d like to learn more, ask us about our Custom Solutions.

RX Degumming process

1. Incorporate – The system uses heat and vigorous agitation to quickly combine bulk extract and alkane solvent into a homogenous solution

2. React – A water solution is added to the reactor and thoroughly mixed with the heptane/extract solution to promote transfer of water soluble materials into the water layer.

3. Settle – Agitation is stopped and the two immiscible solutions are left to separate over the course of 3-30 minutes.

4. Separate – The water mixture containing the undesirable compounds is drained out of the bottom of the LLR system, and the solvent is transferred to a solvent recovery system.

RX | CBD Crystallization

Crystallization is a purification step used to isolate  CBD from hemp extract to achieve nearly 100% purity. CBD in its most pure form is a crystal, just like table salt or sugar. When super saturated in a solution, CBD will crystallize and fall out of solution. Temperature is the primary mechanism driving this process.  By saturating the solution at warmer temperatures and then progressively decreasing the temperature of the solution, the solubility of the CBD decreases, causing it to crystallize out of solution.

The RX reactor can be used as a heating vessel to incorporate the CBD into an alkane solvent. In the same reactor, the mixture can then be cooled to force crystallization. Agitation during both heating and cooling stages increases the speed of the reaction and ensures a consistent and reliable high-purity final product.

Key Features For Crystallization

  • All reactors are jacketed and provide excellent heat transfer. This allows solutions to be chilled in much less time than conventional methods
  • Tank mounted, explosion proof mixers ensure that the solution is evenly chilled and decreases cooling time
  • Bottom drain allows easy transfer to a filtration system to remove the suspended CBD crystals
  • Large manways provide access to the reactors for cleaning and CIP can be installed for even easier cleaning
  • Consistent temperature and agitation setpoints yield higher quality end products and greater batch consistency
  • Bulk processing offers higher production capacity and reduced labor requirements
  • Fully contained processing decreases fire risk and employee exposure to solvents
  • Elimination of manual transfers and handling prevents spillage and product loss
  • Sealed processing dramatically reduces the risk of product contamination
Batch Capacity* Run Time*
10 - 75 kg
3 hours

*Capacities and run times are dependent on Reactor size chosen, material and operational procedures.

To meet larger production requirements, Aptia offers multi-reactor systems that are more energy efficient and can process upwards of 1,000(+) kg per day. If you’d like to learn more, ask us about our Custom Solutions.

RX Crystallization process

1. Incorporation – The reactor’s precise temperature and agitation control are applied to rapidly dissolve the extract in the solvent

2. Cooling – Agitation and recirculated liquid cooling rapidly and evenly cool the tank to low temperatures.

3. Low Temperature Chilling – The product can optionally be further chilled with liquid nitrogen or a low temperature refrigeration unit

4. Collect – Filter and separate the suspended CBD crystals from the solvent.

Reactor Features

  • Efficient heat transfer jacket provides optimal thermal efficiency and improved operator safety. 
  • Tank mounted agitator with C1D1 group D explosion proof motor. 
  • Non-explosion proof control panel which can be mounted outside of C1D2 zone. 
  • Premium quality stainless steel tank and frame. 
  • A variety of flammable fluid transfer, temperature control, and inert gas handling equipment can be supplied with each process system to accommodate unique process optimization. 
Aptia Multipurpose Reactor Detail

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Additional Information

Contact Aptia to learn more.