By the use of fractional distillation/rectification high concentrates of single Cannabinoides (e.g. THC, CBD, …) from Hemp / Cannabis Extracts can be produced.
Since Cannabinoides are heat sensitive the operating temperature has to be lowered using vacuum. This requires operating pressures less than 200 mbar abs.
Moreover short residence times of the product at heated condition is also required to avoid thermal decomposition. The fractionational distillation/rectification, plant for processing the cannabinoides consists in a Thin film Evaporator (TFE) or a Wiped Film Evaporator (WFE) as reboiler with a fractional/rectification column purification.
The main equipment of the fractional distillation plant consists of the packed column with several separation stages combined with a TFE/WFE as reboiler.
The continuous supply of the extract to the rectification system can be either directly to the TFE/WFE or to the middle part of the column or to the top part of the column, depending on the application.
All the vapours are condensed on the condenser at the top as distillate.
The reflux splitter divides the distillate from the condenser in two proportiones.
One part is taken as a distillate fraction and the other part is fed back to the top of the column as reflux.
The packings inside are wetted both with the vapours coming from the reboiler (TFE/WFE) and the reflux coming from the top.
This leads to a much higher separation efficiency than a single stage distillation plant.
At the bottom of the TFE/WFE the concentrate is discharged continuously.
The individual Cannabinoides (THC, CBD, CBC, CBG etc.) can be separated and concentrated up to more than 99 %.