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Lab & Extraction

How good is hexane to use as a solvent in extraction?

Lab & Extraction

hi guys,

I recently started doing some ethanol extractions and wanted to know if people use hexane as a replacement for ethanol? Does that crude have to then be winterized to remove impurities or because it's a hydrocarbon it doesn't? I have done some hexane extractions now and still see fats, lipids and impurities in my crude. I just want to know if that is normal and I'm on the right


Both hexane and ethanol can be used for extractions, but I wouldn't say one replaces the other. They both have pros/cons. Ethanol is cheaper and generally safer, but forms azeotropes with many terpenes, so when you recover the ethanol, you have lost all the terps. Hexane extraction generally scales up well, and will be a faster process if you are extracting hundreds of pounds a day. But it is more expensive and harder to recover.

When using hexane, you should absolutely winterize before distill. The cannabinoids and terps as well as the fats/lipids/waxes are all nonpolar and will hang out withe nonpolar hexane. The crude will be visually waxy when doing hydrocarbon vs. alcohol extraction.

Totally normal though to use hexane as an extraction solvent. Totally normal to still see lipids.

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