Award-winning cannabis extractions
Designed by staff engineers with expertise in industrial automation and 17-plus years’ experience building cannabis oil extractors, Apeks Supercritical CO2 extraction systems efficiently extract pure, high-quality essential oils. While any botanical material can be extracted, the majority of our customers use Apeks systems to extract oils from cannabis and hemp to produce CBD and other products.
Our customers are producing some award-winning oils with Apeks systems which feature simple fractional extraction and cold separation processes to preserve volatile oils for higher-quality and higher-quantity yields. When plant matter is exposed to too much heat or cold, terpenes (scent) and flavonoids (taste) are impaired (thermal degradation). We take every precaution to avoid this, which is why our systems are water jacketed.
Controlled decarboxylation and greater yields of THCa
TCHa is converted to THC via a chemical process using heat called decarboxylation. Apeks thermally-sensitive systems allow processors greater control over the decarboxylation of their extractions because cold separation does not decarboxylate (or very minimally) the extracted oils in the separator as most competitor systems do. Therefore, processors can produce on average a 20% greater yield of THCa. This is important because converting THCa to THC by decarboxylation activates the psychotropic elements of cannabis which some processors and end-users don’t want. Some prefer non-psychotropic cannabis concentrates to put in medical cannabis products aimed at children, or for patients who want the medicinal benefits, not the intoxicating effects.
Apeks systems have rightfully gained the reputation among processors and extraction experts as being solid performers, built to last. Knowing they’ll be working with their machines for many years, customers are known to affectionately call them by name like Old Faithful, The Workhorse and The Beast.
Apeks systems use carbon dioxide as a solvent, which is safer, purer, and cleaner than alternative extraction methods. The CO2 is pumped through a closed loop system, converting CO2 from gas to liquid, and back to gas again. Using high pressure, the gaseous CO2 is pumped through the extraction vessel where it becomes liquid and extracts the oil. Then the liquid CO2 and oil flow to the separator vessel during which the CO2 is decompressed, converting back to gas. In the separator vessel the CO2 separates from the denser, heavier oil which drops down into a collection cup. The CO2 then continues its loop and is recovered in the gas cannisters. Approximately 90% of the CO2 is recovered during an extraction.
The systems work best with ground up, dried cannabis (or other) plant material. The plant material should be dried thoroughly. CO2 extraction doesn’t like water in the source material so drying the cannabis properly beforehand is essential. Customers in humid climates sometimes use freeze dryers to remove water from the plant. Once dried, the material should be ground to coffee-ground consistency before loading into the extraction vessel. CO2 is pumped through it, extracting the oil. The CO2 and oil move to the separator vessel where the denser, heavier oil drops down into a collection cup. The CO2 then continues its loop and is recovered in the gas canisters.
This video shows the grinding process:
Difference between subcritical and supercritical
Apeks systems process either under subcritical parameters or supercritical parameters. Subcritical runs (low pressure/low temperature) extract flavonoids and terpenes, while supercritical (high pressure/high temperature) runs pull everything out of the plant including waxes and lipids. Many Apeks customers do a short terpene, subcritical run first, then finish the subcritical run before doing a supercritical run to get the most out of the plant matter as possible.
Selecting the right system
We help customers choose which Apeks system to purchase based on their processing capacity. Our sales team members ask, “What do you want to achieve?” and then work from there. A customer might be looking to produce high-grade concentrated oil for vape pens. In which case, we will advise them on terpene runs at subcritical parameters because they will be able to use the oil directly out of the machine without any need for post-processing. For those interested in high production subcritical extractions, check out the Apeks Duplex designed to do just that.
During supercritical runs, the system will extract additional unwanted materials like fats, waxes, and lipids, which requires the oil undergo post-processing after extraction. Customers should consider whether they need to do post-processing, referred to as winterization, or if they can use the oil straight out of the machine.
Click to see a demonstration on the winterization process:
Other information about Apeks systems
Apeks Supercritical CO2 extraction systems are all manufactured to the highest standard, in our ASME-certified facility. System control panels are UL listed meeting the nationally recognized standards for safety. Additionally, we offer peer review documents in multiple states. Our systems come with a 3-year warranty, which is longer than many of our competitors have been in business!
Comprehensive training and support are included in the purchase. One of our service engineers will travel to a new customer’s facility to teach how to perform terpene, subcritical, and supercritical runs on their Apeks system. In addition, we have several engineers and a full customer support staff available to troubleshoot and resolve issues online. Since our systems are fully automated, customers don’t have to hire a machine operator to run extractions. Once parameters are set, and the start button is engaged, they can attend to other matters.
Watch how easy it is to start a system:
Properly maintained, a system will only need major service every 4,000 hours. We recommend a thorough cleaning between runs. This helps extend the life of the seals and other parts.
Apeks systems are constructed in a 17,000-square-foot purpose-built manufacturing facility in Johnstown, OH. The company is veteran owned and operated. Veterans receive a 5% discount on purchases.
A leader in the extraction industry, Apeks Supercritical is nationally recognized for manufacturing innovative, quality, warranty-backed systems built by experienced engineers. Read more about the Apeks Advantage and the system features and capabilities other manufacturers do not offer.