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Active vs Passive Closed Loop Extraction

by BVV |

Active vs Passive Closed-Loop Extraction Process: Which Is Best?

Unsure of the best way to extract pure-grade plant materials and beyond at home? If you’re just entering the great active vs passive closed-loop extraction systems debate, welcome! Not only do the extraction equipment experts at BVV offer a wide array of products for closed-loop extraction systems, but we can also help you find the best unit to fit your needs. Before you begin shopping around, get a better understanding of extraction as a whole. Find out how each method works below. 

 Table of Contents

How Active Recovery Works

Active and passive recovery processes operate similarly in that they’re both using a closed-loop system. A closed loop avoids having any extraction material make contact with the outside air. However, active closed-loop extractors also use recovery pumps for circulation. Your choice of solvent is condensed into a liquid through a coil located on the output port of the pump. From there, the pump uses a push-pull movement to help the solvent vapors flow. For this reason, the active recovery process is faster than the passive one.

The active method also reduces recurring costs. It does so by minimizing the need for expensive chilling options, namely dry ice. This method doesn’t require the LP tank to be chilled, so an active system’s cost-effectiveness becomes greater as the capacity of the closed-loop increases. And since the recovery pump can pull into the vacuum, less solvent is left behind in the extract. Although there is less solvent loss and dry ice reliance, active systems need to be maintained and rebuilt periodically. They tend to require more attention.

How Passive Recovery Works

In a closed system, gas seeks to fill the lowest pressure area. Because of this, passive closed-loop extractors work by manipulating the internal tank pressure to move hydrocarbon gas from one part of the system to another. The low pressure on the receiving end is accomplished by adjusting the temperature.

The liquid butane solvent in the collection base is heated while the receiving LP tank is cooled. This causes the butane vapor to naturally move to the cooler area. If the temperature is below the boiling point of the solvent, the vapors will re-condense into a liquid.

As far as active vs passive closed-loop extraction processing, passive recovery is generally the way beginning users learn how to operate a closed-loop system. Although passive systems are a simple solution to solvent recovery, they do tend to leave more solvent behind. This means that the solvent loss per run is usually higher than it would be with an active closed-loop extractor.

Should I Buy An Active Or Passive Closed Loop Extraction System?

When To Use Active Recovery

Active systems reduce the need for large amounts of dry ice but have a larger start-up cost. These give faster recovery times per pound (lb) of solvent used. They become especially attractive to those who need a heavy production volume or use large systems.

Active recovery systems can also pull the collection base into a vacuum when completed, so more advanced options for extract removal (i.e. cold muffin technique) can be accomplished. If speed and production amount is a requirement or dry ice is hard to come by, choose an active system, such as our BVV 2 Cylinder Active Closed Loop Recovery Kit.

When To Use Passive Recovery

Passive systems are great for beginners. That’s because there’s no need for electrical equipment to move the solvent. These systems can be efficient with recovery speeds. However, a large amount of dry ice is needed to do so. Regular ice can be used instead, but recovery times will be much longer.

Passive recovery systems are also favorable if large-scale production isn’t needed. Finally, if you have plenty of time to process and/or have easy access to bulk dry ice, passive is a great option for you. We recommend checking out our 1LB Passive Closed Loop Extraction Kit.

Shop Closed Loop Extraction Systems At BVV

Now that you have a better understanding of your preferred option while considering active vs passive closed-loop extraction processing systems, we think you’re ready to kick off your at-home or commercial extraction. Start building better vision and variety with the industry-leading extraction equipment company. Visit BVV to shop our cutting-edge, stainless steel, closed-loop extractors today.