It isn't always straight forward to size the right lenticular housing for your process since your needs will vary with extraction temperature, extraction solvent, and required flow rates. Since plant profiles vary, this introduces variability to the equation in percentage of fats, type and quantity of contaminants to be removed, and biomass fines that need to be pre-filtered.
Many manufacturers actually sell small samples kits to run tests in the lab. Since we are a Filtrox distributor, we sell their PURAFIX Test kits. The kits are basically a tiny lenticular module which you can swap out the filter sheet.
Conveniently, the kit comes with many types of sheets of different grades. You can test any and all sheets to determine which one works best for you. Even carbon infused sheets are available.
The setup is simple and your lab probably already has most of the equipment necessary to conduct once you get your test kit. This equipment, however, you will probably not have , so go to your favorite lab supply place and get it:
Analytical Digital Scale down to 0.01 or preferably 0.001 Grams
The setup is simple and the attempt is to simulate your filtration setup.
- Your tincture will be placed in a beaker with a magnetic stirrer. The stirrer is to keep things in suspension, specially fats and any filter aid you decide to use.
- Tubing is connected to the pump and from there to a pressure gauge and into the filter disc loaded with the filter sheet to test.
- The disc drains into a beaker on a scale so you can accurately measure fluid volume and flow-rate.
This process will help you determine the following:
- What is the right sheet to use, as in what porosity, etc.
- What sheet yields the required clarity?
- Is a pre-filter necessary for this process? This will be obvious if there is a quick pressure increase during testing.
- What flow-rate yields the carbon adsorption required. Color change will be obvious and either acceptable or not. You can speed up or slow down the process to make necessary calculations.
- It will help you determine how much filter area you need for the flow-rate and quality you require.
You will generate a data set that is used to accurately calculate the system your lab needs. This will vary from what your housing is capable of, so you may notice that in theory a small housing will get the job done, but because you need more surface are to get the adsorption time you need to handle the flow you need, it equals a larger housing filtering slower speeds than the theoretical maximum.
The equation is as follows:
Filter area necessary (production scale) in square meters =
(Batch volume (production scale) in Liters x Filter area used for filtration test (laboratory scale) in M2)/ Volume filtered in filtration test (laboratory scale) in Liters
As a reference, housings alone are capable of the following volumes:
- 12" 1 lenticular module, 1-1.5T/h
- 12" 2 lenticular module, 2-3T/h
- 12" 3 lenticular module, 3-4.5.T/h
- 12" 4 lenticular module, 4-6.T/h
- 16" 1 lenticular module 2-3T/h
- 16" 2 lenticular module 4-6T/h
- 16" 3 lenticular module 6-9T/h
- 16" 4 lenticular module 8-12T/h
One ton per hour is 1,000 liters per hour or 264 gallons per hour.
Test kits start at about $225 and are an inexpensive way to ensure you size your equipment correctly. Give is a call to help you select the right kit for your application.