Filter Trolley Q & A

Questions and Answers about our filter trolleys.

Q: Why do I need to winterize and dewax?
A: Some extracts have contaminants sometimes found in fats and lipids.  These contaminants cause foul smell and taste so must be removed.  By removing these fats and waxes you also improve shelf life and stability of your final products, reducing problems like discoloration and oxidation in distillate.  Also, since some crude oils may be 50% wax, by removing these earlier in the process the amount of extracts to process may be reduced in half.  You would thus save by needing smaller machines in the molecular distillation step of the process.  Wiped film and similar systems are also very sensitive to waxes and fats, and may be damaged by the accumulation of these in the system.  Cleanup of these machines is also more difficult with crude oils that have not be dewaxed.  Filtration after the winterization process is the fastest and easiest way to remove fats and waxes from your crude.

Q: Your site says you are out of stock.  WTF?
A: We have been unable to keep enough stock domestically.  If it's out of stock you can still order and wait for delivery.  Please call, email, DM on Instagram, Whatsapp, or MSG on Facebook with your company name, contact name, shipping and billing address, phone and email and we will send you a quotation to your email.  We will let you know lead times, etc.

 

Q: How big is your filter trolley?

A: 800mm Filter Trolley is this big:
1.78x bigger than 630mm Trolley
4.68x bigger than 400mm Trolley
1.73x bigger than DrainDroyd
190x bigger than 358ml Buchner
32x bigger than 800ml Buchner
1.73x bigger than 24" BelArt
29.9x bigger than a Hochtrom

 

Q: How fast does your 800mm trolley filter?
A: Although the pump on the trolley can pump 26 GPM, filtration rate will depend on filter surface area, porosity of paper/cloth used, filter aid used, solvent used, rate of solvent dissolution (ie 10:1), liquid temperature, viscosity, percentage of solids in suspension, suspended particle distribution, etc...


Q: Let's say for a standard setup: Whatman #1 equivalent paper, BHO extract dissolved in ethanol at -20C, no filter aid, and your biggest surface area trolley. How long until the filter cloth clogs up on first pass?  50% potency. An OG with heavy waxes. I'm kind of struck that SC doesn't just answer the question for any set of 'normal' working conditions...whether it's room temp filtration followed by cold or straight to cold, use of a filter aid, etc. Is it too much to have an SOP? My fear with all filtration solutions is that the filter paper clogs and needs to be replaced within 30 seconds of operation.

A: So let's go over this in layman's terms. What % of wax is in your crude? Not all BHO is the same and % of wax differs by strain or batch and method. The greater the wax the slower the filtration rate. Is it going into the filter at -20? Or are you winterizing at that temperature, then letting it warm up a bit before filtration? The colder the solution the slower it filters. What solvent? I can imagine 80% ethanol at -40C that is more a slurpy than a liquid. See how all that makes this calculation difficult? What dissolution rate? I have customers doing 40:1 which will obviously filter faster. 10:1 is slower. What paper porosity paper? Obviously 1 micron will be slow if used as a first pass. But if you do a rough pass at 45 microns then 5 then 1.5 it's totally different speeds. This is where particle distribution becomes important. You remove the chunky stuff first. Why no filter aid? This will solve the fast clog issue. In the end our machine will filter as fast as your conditions permit. I will help you develop an SOP that is effective and makes your like easier. Through shared knowledge we have earned, we will help you deal with slow filtration issues and increase longevity of the papers used.  Each lab processes different materials with different conditions on different equipment so there is no universal method. I know I didn't answer your question, but I hope you get the point without me sounding like a smart ass. 😅

 

Q: Have you tested your filter trolley at -86c? It says pp temp range at -15c I believe.

A: "A key factor in the molecules’ ability to slip and slide is temperature. Specifically, there is something called the “glass transition temperature” (Tg), which is the point below which an amorphous solid (such as glass, polymers, tire rubber, or cotton candy) goes from being ductile to brittle. For most common materials, says Rutledge, this temperature is so high or so low that it is not easily observed – the Tg of window glass is 564 degrees C, and that of tire rubber is -72 degrees C.
But many plastics exhibit their transition at everyday temperatures and can be “frozen” into brittleness. One example: polypropylene, an inexpensive material often used in containers, toys, outdoor furniture, and recycling bins has a Tg of between -20 and 0 degrees C, so it can easily lose its molecular mobility and become shatter-prone on a winter day."
https://engineering.mit.edu/engage/ask-an-engineer/why-do-plastics-get-brittle-when-they-get-cold/
We do not condone the use of any of our equipment outside of material tolerances. That being said it is improbable that the 20mm thick PP will Crack due to temperature itself. Fractures would be the product of an impact while at glass transition temperature and or subjecting the machines to quick shifts in temperature say by pouring a warm solution at a -70C machine. So far these machines are filtering cold winterized fluids without fractures.
Users who chill their equipment usually use steel units which have an efficient thermal transfer and will tend to warm your solution and potentially drop lipids from suspension. Our machines are made of plastics with a high R value that do not transfer temperature very well so will not significantly warm your solution.
You should not have to chill your filter to -86C. If you do, be careful as our warranty would not cover this type of issue.

 

Q: How fast does the 800mm trolley filter?

A: If using 1.5-micron paper, a maximum of 3.93 gallons per minute.

If using 45-micron paper, a maximum of 91.8 gallons per minute.

Vacuum assist increases speed.  The pump has a limit of 26 GPM.

Based on rapidity of our filter papers, being 60 mls/min on 901 Grade 1.5 microns and 1400 mls/min on 1278 Grade 45-micron Ahlstrom papers we resell you can expect the above theoretical max flow rates. Those rates are on laboratory-controlled conditions at a set head and water temperature using distilled water. My point is that the bottleneck is the paper, not the system (usually). Also, as the paper swells, filtration slows. As the paper clogs, filtration slows. Just wanted to highlight why my answers are so ambiguous when asked how fast the system filters. I hope this brings some clarity.

Q: Why is no solution coming out of my pump?  I started it a few minutes ago and nothing happens!
A: Most likely you simply have to wait.  It takes time for solution to percolate down and work its way through the pipes and pump.  It may be 3-5 minutes before the first filtrate makes it out.

Q: Are they C1D1 compliant.
A: Yes.  There are no controls or electrical pumps, so this equipment cannot generate any sparks, so it is safe to use in a C1D1 environment.  The pump runs off of compressed air which you must supply.

 

Q: What consumables do you need for this machine?
A: These machines can use filter paper of any grade or porosity as well as filter cloth and filter aides of various types and grades.

 

Q:  And where do we get this paper and cloth?
A: We sell paper and cloth.  You can also buy the paper off of Amazon or lab paper manufacturers.


Q: What exactly is the cloth used for?
A: The main function of the cloth is to create a uniformly porous surface for your filter paper to sit on.  The filter grate for obvious reasons has holes to filter through and thus reduces the total filter surface area.  If you use paper alone and do not place the cloth beneath the paper, in effect you may only have half or less of the filter surface area!

When using paper, the filter cloth is always recommend.  It helps prevent tearing the paper from excessive suction, and it adds uniformity to the filter grate perforations.  Basically the cloth helps to filter faster and prevents the little round patches you are used to seeing in your funnel as the cloth distributes vacuum evenly throughout the paper.

The cloth can also be used on its own, covered with a filter aid for a rough pass filtration.  When you move on to polishing pass, you would use a smaller micron filter paper.  The cloth should last several months with proper care.

 

Q: What’s the smallest micron paper you can use?

A: You can use ANY porosity filter paper. Here is what we sell, but if you need a special grade we can make it for you. https://sambocreeck.com/collections/filter-paper

Q: Why is paper so expensive?
A: Lets do the math.  Comparing to the popular 5.5" Hochtrom filter, it takes 29 sheets to equal 1 sheet of the 800mm trolley.  Stage 1 (20 micron) Hochtrom paper costs $0.225 per sheet.  Stage 2 (8 micron) costs $0.225 as well.  Stage 3 (1 micron) costs $1.00 per sheet.  Multiply by 29 and it works out something like this per sheet when you buy in bulk:

Stage 1 Summit $6.65 / Us $3.05
Stage 2 Summit $6.65 / Us $3.80
Stage 3 Summit $29.00 /  Us 5.00

 

Q: Are they ASME certified?

A:  Filtration equipment does not get ASME certified, so there is no filter trolley that can get ASME certified.  We follow all guidelines with the piping, hydraulics, plates, etc... but the unit itself cannot be certified.  For example, we have equipment in many bottling, brewery, and liquor applications where all equipment must be FDA certified.  Each component on the filter follows FDA guidelines, but the filter itself cannot be FDA certified despite all components following the guidelines.

 

Q: Are they food grade?

A:  The materials we use to build these machines are FDA Certified, we can provide written proof upon request.

 

Q: Are they insulated or jacketed?

A: It is Insulated. Unlike a metal option, this thick plastic has a high R value and has little thermal transfer. Your solution will stay cold far longer than a metal machine.

 

Q: Is there an interior lining (PTFE or other) to protect against solvent leaching?

A: A Google search took me to a quick reference chart of chemical compatibility for Polypropylene. I'm no chemist but basically the PP was submerged for 48 hours and the following chemicals show excellent compatibility to PP which I understand means no reaction. Ethanol, Isopropyl, Methanol, Hydrochloric, Nitric. I'd stay away from Pentane. Hexane and Heptane show good and fair.  A liner is unnecessary.  Reference: https://www.calpaclab.com/polypropylene-chemical-compatibility-chart/  

 

Q: What about terpene compatibility (ie. crude, pre-distillation)? Can you offer a liner/coating etc (GMP)?

A: There are no issues with Terpenes or crude. It's exactly what we are offering this equipment for. We tried d-Limonene which is a good measure as per strong Terpene solvents and there are no issues.  Polypropylene and compatibility with d-Limonene, browsing online many manufacturers including US Plastics do not recommend the use of the two together.  However, what is not recommended is the prolonged use, as in submersion, over time of pure heated (+70C) Limonene.  The <1% contained in your solution does not pose a risk.  Neither does cleaning your equipment with Limonene.

Q: Can you use solvents on this machine?
A: Ethanol, Iso, Methanol, etc... are safe to use.  So is pure Hydrochloric acid and many other acids and solvents.

Q: Can you use silica on this machine?
A: Silica as in DE (diatomaceous earth) as well as Silica Gel 60 (though expensive and not recommended for this application) can be used on these filters as well as Perlite, Alumina and any other filter aide.

Q: How about carbon or clay?
A:Yes, this is a filter so you can filter out any solids from your solution.  To filter out carbon we recommend a filter aide and the right porosity filter paper.  Clay is problematic as it tends to bind the paper, so we suggest lots of filter aide as a precoat or added to the solution before filtration.

Q: How difficult is this machine to clean?  I heard cleaning PP was next to impossible and I am afraid if it gets contaminated with Miclo I'd have to throw this machine away!!!
A: Our machines are safe to clean with pure or diluted Nitric, Hydrocloric, and Sulfuric acids as well as Caustic Soda.  We recommend using a soft cloth or sponge with Limonene followed by a solvent wash with a spray bottle.  Dry solvent with a paper towel.  You can't use pure nitric on a steel funnel!

Q: Can it distillate wax?

A: This is not a distillation apparatus so no. It can however remove wax from your crude prior to distillation which I think was your question.

 

Q: Does this have a way to get to temp (-50) to dewax? Or just filtration only?

A: Filtration only.  It does not chill.  DO NOT throw dry ice in this machine as you will void your warranty.

 

Q: What is dewaxing anyways?

A: Winterization is when you freeze the fats, lipids and waxes usually overnight and then filter them out (Dewaxing).

 

Q: What material are these machines made of anyways?  Chinese radioactive plastic?

A: Quality German Polypropylene thermo-welded plastics.

 

Q:  Where are these machines made? China?
A: Italy, by skilled Italian craftsmen in a rural village in Italy.

 

Q: How loud is the pump on the trolleys?
A: 70 dB, yes it is loud.  You can get a muffler to help with the noise.

 

Q: How much air does the pump consume?
A: More or less 17.9 CFM at 100 PSI

 

Q: What size air compressor do you recommend?

A: You should consult an expert based on the pump curve for this machine, but the quick answer is a 5Hp 80 Gallon compressor.

 

Q: How does this machine compare to the competition?
A: It’s on a league of its own. Seriously!

 

Q: How are these machines better than a DrainDroyd?

A: The DrainDroyd is a quality stainless steel filter.  Unfortunately, it has the following shortcomings:

  • It is very expensive, I was quoted upwards of $17,000 delivered.
  • It doesn’t include a vacuum pump needed to operate.
  • It uses a vacuum pump.
  • The mechanism used to hold down the filter paper is not efficient. The filter paper leaks.
  • The hopper is not made to be filled with solution, you must slowly add as you filter.
  • Filling the hopper makes the machine top heavy and it becomes dangerous. It easily tops over.
  • It is made of steel that will quickly warm your solution.
  • It is not insulated.
  • You cannot use acids to remove Miclobutanil from this machine.

 

Q: How is this machine better than a Hochstrom filter from Summit?

A: The Hochstrom filter is a small 5.5" ID filtering funnel, limited to small scale laboratory filtration.  Many pieces including pumps, and glassware are required to make that filter operate.  A set of 4 Hochtrom filters with accessories costs upwards of $12,000 as per the manufacturer's website.  As per the manufacturer website, a $17,500 vacuum pump is recommended for these systems.  The SC Filtration 800mm trolley in contrast includes all accessories needed to operate, and you would need 29 of these small filters to match our filter area.

 

Q: Why are these better than a Bel-Art which is far cheaper?

A: Bel-Art funnels are simple and inexpensive filters.  Unfortunately, they have the following shortcomings:

  • They easily crack under extreme cold temperatures as they are made of thin PE.
  • The bottom filter grate warps over time with cold temperatures.
  • The hopper loading capacity is small as the unit is not very tall.
  • It doesn’t come with a pump.
  • The filter paper flares at the edges and it tends to leak. It is not meant to be fully submerged.
  • The hopper is not made to be filled with solution, you must slowly add as you filter.

Q: Why is a trolley better than a Chinese Nutsche Vacuum Vilter?
A: A 30 Liter, 400mm Nutsche system seems to retail from $1500-2000 and has the same capacity of our 400mm $6650 unit.  Unfortunately after shipping and the necessary pump, you are likely to spend $6-7,000 for one.  In reality the capacity and throughput are about the same as our unit.  Though some Chinese companies offer high quality products, many have quality issues with inferior glass and metals that rust.  If your glass breaks, how do you replace it?  Will your manufacturer actually honor a warranty?  Our trolley will not break, is made from high quality European components and we offer US service, support, and replacement parts.

Q: How is a trolley better than a lenticular filter?
A: Lenticular filters are pressurized filters where you must pump your solution into a closed canister.  They excel in many industries and have specific applications where the filters inside capture particles inside the filter membrane, and not just on the filter surface area like a paper does.  Removal of waxes is not recommended for this filter as the surface quickly clogs and and little waxes are actually collected inside the membranes.  A lenticular filter is also very expensive, costing $15-20,000 for the filter alone without any pumps.  The single use cartridges are also extremely expensive, costing as much as $2,000.00 for a single cartridge. 

 

Q: I need to have a pump that's UL Certified, also a filter press that's is UL CERTIFIED can you help?  What about ASME?

A: Yes.  We can design to UL 508A if required.  ASME really has no jurisdiction over our design since we are not a system under high pressures or contain pressure vessels.  Neither of these certifications are required for our system.

 

Q: What are your lead times?

A: Manufacturing time is 60 days so you can expect your filter to be delivered in under 90 days if by air and 120 days if by sea.

 

Q: Can I pay more to expedite shipping?

A: Sometimes yes. Call and ask.

 

Q: Do you have a storefront?

A: We do not. We manufacture our plastics in Germany and assemble the trolleys in Italy. Our warehouse is in Miami, FL.  If you are around Florence, Italy we would love to show you the factory floor.

 

Q: Do you do demos?

A: We used to, but not anymore.

 

Q:  How does a diaphragm pump work?

A: Google it. 🤣 Actually, air drives a piston inside the pump that moves 2 diaphragms.  In each cycle the pump sucks with one diaphragm and pumps with the other.  This reverses the next cycle as now one diaphragm pumps and the other sucks. 

Here is a video for further explanation: https://youtu.be/SCo9My_dz_U

 

Q: What trade shows do you plan to exhibit in?

A: MJBIZCON in Vegas, some NCIA shows, CANNACON, IndoExpo and possibly others from time to time. 

 

Q: Are you the only one who sells that size paper?  Looks sold out on your site. 

A:  You can buy the paper online, order from a manufacturer, or buy off of Amazon and cut manually to size if need be.  If we are sold out then we are sold out. Call or email to ask when we will have stock.  It has been difficult to stock the adequate inventory level, but we will get there eventually. 

 

Q: How often do you change your filter paper in a single run? If you are filtering 55 gallons in a single run.  Would I have to split up the run?

A: It depends. If using a small trolley I would expect many paper swaps. If using the 800mm less so.  If using filter aid even less paper swaps.  It depends how many gallons of way you expect to remove from those 55 gallons.  If it's Co2 crude at 50% wax, I would expect quite a few swaps.  The porosity or grade of paper used will also determine how many swaps. 

 

Q: When do I need to change my papers?

A: When you feel the filtration speed is too slow, probably at 10-20% of when the paper was new.  So if you started at 4 liters per minute and now the flow rate is under a liter, it will soon be time to change the paper before it totally clogs up.

 

Q: I have 20 gallons of solution on my trolley and my paper is now clogged.  There is no way this will filter out even if I leave it working overnight. 

A: Looks like you over did it. Live and learn. Grab a soft or silicone spatula and scrape the wax off the paper. This will get you filtering again. Change the paper ASAP. 

 

Q: This machine looks heavy. How much does it weigh?

A: The 400mm you can pick up, at 70 pounds.  The 800mm is about 200 pounds.  All are easily movable as they ride on included wheels. 

 

Q: Is the filter plate removable for cleaning?

A: You mean the filter grate?  The filter paper sits on top of the grate which yes is easily removed with the included keys. 

 

Q: What filter paper grade do you recommend?

A: 10 micron with a slight layer of filter aid.  Most customers filter at 45-10 micron once, winterize again, filter at 10-5 micron, winterize again, and filter again at 5-0.7 micron.  It depends how much wax needs to be removed and how knowledgeable you are with dewaxing and winterizing process.  

 

Q: How many times do you recommend we winterize and filter?

A: Once.  Three times for optimal results. 2 reasons people filter 3 times is because they use steel or glass filters that may melt waxes, or their papers leak on the edges and wax gets through. Your dilution rates or solvent of choice may be the problem. You may also not be winterizing cold enough or long enough.  Do lab tests to determine best conditions for your material.  You may also choose to filter 3 times to get better results.  One pass could yield removal of 98%+ of waxes.

Q: What is the typical SOP your customers do when winterizing and filtering?
A:

  1. Find the perfect solvent:crude ratio for your material by conducting lab tests.
  2. Freeze (winterize) your solvent/crude mixture overnight to as cold as possible, preferably in a -86C freezer.
  3. Filter using 1278 grade filter paper covered with 1-2" of your favorite filter aid.  This removes 90-98% of waxes.  Wash your filter aid with cold ethanol before disposal to recover any remaining crude.  The ethanol (or solvent of choice) wash is important not only for recovery but for dilution, as waxes will drop out at different rates with different dilution rates.
  4. Winterize your solvent mix once again.  Filter using 923 or 986 grade paper using no filter aid.  Recover 1-9% of the remaining wax.
  5. Winterize your solvent again.  Filter using 909 or 901 grade paper using no filter aid.  Recover the last remaining portion of wax.

 

Q: What is a filter aid anyways?

A: Something to help prevent your filter paper from clogging prematurely.  I like DE (diatomaceous earth) found as Celite at your local brew supply place.  Also Perlite and a host of other powders can be used to capture garbage before it gets to your paper. 

Please Google silicosis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicosis
We strongly recommend the use of food grade or lab grade minerals and filter aids in your process to avoid the remote possibility of including crystalline silica to your products.

 

Q: Installation of the filter paper sucks!  It took me 10 minutes!  This doesn't work for me. 

A: Paper installation should be quick and easy.  Don't be scared to crimp, fold, or shove your paper in place. It shouldn't tear easily. Quickly wrestle it into the groove and secure it with the gasket.  The installation process is not a delicate one, don't be afraid.  Folds or creases will not cause filtration problems. The paper does not need to lie flat on the grate to work great, it just needs to be properly sealed at the edges. 

Q: What is the lid for?  Does the lid create negative pressure for filtration?
A: The lid is to prevent evaporation and does not create or modify pressure.

 

Q: I think you have no idea what you are talking talking about. Your product is garbage.  You are late to the game.  You are way overpriced. 

A: Not really a question.  If this is how you feel, unfollow us.  Delete my number. Un bookmark my website.  Hate Kanye and Troll someone else.  Buy something else.

 

Q: What kind of warranty do you offer?

A: We guarantee the mechanical operation of this machine for 12 months from date of purchase.