Get the most out of your extraction and distillation process

There are many ways to perform an initial extraction, but all these methods have one thing in common – Huber. Whether it be ethanol extraction or butane, CO2 or propane, ice water or heptane, Huber TCUs play a vital role in the cooling of solvent and the regulation of extraction temperatures.

Hydrocarbon Extraction

For hydrocarbon extraction, operators often utilize Huber CC and Unistat series to cool down solvent tanks, material columns, and various components. The target temperature range is generally -40 °C to -80 °C. Huber heating units, such as the KISS 202C and CC-315B are often used on the solvent evaporation side of these closed loop systems.

Ethanol Extraction

In ethanol extraction, Unistats and Cool Smart CS Chillers are routinely used. Ethanol is generally brought down to temperature in a holding tank and then transferred to the process. Heat exchangers and flow through chillers can also allow for the cooling of ethanol. These applications generally call for large process volumes to be cooled quickly, requiring a high cooling capacity in the -20 °C to -80 °C range.

CO2 Extraction

In the CO2 extraction process temperature control plays a crucial role. Columns are heated and chilled, as are feed and solvent lines, all in order to ensure extraction temperatures as well as maintain solvent pressure and flow. The Unistat T305 heating unit and chillers are routinely paired with these units.

Ice Water Extraction

Huber Chillers are not commonly seen, but sometimes utilized in the process of ice water extraction. Jacketed tanks are chilled down to temperature, in order to increase efficiency and reduce resource consumption.
With higher production goals comes larger equipment requirements; with the associated increase in cooling and heating powers. The Huber standard product range starts at cooling powers of 280 watts at 15 °C up to 130 kW at 15 °C. Operation remains simple from the smallest to the largest. Interfaces facilitate automation, monitoring and recording. 

Production demands are crucial and flexibility is a highly desirable option, especially with varying production goals. For this reason it is simple to run Huber machines in parallel as “redundant systems”. This also gives a dimension of security in always having spare capacity if needed.
At the industrial scale, Huber units offer high flow pumps along with robust heating and cooling. These large Temperature Control Units (TCU’s) can be integrated into high volume production facilities with ease.
Huber’s large scale TCU’s are capable of providing efficient temperature control to process tanks and reactors with volumes of up to 2,000 liters. Such large volumes can be cooled to low temperatures without the use of liquid nitrogen.
Huber products that are commonly seen in these large scale applications include units that have 60 kW at -40 °C (Unistat 680) and units that have 25 kW at -60 °C (Unistat 950).

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Winterization / Filtration

In order to remove undesirable fats and waxes, cannabis extracts are often suspended in solution and the temperature lowered below ambient. Holding the product at temperatures below -20 °C in a jacketed vessel can be achieved by using either a Huber Unistat or a Huber Compatible Control system. The benefit of a Unistat is that the temperature required to initiate the winterization process will be achieved much quicker than with an open bath unit and so increasing the number of batches processed per shift. The most suitable unit will depend on the size of the processing vessel, time-to-temperature requirement and the target temperature.


Advanced filtration often requires a wide range of temperatures. For example achieving a process temperature of -80 °C facilitates the removal of fats and waxes by filtration. Conversely, elevated temperatures (e.g. 40 °C) are required for certain bleaching clays. No matter what your temperature requirements are, Huber has a solution.

Solvent Recovery

The life blood of any solvent recovery system is its chiller. Robust and reliable chillers eliminate breakthrough and maximize solvent recovery. Huber chillers are ideal for recovery systems such as rotary evaporators and falling films.
Solvent recovery generally calls for condenser temperatures of -10 °C to 0 °C, Huber CS chillers as well as Unichillers are frequently paired to these applications.


The extract is generally decarboxylated via heat. The process of breaking the carboxylic group not only activates certain cannabiniods, but also helps off-gas any residual solvent or volatiles. The temperature requirements at this stage of the process are typically between 90 °C and 150 °C. Huber heated circulators are often used to achieve these higher temperatures.

Fractional Destillation

The wiped film evaporator (WFE) and short path distillation apparatus are the most common methods for refinement of crude oil. In this stage of purification, temperature stability & control are integral to process efficiency. Molecular distillation can take many forms, some more complex than others, but they all require heating and cooling in varying zones; at varying set points. To maximize automation, our Pilot ONE system will allow all of the temperature control units to be controlled from a central point. Below are some examples of OEM pairings.

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The recrystallization of cannabinoids is most commonly done within a jacketed reactor. In order to maximize productivity, precise and quick temperature control is essential. Automation is easily attainable with the Pilot ONE programmer allowing for custom cycles and temperature ramps to be created, and if required, saved onto a USB thumb drive. With the Unistat series, isolate production has never been easier or more efficient. Operators most commonly use the CC-508, Unistat 410, or Unistat 525 for these processes.

Formulations & quality control

In the final stages of processing, extracts are often blended or mixed into formulations. Whether to facilitate a reaction, aid in homogenization, or encourage an emulsification, temperature control is often needed in the final stages of formulation. Huber has a solution for every application, at every temperature.
As standards are developed, quality control will become more common place in the cannabis sector. Huber recirculating chillers and heated baths regularly play an integral role in analytical and quality assurance labs across the world.