The word new covered in a silk fabric

Diversey, a global hygiene and cleaning company, in partnership with Advanced Extraction Systems Inc. (AESI), has premiered a new cleaning process and CIP system. The system has been developed for application with the CO2 extraction process in the rapidly emerging global hemp industry.

Canadian-based AESI is a pioneer in the design and fabrication of fully automated supercritical fluid CO2 extraction systems for the global hemp and cannabis industries.

“Our productive partnership is built on two companies who have a natural synergy,” says Robert Bowness, Sector Director – North America, Pharmaceuticals, Diversey. “Both Diversey and AESI have innovation at the heart of everything they do and in each case this philosophy is based fundamentally on world class in-house R&D. We each have full control over all aspects of design and development, while placing great value on applying the industry-leading knowledge and expertise that we are mutually renowned for in our respective sectors.”

Historically CO2 extraction systems have been cleaned with ethanol. However, as a volatile cleaning agent, its use has always been subject to the strictest regulation, which presents a significant safety issue regarding storage.

“As AESI have moved to the next level in the industry, enabling exceptional hemp production capacities with our development of the largest CO2 Supercritical Fluid Extraction System available, this issue has come into sharper focus,” says David Campbell, co-founder and COO of AESI. “Storing the required large volumes of ethanol on site is a potential health hazard, a potential financial burden and a logistical problem if space is limited. Diversey’s global reputation in cleaning processes is something we have long been aware of and we are confident that our partnership with them has produced an innovative solution to this pressing issue.”

Since formal legalislation, Canada has become a world leader in hemp production. The licensed industry is expanding exponentially and the use of ethanol in the hemp processors’ cleaning protocols has exercised a constricting grip on the industry. Many of these hemp manufacturers are looking to extend or add to their existing facilities. Under prior ethanol restrictions, this would have involved the necessity to construct an explosion proof standard resulting in additional expenditure of millions of dollars being added to actual construction costs.

By reducing ethanol in the cleaning process, Diversey’s new CIP system effectively reduces the capital cost of expansion and is a significant industry driver. The innovative CIP system is constructed as a skid that sits alongside the extraction unit and automates the cleaning process. “There is nothing else comparable within the industry,” states Bowness. “The CIP process produces a cleaning efficacy due to the change from ethanol - which works more as a sanitizing agent than as a cleaner - to an alkali process using a food grade cleaning agent.”

Campbell adds, “From the CIP trials we’ve carried out in development with Diversey, there is no doubt that removing the volatility of ethanol, combined with the greater cleaning success the process achieves, makes this new system a real game changer. For our customers, this CIP system will essentially be part of our turnkey package, enabling AESI to supply and advise on everything needed to get the entire extraction portion of their business up and running.”

Bowness agrees. “Simply from implementing our new CIP method, a hemp manufacturer can expect to gain from immediate efficiencies. Safety is also a big factor in this and, aligned to the stimulus to hemp industry expansion, we confidently anticipate the system will have a significant impact. Together with AESI we have answered a real need for manufacturers - and are in effect liberating the industry.”