Dewaxing SOP

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  • By Goldleaf Scientific
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1. Obtain 95% ethanol (195 proof). You can buy grain alcohol of this proof from certain websites. You can also buy liquor from a nearby store and distill it. Get a hydrometer (which reads alcohol percentage or proof). Do not under any circumstances use denatured alcohol. You can use isopropyl alcohol, but it will not be quite as good at removing waxes as 95% ethanol.

2. Put extract in thin tall container with a lid/cap like a wine bottle. Add room temp ethanol at a 10:1 ratio or more, so 10g of extract would need at least 100g of ethanol. Add stir bar and place onto magnetic stirrer until completely dissolved.

3. Shine a laser through the solution and if you see the light beam in the solution then it is not completely dissolved (Tyndall effect). Keep stirring until completely dissolved. You can add a little heat to speed things up. Repeat test with laser. If no beam is seen in the solution then the oil is fully dissolved. The oil must be fully dissolved in order to continue to next step.

4. Put in freezer solution for 24-48 hours and do not agitate. The longer you let it sit without agitation the more it will settle on the bottom of the container. This aids filtration by keeping the waxes out of the filter until the end. In fact, with enough time to settle the waxes will naturally precipitate out of solution even at room temperature. Using both in conjunction is optimal.

5. Cool Buchner funnel in freezer. After cold connect to vacuum pump, add filter paper and wet with cold ethanol.

6. Filter out waxes by slowly pouring your extract rich ethanol that was in the freezer. If you are careful enough to keep the waxes at the bottom of the container until the end it will greatly speed up filtration. You may not even need a Buchner funnel if you use this technique correctly. Keep liquid cold and do not allow to heat up.

7. After filtration, the solvent is ready to be distilled.


Note: You can use any distillation system to recover your alcohol but the one we recommend is a rotary evaporator. It is one of the cheaper and faster methods of solvent recovery.

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