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Title:
EXTRACTOR FOR HIGH PRESSURE EXTRACTION OF A MATRIX
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/176439
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Generally, an extraction system useful in separating an extract from a matrix using one or more extractants. Specifically, an extractor including one or more of: an extraction vessel having an extractor vessel internal surface which defines an extraction chamber which communicates between open extraction vessel first and second ends, a first piston configured to sealably engage the extractor vessel internal surface of the extraction vessel first end or a second piston adapted to sealably engage the extractor vessel internal surface of the extraction vessel second end.

Inventors:
JACKSON, Gregory, A. (1318 Blue Spruce Drive, Suite #4Fort Collins, CO, 80524, US)
Application Number:
US2017/022995
Publication Date:
October 12, 2017
Filing Date:
March 17, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KIINJA CORPORATION (1318 Blue Spruce Drive, Suite #4Fort Collins, CO, 80524, US)
International Classes:
B01D11/00; B01D11/02; B01D11/04; B01J3/03; B01L1/00; B01L3/00; G01N1/02
Foreign References:
US4833979A1989-05-30
US5750029A1998-05-12
US5879634A1999-03-09
US20140072922A12014-03-13
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILES, Craiag, R. (Cr Miles P.C, 405 Mason Court Suite 11, Fort Collins CO, 80524, US)
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Claims:
IV. CLAIMS

I claim:

1. An extractor, comprising:

an extraction vessel having an internal surface which defines an extraction chamber which communicates between open extraction vessel first and second ends;

a first piston adapted to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end; and

a second piston adapted to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end. 2. The extractor of claim 1, further comprising a first piston retaining member removably engaging said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

3. The extractor of claim 2, further comprising a second piston retaining member removably engaging said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

4. The extractor of claim 3, further comprising a first piston retaining member guide including a first guide channel in which said first piston retaining member moves between a first position which engages said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end and a second position which disengages said first piston retaining member from said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

5. The extractor of claim 4, further comprising a second piston retaining member guide including a second guide channel in which said second piston retaining member moves between a first position which engages said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end and a second position which disengages said first piston retaining member from said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

6. The extractor of claim 5, further comprising a first pressure receiving plate adjacently abuttingly engaging a first side of said first piston retaining member guide in which said first piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said first piston.

7. The extractor of claim 6, further comprising a first end plate adjacently abuttingly engaged to a second side of said first piston retaining member guide in which said first piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said first piston, said first end plate having a first piston aperture through which said first piston moves to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

8. The extractor of claim 7, further comprising a second pressure receiving plate adjacently abuttingly engaging a first side of said second piston retaining member guide in which said second piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said second piston.

9. The extractor of claim 8, further comprising a second end plate adjacently abuttingly engaged to a second side of said second piston retaining member guide in which said second piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said second piston, said second end plate having a second piston aperture through which said second piston moves to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

10. The extractor of claim 9, further comprising first and second extraction vessel centering guides correspondingly coupled to said first and second end plate, said first and second extraction vessel centering guides each configured to engage a corresponding portion of the external surface of said extraction vessel proximate said extraction vessel first and second ends to align said internal surface of said extraction vessel first and second ends to correspondingly slidably receive said first and second pistons. 11. The extractor of claim 10, further comprising a first piston actuator connected to said first piston, said first linear actuator operable to move said first piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

12. The extractor of claim 1 1, further comprising a second piston actuator connected to said second piston, said second linear actuator operable to move said second piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

13. The extractor of claim 12, wherein said first piston actuator includes a first tubular actuator shaft connected to a first piston inlet port, said tubular actuator shaft coupled to a first conduit adapted to covey an amount of extractant to or from said first piston inlet port.

14. The extractor of claim 13, wherein said second piston actuator includes a second tubular actuator shaft connected to a second piston outlet port, said second tubular actuator shaft coupled to a second conduit adapted to covey an amount of extractant to or from said second piston outlet port.

15. The extractor of claim 14, further comprising a first retaining member actuator connected to said first piston retaining member, said first retaining member linear actuator operable to move first piston retaining member to engage said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

16. The extractor of claim 15, further comprising a second retaining member actuator connected to said second piston retaining member, said second retaining member actuator operable to move second piston retaining member to engage said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

17. The extractor of claim 16, further comprising an extraction vessel support including an extraction vessel rotation element, said extraction vessel rotatable about an extraction vessel support axis of an extraction vessel support to position a longitudinal axis of said extraction vessel in a generally horizontal orientation. 18. The extractor of claim 17, further comprising a vessel actuator connected to said extraction vessel, said vessel linear actuator operable to move said extraction vessel to align said internal surface of said extraction vessel first and second ends to correspondingly slidably receive said first and second pistons.

19. The extractor of claim 18, further comprising a first connecting member interconnecting said first and second pressure receiving plates.

20. The extractor of claim 19, further comprising a second connecting member interconnecting said first and second pressure receiving plate.

21. The extractor of claim 20, further comprising a fluid flow generator connected to said extraction vessel, said fluid flow generator capable of generating an extractant pressure inside of said extraction chamber of between about 500 psi to about 20,000 psi.

22. The extractor of claim 21, where said extractant pressure is selected from the group consisting of: about 500 psi to about 1500 psi, 1000 psi to about 2000 psi, about 1500 psi to about 2500 psi, about 2000 psi to about 3000 psi, about 2500 psi to about 3500 psi, about 3000 psi to about 4000 psi, about 3500 psi to about 4500 psi, about 4000 psi to about 5000 psi, about 5500 psi to about 6500 psi, about 6000 psi to about 7000 psi, about 6500 psi to about 7500 psi, about 7000 psi to about 8000 psi, about 7500 psi to about 8500 psi, about 8000 psi to about 9000 psi, about 8500 psi to about 9500 psi, about 9000 psi to about 10,000 psi, about 9500 psi to about 10,500 psi, about 10,000 psi to about 11 ,000 psi, about 10,500 psi to about 11,500 psi, about 11,000 psi to about 12,000 psi, about 11,500 psi to about 12,500 psi, about 12,000 psi to about 13,000 psi, about 12,500 psi to about 13,500 psi, about 13,000 psi to about 14,000 psi, about 13,500 psi to about 14,500 psi, about 14,000 psi to about 15,000 psi, about 14,500 psi to about 15,500 psi, about 15,000 psi to about 15,500 psi, about 15,500 psi to about 16,500 psi, about 16,000 psi to about 17,000 psi, about 16,500 psi to about 17,500 psi, about 17,000 psi to about 18,000 psi, about 17,500 psi to about 18,500 psi, about 18,000 psi to about 19,000, about 18,500 psi to about 19,500 psi, and about 19,000 psi to about 20,000 psi, or combinations thereof over a period of time.

23. The extractor of claim 21, further comprising a heat source coupled to said extraction vessel external surface.

24. The extractor of claim 23, further comprising a temperature adjustment element coupled to said heat source, said temperature adjustment module allows pre-selection of an extraction vessel temperature of between about 5°C to about 155°C.

25. The extractor of claim 24, wherein said extraction vessel temperature is selected from the group consisting of: about 5°C to about 15°C, about 10°C to about 20°C, about 15°C to about 25°C, about 20°C to about 30°C, about 25°C to about 35°C, about 30°C to about 40°C, about 35°C to about 45°C, about 40°C to about 50°C, about 55°C to about 65°C, about 60°C to about 70°C, about 65°C to about 75°C, about 70°C to about 80°C, about 75°C to about 85°C, about 80°C to about 90°C, about 85°C to about 95°C, about 90°C to about 100°C, about 95°C to about 105°C, about 100°C to about 1 10°C, about 105°C to about 1 15°C, about 110°C to about 120°C, about 115°C to about 125°C, about 120°C to about 130°C, about 125°C to about 135°C, about 130°C to about 145°C, about 140°C to about 155°C, or combinations thereof over a period of time.

26. A method of producing an extractor, comprising:

obtaining an extraction vessel having an internal surface which defines an extraction chamber which communicates between open extraction vessel first and second ends;

disposing a first piston to slidably sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end; and disposing a second piston to slidably sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

27. The method of claim 26, further comprising disposing a first piston retaining member to removably engage said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end, said first piston retaining member configured to retain said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end at pressures inside of said extraction chamber of between about 1,000 psi to about 15,000 psi.

28. The method of claim 27, further comprising disposing a second piston retaining member to slidably removably engage said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end, said second piston retaining member configured to retain said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end at pressures inside of said extraction chamber of between about 1,000 psi to about 15,000 psi.

29. The method of claim 28, further comprising positioning a first piston retaining member guide to receive said first piston retaining member in a first guide channel, said first piston retaining member moving in said first guide channel between a first position which engages said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end and a second position which disengages said first piston retaining member from said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

30. The method of claim 29, further comprising positioning a second piston retaining member guide to receive said second piston retaining member in a second guide channel, said second piston retaining member moving in said second guide channel between a first position which engages said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end and a second position which disengages said second piston retaining member from said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end. 31. The method of claim 30, further comprising adjacently abuttingly engaging a first pressure receiving plate with a first side of said first piston retaining member guide in which said first piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said first piston.

32. The method of claim 31 , further comprising:

adjacently abuttingly engaging a first end plate to a second side of said first piston retaining member guide in which said first piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said first piston; and disposing a first piston aperture in said first end plate through which said first piston moves to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

33. The method of claim 32, further comprising adjacently abuttingly engaging a second pressure receiving plate to a first side of said second piston retaining member guide in which said second piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said second piston.

34. The method of claim 33, further comprising:

adjacently abuttingly engaging a second end plate to a second side of said first piston retaining member guide in which said first piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said first piston; and

disposing a second piston aperture in said second end plate through which said second piston moves to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

35. The method of claim 34, further comprising:

correspondingly coupling first and second extraction vessel centering guides to said first and second end plate; and

configuring said first and second extraction vessel centering guides to engage a corresponding portion of the external surface of said extraction vessel proximate said extraction vessel first and second ends to align said internal surface of said extraction vessel first and second ends to correspondingly slidably receive said first and second pistons.

36. The method of claim 35, further comprising connecting a first piston linear actuator to said first piston, said first linear actuator operable to move said first piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

37. The method of claim 36, further comprising connecting a second piston linear actuator to said second piston, said second linear actuator operable to move said second piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end. 38. The method of claim 37, wherein said first piston linear actuator includes a first tubular actuator shaft, and further comprising:

connecting said first tubular actuator shaft to a first piston inlet port; and

coupling said first tubular actuator shaft to a first conduit adapted to covey an amount of extractant from an extranctant source to said first piston inlet port. 39. The method of claim 38, wherein said second piston linear actuator includes a second tubular actuator shaft, and further comprising: connecting said second tubular actuator shaft to a second piston outlet port; and coupling said second tubular actuator shaft to a second conduit adapted to covey said amount of extractant from said second piston outlet port.

40. The method of claim 39, further comprising connecting a first retaining member linear actuator to said first piston retaining member, said first retaining member linear actuator operable to move said first piston retaining member to engage said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

41. The method of claim 40, further comprising connecting a second retaining member linear actuator connected to said second piston retaining member, said second retaining member linear actuator operable to move second piston retaining member to engage said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

42. The method of claim 41 , further comprising interconnecting said first and second pressure receiving plates with a first connecting member.

43. The method of claim 42, further comprising interconnecting said first and second pressure receiving plates with a second connecting member.

44. A method of using an extractor, comprising:

obtaining an extraction vessel having an internal surface which defines an extraction chamber which communicates between open extraction vessel first and second ends;

slidably sealably engaging a first piston with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end; and

slidably sealably engaging a second piston to said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

45. The method of claim 44, further comprising removably engaging a first piston retaining member with said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end, said first piston retaining member configured to retain said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end at pressures inside of said extraction chamber of between about 500 psi to about 20,000 psi.

46. The method of claim 45 , further comprising removably engaging a second piston retaining member with said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end, said second piston retaining member configured to retain said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end at pressures inside of said extraction chamber of between about 500 psi to about 20,000 psi.

47. The method of claim 46, further comprising positioning said first piston retaining member in a first guide channel of a first piston retaining member guide, said first piston retaining member moving in said first guide channel between a first position which engages said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end and a second position which disengages said first piston retaining member from said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

48. The method of claim 47, further comprising actuating a first piston actuator connected to said first piston to move said first piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

49. T he method of claim 48, further comprising actuating a second piston actuator connected to said second piston to move said second piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end. 50. The method of claim 49, further comprising actuating a first retaining member actuator connected to said first piston retaining member to move said first piston retaining member to engage said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

51. The method of claim 50, further comprising actuating a second retaining member linear actuator connected to said second piston retaining member to move said second piston retaining member to engage said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

52. The method of claim 51, further comprising conveying an amount of extractant into said extraction vessel. 53. The method of claim 52, further comprising conveying said amount of extractant into said extraction vessel through a first piston inlet port.

54. The method of claim 53, further comprising conveying an amount of extractant from said extraction vessel.

55. The method of claim 54. further comprising conveying said amount of extractant from said extraction vessel through a second piston outlet port.

56. The method of claim 55, further comprising generating an extractant pressure in a range of about 500 psi to about 20,000 psi. 57. The method of claim 56, wherein said extractant pressure is selected from the group consisting of: about 500 psi to about 1500 psi, 1000 psi to about 2000 psi, about 1500 psi to about 2500 psi, about 2000 psi to about 3000 psi, about 2500 psi to about 3500 psi, about 3000 psi to about 4000 psi, about 3500 psi to about 4500 psi, about 4000 psi to about 5000 psi, about 5500 psi to about 6500 psi, about 6000 psi to about 7000 psi, about 6500 psi to about 7500 psi, about 7000 psi to about 8000 psi, about 7500 psi to about 8500 psi, about 8000 psi to about 9000 psi, about 8500 psi to about 9500 psi, about 9000 psi to about 10,000 psi, about 9500 psi to about 10,500 psi, about 10,000 psi to about 11,000 psi, about 10,500 psi to about 11,500 psi, about 1 1,000 psi to about 12,000 psi, about 1 1,500 psi to about 12,500 psi, about 12,000 psi to about 13,000 psi, about 12,500 psi to about 13,500 psi, about 13,000 psi to about 14,000 psi, about 13,500 psi to about 14,500 psi, about 14,000 psi to about 15,000 psi, about 14,500 psi to about 15,500 psi, about 15,000 psi to about 15,500 psi, about 15,500 psi to about 16,500 psi, about 16,000 psi to about 17,000 psi, about 16,500 psi to about 17,500 psi, about 17,000 psi to about 18,000 psi, about 17,500 psi to about 18,500 psi, about 18,000 psi to about 19,000, about 18,500 psi to about 19,500 psi, and about 19,000 psi to about 20,000 psi, or combinations tliereof over a period of time.

58. The method of claim 56, further comprising adjusting temperature of said extraction vessel to an extraction vessel temperature of between about 5°C to about 155°C.

59. The extractor of claim 58, wherein said extraction vessel temperature is selected from the group consisting of: about 5°C to about 15°C, about 10°C to about 20°C, about 15°C to about 25°C, about 20°C to about 30°C, about 25°C to about 35°C, about 30°C to about 40°C, about 35°C to about 45°C, about 40°C to about 50°C, about 55°C to about 65°C, about 60°C to about 70°C, about 65°C to about 75°C, about 70°C to about 80°C, about 75°C to about 85°C, about 80°C to about 90°C, about 85°C to about 95°C, about 90°C to about 100°C, about 95°C to about 105°C, about 100°C to about 1 10°C, about 105°C to about 115°C, about 110°C to about 120°C, about 115°C to about 125°C, about 120°C to about 130°C, about 125°C to about 135°C, about 130°C to about 145°C, about 140°C to about 155°C, or combinations thereof over a period of time.

60. The method of claim 58, further comprising rotating said extraction vessel about an extraction vessel support axis of an extraction support.

61. The method of claim 60, further comprising rotating said extraction vessel about said extraction vessel support axis to position a longitudinal axis of said extraction vessel between a generally vertical orientation and a generally horizontal orientation.

62. The method of claim 61, further comprising rotating said extraction vessel about an extraction vessel support axis of an extraction vessel support to position a longitudinal axis of said extraction vessel in a generally horizontal orientation.

63. The method of claim 62, further comprising disposing an amount of extractable material in said extraction vessel.

64. The method of claim 63, further comprising actuating a vessel linear actuator connected to said extraction vessel to move said extraction vessel to align said internal surface of said extraction vessel first and second ends to correspondingly slidably receive said first and second pistons.

65. The method of claim 64, further comprising extracting said amount of extractable material with said amount of extractant.

AMENDED CLAI MS

received by the International Bureau on 27 July 2017 (27.07.2017)

I claim:

1. An extractor, comprising:

an extraction vessel having an internal surface which defines an extraction chamber which communicates between open extraction vessel first and second ends;

a first piston adapted to sealably engage said internal surface at a first location proximate said extraction vessel first end; and

a second piston adapted to concurrently sealably engage said internal surface at a second location proximate said extraction vessel second end, said extraction vessel having a medial portion disposed between said first and second pistons concurrently sealably engaged to corresponding said first and second locations proximate said extractor vessel first and second ends.

2. The extractor of claim 1 , further comprising a first piston retaining member removably engaging said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

3. The extractor of claim 2, further comprising a second piston retaining member removably engaging said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end. 4. The extractor of claim 3, further comprising a first piston retaining member guide including a first guide channel in which said first piston retaining member moves between a first position which engages said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end and a second position which disengages said first piston retaining member from said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

5. The extractor of claim 4, further comprising a second piston retaining member guide including a second guide channel in which said second piston retaining member moves between a first position which engages said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end and a second position which disengages said first piston retaining member from said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

6. The extractor of claim 5, further comprising a first pressure receiving plate adjacently abuttingly engaging a first side of said first piston retaining member guide in which said first piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said first piston.

7. The extractor of claim 6, further comprising a first end plate adjacently abuttingly engaged to a second side of said first piston retaining member guide in which said first piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said first piston, said first end plate having a first piston aperture through which said first piston moves to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

8. The extractor of claim 7, further comprising a second pressure receiving plate adjacently abuttingly engaging a first side of said second piston retaining member guide in which said second piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said second piston.

9. The extractor of claim 8, further comprising a second end plate adjacently abuttingly engaged to a second side of said second piston retaining member guide in which said second piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said second piston, said second end plate having a second piston aperture through which said second piston moves to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

10. The extractor of claim 9, further comprising first and second extraction vessel centering guides correspondingly coupled to said first and second end plate, said first and second extraction vessel centering guides each configured to engage a corresponding portion of the external surface of said extraction vessel proximate said extraction vessel first and second ends to align said internal surface of said extraction vessel first and second ends to correspondingly slidably receive said first and second pistons. 1 1. The extractor of claim 10, further comprising a first piston actuator connected to said first piston, said first linear actuator operable to move said first piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

12. The extractor of claim 11 , further comprising a second piston actuator connected to said second piston, said second linear actuator operable to move said second piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

13. The extractor of claim 12, wherein said first piston actuator includes a first tubular actuator shaft connected to a first piston inlet port, said tubular actuator shaft coupled to a first conduit adapted to covey an amount of extractant to or from said first piston inlet port.

14. The extractor of claim 13 , wherein said second piston actuator includes a second tubular actuator shaft connected to a second piston outlet port, said second tubular actuator shaft coupled to a second conduit adapted to covey an amount of extractant to or from said second piston outlet port.

15. The extractor of claim 14, further comprising a first retaining member actuator connected to said first piston retaining member, said first retaining member linear actuator operable to move first piston retaining member to engage said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end. 16. The extractor of claim 15, further comprising a second retaining member actuator connected to said second piston retaining member, said second retaining member actuator operable to move second piston retaining member to engage said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

17. The extractor of claim 16, further comprising an extraction vessel support including an extraction vessel rotation element, said extraction vessel rotatable about an extraction vessel support axis of an extraction vessel support to position a longitudinal axis of said extraction vessel in a generally horizontal orientation.

18. The extractor of claim 17, further comprising a vessel actuator connected to said extraction vessel, said vessel linear actuator operable to move said extraction vessel to align said internal surface of said extraction vessel first and second ends to correspondingly slidably receive said first and second pistons.

19. The extractor of claim 18, further comprising a first connecting member interconnecting said first and second pressure receiving plates.

20. The extractor of claim 19, further comprising a second connecting member interconnecting said first and second pressure receiving plate.

21. The extractor of claim 20, further comprising a fluid flow generator connected to said extraction vessel, said fluid How generator capable of generating an extractant pressure inside of said extraction chamber of between about 500 psi to about 20,000 psi.

22. The extractor of claim 21, where said extractant pressure is selected from the group consisting of: about 500 psi to about 1500 psi, 1000 psi to about 2000 psi, about 1500 psi to about 2500 psi, about 2000 psi to about 3000 psi, about 2500 psi to about 3500 psi, about 3000 psi to about 4000 psi, about 3500 psi to about 4500 psi, about 4000 psi to about 5000 psi, about 5500 psi to about 6500 psi, about 6000 psi to about 7000 psi, about 6500 psi to about 7500 psi, about 7000 psi to about 8000 psi, about 7500 psi to about 8500 psi, about 8000 psi to about 9000 psi, about 8500 psi to about 9500 psi, about 9000 psi to about 10,000 psi, about 9500 psi to about 10,500 psi, about 10,000 psi to about 11,000 psi, about 10,500 psi to about 1 1 ,500 psi, about 1 1 ,000 psi to about 12,000 psi, about 11,500 psi to about 12,500 psi, about 12,000 psi to about 13,000 psi, about 12,500 psi to about 13,500 psi, about 13,000 psi to about 14,000 psi, about 13,500 psi to about 14,500 psi, about 14,000 psi to about 15,000 psi, about 14,500 psi to about 15,500 psi, about 15,000 psi to about 15,500 psi, about 15,500 psi to about 16,500 psi, about 16,000 psi lo about 17,000 psi, about 16,500 psi to about 17,500 psi, about 17,000 psi to about 18,000 psi, about 17,500 psi to about 18,500 psi, about 18,000 psi to about 19,000, about 18,500 psi to about 19,500 psi, and about 19,000 psi to about 20,000 psi, or combinations thereof over a period of time.

23. The extractor of claim 21, further comprising a heat source coupled to said extraction vessel external surface.

24. The extractor of claim 23, further comprising a temperature adjustment element coupled to said heat source, said temperature adjustment module allows pre-selection of an extraction vessel temperature of between about 5°C to about 155°C.

25. The extractor of claim 24, wherein said extraction vessel temperature is selected from the group consisting of: about 5°C to about 15°C, about 10°C to about 20°C, about 15°C to about 25°C, about 20°C to about 30°C, about 25°C to about 35°C, about 30°C to about 40°C, about 35°C to about 45°C, about 40°C to about 50°C, about 55°C to about 65°C, about 60°C to about 70°C, about 65°C to about 75°C, about 70°C to about 80°C, about 75°C to about 85°C, about 80°C to about 90°C, about 85°C to about 95°C, about 90°C to about 100°C, about 95°C to about 105°C, about 100°C to about 1 10°C, about 105°C to about U5°C, about 110°C to about 120°C, about 1 15°C to about 1256C, about 120°C to about 130°C, about 125°C to about 135°C, about 130°C to about 145°C, about 140°C to about \55°C, or combinations thereof over a period of time.

26. A method of producing an extractor, comprising:

obtaining an extraction vessel having an internal surface which defines an extraction chamber which communicates between open extraction vessel first and second ends;

disposing a first piston to slidably sealably engage said internal surface at a first location proximate said extraction vessel first end; and

disposing a second piston to slidably sealably engage said internal surface at a second location proximate said extraction vessel second end, said extraction vessel having a medial portion disposed between said first and second pistons concurrently sealably engaged to corresponding said first and second locations proximate said extractor vessel first and second ends.

27. The method of claim 26, further comprising disposing a first piston retaining member to removably engage said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end, said first piston retaining member configured to retain said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end at pressures inside of said extraction chamber of between about 1,000 psi to about 15,000 psi.

28. The method of claim 27, further comprising disposing a second piston retaining member to slidably removably engage said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end, said second piston retaining member configured to retain said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end at pressures inside of said extraction chamber of between about 1,000 psi to about 15,000 psi.

29. The method of claim 28, further comprising positioning a first piston retaining member guide to receive said first piston retaining member in a first guide channel, said first piston retaining member moving in said first guide channel between a first position which engages said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end and a second position which disengages said first piston retaining member from said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

30. The method of claim 29, further comprising positioning a second piston retaining member guide to receive said second piston retaining member in a second guide channel, said second piston retaining member moving in said second guide channel between a first position which engages said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end and a second position which disengages said second piston retaining member from said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end. 31 , The method of claim 30, further comprising adjacently abuttingly engaging a first pressure receiving plate with a first side of said first piston retaining member guide in which said first piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said first piston.

32. The method of claim 31 , further comprising:

adjacently abuttingly engaging a first end plate to a second side of said first piston retaining member guide in which said first piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said first piston; and

disposing a first piston aperture in said first end plate through which said first piston moves to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

33. The method of claim 32, further comprising adjacently abuttingly engaging a second pressure receiving plate to a first side of said second piston retaining member guide in which said second piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said second piston.

34. The method of claim 33, further comprising:

adjacently abuttingly engaging a second end plate to a second side of said first piston retaining member guide in which said first piston retaining member moves to engage and disengage said first piston; and

disposing a second piston aperture in said second end plate through which said second piston moves to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

35. The method of claim 34, further comprising:

correspondingly coupling first and second extraction vessel centering guides to said first and second end plate; and configuring said first and second extraction vessel centering guides to engage a corresponding portion of the external surface of said extraction vessel proximate said extraction vessel first and second ends to align said internal surface of said extraction vessel first and second ends to correspondingly slidably receive said first and second pistons. 36. The method of claim 35, further comprising connecting a first piston linear actuator to said first piston, said first linear actuator operable to move said first piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

37. The method of claim 36, further comprising connecting a second piston linear actuator to said second piston, said second linear actuator operable to move said second piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

38. The method of claim 37, wherein said first piston linear actuator includes a first tubular actuator shaft, and further comprising:

connecting said first tubular actuator shaft to a first piston inlet port; and

coupling said first tubular actuator shaft to a first conduit adapted to covey an amount of extractant from an extranctant source to said first piston inlet port.

39. The method of claim 38, wherein said second piston linear actuator includes a second tubular actuator shaft, and further comprising:

connecting said second tubular actuator shaft to a second piston outlet port; and coupling said second tubular actuator shaft to a second conduit adapted to covey said amount of extractant from said second piston outlet port.

40. The method of claim 39, further comprising connecting a first retaining member linear actuator to said first piston retaining member, said first retaining member linear actuator operable to move said first piston retaining member to engage said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end. 41. The method of claim 40, further comprising connecting a second retaining member linear actuator connected to said second piston retaining member, said second retaining member linear actuator operable to move second piston retaining member to engage said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

42. The method of claim 41, further comprising interconnecting said first and second pressure receiving plates with a first connecting member.

43. The method of claim 42, further comprising interconnecting said first and second pressure receiving plates with a second connecting member. 44. Λ method of using an extractor, comprising:

obtaining an extraction vessel having an internal surface which defines an extraction chamber which communicates between open extraction vessel first and second ends;

slidably sealably engaging a first piston with said internal surface to a first location proximate said extraction vessel first end; and

slidably sealably engaging a second piston with said internal surface to a second location proximate said extraction vessel second end, said extraction vessel having a medial portion disposed between said first and second pistons concurrently sealably engaged to corresponding said first and second locations proximate said extractor vessel first and second ends. 45. The method of claim 44, further comprising removably engaging a first piston retaining member with said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end, said first piston retaining member configured to retain said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end at pressures inside of said extraction chamber of between about 500 psi to about 20,000 psi. 46. The method of claim 45, further comprising removably engaging a second piston retaining member with said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end, said second piston retaining member configured to retain said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end at pressures inside of said extraction chamber of between about 500 psi to about 20,000 psi. 47. The method of claim 46, further comprising positioning said first piston retaining member in a first guide channel of a first piston retaining member guide, said first piston retaining member moving in said first guide channel between a first position which engages said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end and a second position which disengages said first piston retaining member from said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

48. The method of claim 47, further comprising actuating a first piston actuator connected to said first piston to move said first piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

49. The method of claim 48, further comprising actuating a second piston actuator connected to said second piston to move said second piston to sealably engage said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end.

50. The method of claim 49, further comprising actuating a first retaining member actuator connected to said first piston retaining member to move said first piston retaining member to engage said first piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel first end.

51. The method of claim 50, further comprising actuating a second retaining member linear actuator connected to said second piston retaining member to move said second piston retaining member to engage said second piston sealably engaged with said internal surface of said extraction vessel second end. 52. The method of claim 51, further comprising conveying an amount of extractant into said extraction vessel.

53. The method of claim 52, further comprising conveying said amount of extractant into said extraction vessel through a first piston inlet port.

54. The method of claim 53, further comprising conveying an amount of extractant from said extraction vessel.

55. The method of claim 54, further comprising conveying said amount of extractant from said extraction vessel through a second piston outlet port.

56. The method of claim 55, further comprising generating an extractant pressure in a range of about 500 psi to about 20,000 psi. 57. The method of claim 56, wherein said extractant pressure is selected from the group consisting of: about 500 psi to about 1500 psi, 1000 psi to about 2000 psi, about 1500 psi to about 2500 psi, about 2000 psi to about 3000 psi, about 2500 psi to about 3500 psi, about 3000 psi to about 4000 psi, about 3500 psi to about 4500 psi, about 4000 psi to about 5000 psi, about 5500 psi to about 6500 psi, about 6000 psi to about 7000 psi, about 6500 psi to about 7500 psi, about 7000 psi to about 8000 psi, about 7500 psi to about 8500 psi, about 8000 psi to about 9000 psi, about 8500 psi to about 9500 psi, about 9000 psi to about 10,000 psi, about 9500 psi to about 10,500 psi, about 10,000 psi to about 11,000 psi, about 10,500 psi to about 11,500 psi, about 1 1 ,000 psi to about 12,000 psi, about 11 ,500 psi to about 12,500 psi, about 12,000 psi to about 13,000 psi, about 12,500 psi to about 13,500 psi, about 13,000 psi to about 14,000 psi, about 13,500 psi to about 14,500 psi, about 14,000 psi to about 15,000 psi, about 14,500 psi to about 15,500 psi, about 15,000 psi to about 15,500 psi, about 15,500 psi to about 16,500 psi, about 16,000 psi to about 17,000 psi, about 16,500 psi to about 17,500 psi, about 17,000 psi to about 18,000 psi, about 17,500 psi to about 18,500 psi, about 18,000 psi to about 19,000, about 18,500 psi to about 19,500 psi, and about 19,000 psi to about 20,000 psi, or combinations thereof over a period of time.

58. The method of claim 56, further comprising adjusting temperature of said extraction vessel to an extraction vessel temperature of between about 5°C to about 155°C. 59. The extractor of claim 58, wherein said extraction vessel temperature is selected from the group consisting of: about 5°C to about 15°C, about 10°C to about 20°C, about 15°C to about 25°C, about 20°C to about 30°C, about 25°C to about 35°C, about 30°C to about 40°C, about 35°C to about 45°C, about 40°C to about 50°C, about 55°C to about 65°C, about 60°C to about 70°C, about 65°C to about 75°C, about 70°C to about 80°C, about 75°C to about 85°C, about 80°C to about 90°C, about 85°C to about 95°C, about 90°C to about 100°C, about 95°C to about 105°C, about 100°C to about 1 10°C, about 105°C to about 115°C, about 110°C to about 120°C, about 1 15°C to about 125°C, about 120°C to about 130°C, about 125°C to about 135DC, about 130°C to about 145°C, about 140°C to about 155°C, or combinations thereof over a period of time. 60. The method of claim 58, further comprising rotating said extraction vessel about an extraction vessel support axis of an extraction support.

61. The method of claim 60, further comprising rotating said extraction vessel about said extraction vessel support axis to position a longitudinal axis of said extraction vessel between a generally vertical orientation and a generally horizontal orientation.

62. The method of claim 61 , further comprising rotating said extraction vessel about an extraction vessel support axis of" an extraction vessel support to position a longitudinal axis of said extraction vessel in a generally horizontal orientation.

63. The method of claim 62, further comprising disposing an amount of cxtractable material in said extraction vessel.

64. The method of claim 63, further comprising actuating a vessel linear actuator connected to said extraction vessel to move said extraction vessel to align said internal surface of said extraction vessel first and second ends to correspondingly slidably receive said first and second pistons. 65. The method of claim 64, further comprising extracting said amount of extractable material with said amount of extractant.

Description:
EXTRACTOR FOR HIGH PRESSURE EXTRACTION OF A MATRIX

This International Patent Cooperation Treaty Patent Application is a continuation of United States Non-Provisional Patent Application No. 15/460, 1 13, filed March 15, 2017, which claims the benefit of United States Provisional Patent Application No. 62/319,214, filed April 6, 2016, hereby incorporated by reference in the entirety herein.

I. DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

Generally, an extraction system useful in separating an extract from a matrix using one or more extractants. Specifically, an extractor including one or more of: an extraction vessel having an extractor vessel internal surface which defines an extraction chamber which communicates between open extraction vessel first and second ends, a first piston configured to sealably engage the extractor vessel internal surface of the extraction vessel first end or a second piston adapted to sealably engage the extractor vessel internal surface of the extraction vessel second end.

Naturally, further objects of the invention are disclosed throughout other areas of the specification, drawings, photographs, and claims.

IT. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a left front side perspective view of an embodiment of an extraction system having a first extraction vessel in a first position having the longitudinal axis in a substantially vertical orientation. Figure 2 is a left front side perspective view of an embodiment of the extraction system having the first extraction vessel in a second position having the longitudinal axis in a substantially vertical orientation.

Figure 3 is a left front side perspective view of an embodiment of the extraction system having a first extraction vessel in a second position rotated about an extraction vessel rotation element axis.

Figure 4 is a left front side perspective view of an embodiment of the extraction system having a first extraction vessel in a second position having the longitudinal axis in a substantially horizontal orientation.

I Figure 5 is cross sectional view 5-5 of the embodiment of the extraction systen shown in Figure 1.

Figure 6 is an enlarged view of a portion of the extraction system shown in Figure 5 with a first piston sealably engaged with the internal surface of the first extraction vessel at a first end and retained by a first piston retaining member.

Figure 7 is the enlarged view of a portion of the extraction system shown in Figure 5 with the first piston sealably engaged with the internal surface of the first extraction vessel at a first end with the first piston retaining member disengage from the first piston.

Figure 8 is the enlarged view of a portion of the extraction system shown in Figure 5 with the first piston disengaged from the internal surface of the first extraction vessel at a first end and the extraction vessel moved to the extraction vessel second position.

Figure 9 is an enlarged view of a portion of the extraction vessel shown in Figure 8.

Figure 10 is an enlarged perspective view of a portion of the first extraction vessel shown in Figure 1. Figure 1 1Λ is front elevation view of the portion of the first extraction vessel shown in

Figure 10.

Figure 1 IB is a cross sectional view 1 lB-1 IB of the portion of the first extraction vessel shown in Figure 1 1A.

Figure 12 is an exploded view of a portion of an extractor assembly shown in Figure 1 including first and second piston retaining assemblies and connecting plates.

Figure 13 is an exploded view of a portion of an extractor assembly shown in Figure 1 including the extraction vessel, first and second porous end assemblies, extraction vessel housing, and extraction vessel support.

III. MODE(S) FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION Referring generally to Figures 1 through 13 which depict an extraction system (1 ) useful in separating an extract (2) from a matrix (3) using one or more extractants (4). Specifically, an extractor (5) including one or more of: an extraction vessel (6) having an extractor vessel internal surface (7) which defines an extraction chamber (8) which communicates between open extraction vessel first and second ends (9)(10), a first piston (1 1) which slidably sealably engages the extractor vessel internal surface (7) proximate the extraction vessel first end (9) or a second piston (12) which slidably sealably engages the extractor vessel internal surface (7) proximate the extraction vessel second end (10). For the purposes of this invention the term "extractant" encompasses any substance or combination of substances primarily responsible for the transfer of an extract (2) from a matrix (3).

For the purposes of this invention the term ''supercritical fluid " means an extractant (2) above its critical temperature (Tc) and critical pressure (Pc). The critical point represents the highest temperature and pressure at which the extractant (2) can exist as a vapor and liquid in equilibrium which can effuse through the interstices of a matrix (3) like a gas and dissolve an extract (2) contained in the matrix (3) like a liquid and without limitation to the breadth of the foregoing illustrative examples include: carbon dioxide, water, methane, ethane, propane, ethylene, propylene, methanol, ethanol, and acetone, or combinations thereof, above their respective Tc and Pc. Illustrative examples of the critical points of various extractants (2) are set out in Table 1 below.

TABLE I.

Extractant Critical Temperature (°C) Critical Pressure (bar)

Carbon dioxide 31.1 73.8

Ethane 32.2 48.8

Ethylene 9.3 50.4

Propane 96.7 42.5

Propylene 91.9 46.2

Cyclohexane 280.3 40.7

Isopropanol 235.2 47.6

Benzene 289.0 48.9

Toluene 318.6 41.1

/^-Xylene 343.1 35.2

Chlorotrifluoromethane 28.9 39.2

Trichlorofluoromethane 198.1 44.1 Extractant Critical Temperature (°C) Critical Pressure (bar)

Ammonia 132.5 1 12.8

Water 374.2 220.5

For the purposes of this invention the term "subcritical fluid" encompasses an extractant (2) below its critical temperature (Tc) and critical pressure (Pc), and without limitation to the breadth of the foregoing includes as illustrative examples the extractants (2) set forth in Table I below their critical temperature (Tc) and critical pressure (Pc).

For the purposes of this invention the term "supercritical conditions" encompasses conditions above an extractant's (2) critical temperature (Tc) and critical pressure (Pc).

For the purposes of this invention the term "subcritical conditions" encompasses conditions below an extractant's (2) critical temperature (Tc) and critical pressure (Pc). For the purposes of this invention, the term "matrix" encompasses any material through which an extractant (2)(whether a subcritical fluid or supercritical fluid) can effuse, and without limitation to the breadth of the foregoing, illustrative examples of matrices (3), include: coffee, seeds (as illustrative examples: grape seeds, rape seeds, sunflower seed, sesame seed, passion fruit seeds, cano!a seeds, mustard seeds, flax seeds, cranberry seeds, cannabis seeds or celery seeds), spices (as illustrative examples: ginger, clove bud, nutmeg, aniseed, coriander, pepper, cinnamon bark, cumin, marjoram, rosemary, sage, and thyme), animal tissues (as illustrative examples: mammalian, bird, fish or crustacean sources), plant materials (whether fresh or dry) (as illustrative examples: bark, wood, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruits, seeds, berries or parts thereof and without limitation to the breadth of the forgoing: tobacco plant, eucalyptus plant, rosemary plant, mango plant, tea plant, cannabis plant, neem plant, algae, and fungi) and in particular plant flowers (whether fresh or day)(such as lavender flower, chamomile flower, marigold flowers, tea flowers, magnolia flower, cannabis flowers, and hops flowers), grains (such as corn, wheat, rye, an oats), soil, foods, or combinations thereof, whether whole or comminuted.

For the purposes of this invention, the term "cannabis plant(s)" encompasses plants in the Cannabis genus and without limitation to the breadth of the foregoing includes Cannabis saliva, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruder alis along with the variants and strains which are the result of genetic crosses, self-crosses or hybrids thereof or genetically modified strains, which may naturally contain different amounts of individual cannabinoids. For the purposes of this invention, the term "cannabis plant material" encompasses plant material derived from one or more cannabis plants regardless of the part of the cannabis plant or whether fresh or dried cannabis biomass.

For the purposes of this invention, the term "extract" encompasses any component contained in a matrix (3) (whether soluble in subcritical or supercritical fluid) and without limitation to the breadth of the foregoing, includes: seed oils (as illustrative examples: corn seed oil, grape seed oil, rape seed oil, sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, passion fruit seed oil, canola seed oil, mustard seed oil, caimabis seed oil, flax seed oil), grain oils (as illustrative examples: wheat oil, rye oil, oat oil), spice oils (as illustrative examples: ginger oil, clove bud oil, nutmeg oil, celery seed oil, aniseed oil, coriander oil, pepper oleoresin and oil, cinnamon oil, cumin oil, marjoram oil, rosemary oil, sage oil, thyme oil), botanical drug substances (for example cannabinoids such as A 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol A 9 -THC, A 8 -tetrahydrocannabinol A 8 -THC, cannabichromene CBC, cannabidiol CBD, cannabigerol CBG, cannabinidiol CBND. cannabinol CBN carboxylic acids thereof) bitters, food colors (such as paprika color), caffeine, nicotine, food colors, lanolin, cholesterol, antioxidants, lipids, free fatty acids, phosphatids (hydratable and non- hydratable), pesticides, or combinations thereof.

For the purposes of this invention, the term "botanical drug substances" encompasses an extract (2) which fulfils the definition of a "botanical drug substance" provided in the Guidance for Industry Botanical Drug Products, June 2004, US Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research of: "A drug substance derived from one or more plants, algae, or macroscopic fungi. It is prepared from botanical raw materials by one or more of the following processes: pulverization, decoction, expression, aqueous extraction, ethanolic extraction, or other similar processes."

Now referring generally to Figures 1 through 13, an extraction vessel (6) can have an extraction vessel side wall (13) disposed between extraction vessel external and internal surfaces (7)(14). The extraction vessel internal surface (7) defines an extraction chamber (8) which communicates between open extraction vessel first and second ends (9)(10). The extraction vessel (6) can, but need not necessarily, have a cylindrical vessel side wall (13) defining in cross section orthogonal to the extraction vessel longitudinal axis (15) a circular extraction vessel internal surface (7) between the extraction vessel first and second ends (9)(10). As one example, the extraction vessel (6) can be configured as a cylinder having an internal diameter of about 2 inches (about 51 millimeters) to about 6 inches (about 152 millimeters) and having a length disposed between extraction vessel first and second ends (9)(10) of between about 24 inches (about 610 millimeters) to about 72 inches (about 1829 millimeters). The extraction vessel side wall (13) can have a thickness disposed between the extraction vessel internal surface (7) and extraction vessel external surface (14) of about one half inch (about 13 millimeters) to about one inch (about 25 millimeters) depending upon the material of the extraction vessel (6) and the thickness to contain a supercritical fluid having a pressure of between about 500 pounds per square inch ("psi") to about 20,000 psi at a temperature of between about 20°C to about 150°C depending upon the kind and amount of the matrix (3) and the kind and amount of the extract (2) being extracted from the matrix (3). However, this example is not intended to preclude other embodiments of the extraction vessel (6) which can define cross sections orthogonal to the longitudinal axis (15) that can, but need not necessarily, be polygonal, such as a triangle, a square, a rectangle, or an oval, an ellipse, or combinations thereof.

Now referring primarily to Figures 5 through 9 and 13, embodiments of the extraction vessel (6), can but need not necessarily, include first and second porous end assemblies (95)(96) that can be correspondingly removably sealably fitted proximate the extraction vessel first and second ends (9)(10). As to particular embodiments, the first and second porous end assemblies (95)(96) can each include a substantially rigid frit (97) having sufficiently large pores (98) to allow extractants (4) (whether subcritical fluids and supercritical fluids) to flow through the frit (97) but sufficient small to substantially prevent the matrix (3) from passing through the frit (97). The frit porosity may be between about 4 micrometer ("μηι") to about 200 μιη depending upon the matrix particle size to be extracted which may typically be between about 0.5 millimeter ("mm " ) to about 5 mm; although the matrix (3) may have a lesser or greater particle size depending upon the application. An annular sealing element (99) can have an inner periphery ( 100) which can be sealably fitted about the periphery of the frit (97) and an outer periphery (101 ) which can be disposed in sealably fixed relation with the extractor vessel internal surface (7) proximate the extraction vessel first or second ends (9)(10).

As shown in the example of Figure 9, the extraction vessel internal surface (7) can be configured to provide an annular shoulder (102) which corresponding engages a portion of an annular sealing element first face (103) of the annular sealing element (99). The extraction vessel internal surface (7) can be further configured to provide an annular groove (104) in which a corresponding portion of a frit retaining clip (105) removably inserts to dispose the frit retaining clip (105) against an annular sealing element second face (106) of the annular sealing element (99) to fix the axial location of the annular sealing element (99) in the extraction chamber (8). Now referring primarily to Figure 13, the extraction vessel (6) can include a medial portion (16) disposed between first and second terminal portions (17)(18). One or both of the first and second terminal portions (17)(18) can have a corresponding first or second terminal portion internal surface (19)(20) of the extraction vessel internal surface (7). One or both of a first piston (1 1) or a second piston (12) can correspondingly slidably engage the first or second terminal portion internal surface (19)(20). As shown in the illustrative examples of Figures 6 through 8, each of the first and second pistons (11)(12) can be generally configured as cylinders each including generally circular congruent first and a second bases (21)(22) disposed in opposed relation a distance apart connected by a corresponding first or second piston sidewall (23)(24). The first or second piston sidewall (23)(24) can be configured to reciprocally slidably engage and disengage the corresponding first or second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) of the extraction vessel (6). While the figures show the first and second pistons (1 1)(12) as being generally cylindrical in form, any configuration of the first or second pistons (11)(12) having a corresponding first or second piston sidewall (23)(24) which slidably sealably engages corresponding first or second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) of extraction vessel (6) over the useful operating range of temperature and pressure used to extract matrices with one or more supercritical fluids or subcritical fluids can be utilized in embodiments of the invention. Similarly, while examples of the extraction vessel (6) shown in the Figures comprise generally cylindrical extraction vessels (6) and cylindrical first and second pistons (11)(12), the extraction vessel (6) and sealably engagable first and second pistons ( 11 )(12) can have internal surfaces and corresponding side walls that define a triangle, a square, a rectangle, an oval, or other configuration which defines an extraction chamber (8) capable of containing an amount of matrix (3).

Again referring primarily to Figures 9 and 12, configurations of the first or second piston (1 1)(12) can further include one or more seal elements (25) which can be cireumferentially disposed about the first or second piston sidewalls (23)(24) to facilitate scalable engagement between one or both of the first or second piston sidewalls (23)(24) and the corresponding first or second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20). As to particular embodiments, the one more seal elements (25) can be coupled to the first or second terminal portion internal surface (19)(20) or can be coupled to the first or second piston sidewall (23)(24). As an illustrative example, one or more circumferential grooves (26) can, but need not necessarily, be disposed in the first or second piston sidewall (23)(24) or in the first or second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20). The one or more seal elements (25) can, but need not necessarily, be disposed in the circumferential groove (26) such that a part of the one or more seal elements (25) extend beyond the first or second piston sidewalls (23)(24) or beyond the first or second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) to correspondingly engage the first or second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) or the first or second piston sidewall (23) (24) to correspondingly sealably engage one or both of a first piston (11) and a second piston (12) in relation to the first or second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) of the extraction vessel (6).

Again referring primarily to Figures 6 through 8, the first and second pistons ( 11 )( 12) can, but need not necessarily, correspondingly include a first piston port (27) and a second piston port (28) which communicate between the surfaces of the first and second bases (21)(22) to define a first and second piston passage (29)(30) for the ingress and egress of one or more supercritical fluids (4) or subcritical fluids to or from the extraction vessel (6).

Now referring primarily to Figures 6 through 8, 10 and 12, embodiments can, but need not necessarily, include a first piston actuator (31) connected to said first piston (1 1). The first piston actuator (31) operates to move the first piston (11) to shdably sealably engage the first terminal portion internal surface (19) of the first terminal portion (17) of the extraction vessel. As an illustrative example, the first piston actuator (31) can, but need not necessarily, include a first tubular actuator shaft (32) directly or indirectly connected to the first piston port (27). Operation of the first piston actuator (31 ) moves the first tubular actuator shaft (32) to correspondingly move the first piston (11) to reciprocally shdably engage and disengage the first piston sidewall (23) with the corresponding first terminal portion internal surface (19). As to the embodiment of the first piston actuator (31) shown in the Figures, the first tubular actuator shaft (32) can be responsive to the corresponding movement of a first actuator piston (33) that travels within a first actuator cylinder (34). The first actuator piston (33) divides the first actuator cylinder (34) to define first and second cylinder chambers (35)(36) on opposite sides of the first actuator piston (33). The first actuator piston (33) within the first actuator cylinder (34) can be reciprocally driven toward opposed first piston actuator cylinder ends (37)(38) by concurrent ingress of a first amount actuator fluid (39), whether liquid or gas, into the first cylinder chamber (35) and egress of a second amount of actuator fluid (40) from the second cylinder chamber (36) followed by concurrent ingress of the second amount of actuator fluid (40) into the second cylinder chamber (36) and egress of the first amount of actuator fluid (39) from the first cylinder chamber (35). A first conduit (41) can be pass within the tubular actuator shaft (32) and have a conduit first end (42) sealably fitted to the first piston port (27). A conduit second end (43) can be coupled to a fluid flow generator (44) adapted to generate a flow of supercritical fluid (4) or subcritical fluid from a fluid source (44) containing an amount supercritical fluid (4) to the first piston port (27). This illustrative example, is not intended to preclude other embodiments of the first piston actuator (31) which can reciprocally move the first piston (11) to sealably engage and disengage the first terminal portion internal surface (19) of the first terminal portion (17) of the extraction vessel (6) with the first conduit (41) sealably fitted to the first piston port (27) allowing conveyance of an amount of supercritical fluid (4) or subcritical fluid from the fluid source (44) into the extraction chamber (8).

Now referring primarily to Figure 12, embodiments can, but need not necessarily, include a second piston actuator (45) connected to the second piston (12). The second piston actuator (45) operates to move the second piston (12) to sealably engage the second terminal portion internal surface (20) of the second terminal portion (18) of the extraction vessel (6). As to particular embodiments, the second piston actuator (45) can, but need not necessarily, include a second tubular actuator shaft (46) directly or indirectly connected to the second piston port (28). Operation of the second piston actuator (45) moves the second tubular actuator shaft (46) to correspondingly move the second piston (12) to reciprocally slidably engage and disengage the second piston sidewall (24) with the corresponding second terminal portion internal surface (20). As to the embodiment of the second piston actuator (45) shown in the Figures, the second tubular actuator shaft (46) can be responsive to the corresponding movement of a second actuator piston (47) that travels within a second actuator cylinder (48). The second actuator piston (47) divides the second actuator cylinder (48) to define first and second cylinder chambers (49)(50) on opposite sides of the second actuator piston (47). The second actuator piston (47) within the second actuator cylinder (48) can be reciprocally driven toward opposed second piston actuator cylinder ends (51)(52) by concurrent ingress of a first amount actuator fluid (53), whether liquid or gas, into the first cylinder chamber (49) and egress of a second amount of actuator fluid (54) from the second cylinder chamber (50) followed by concurrent ingress of the second amount of actuator fluid (54) into the second cylinder chamber (50) and egress of the first amount of actuator fluid (53) from the first cylinder chamber (49). A second conduit (55) can pass within the second tubular actuator shaft (46) and have a second conduit first end (56) sealably fitted to the second piston port (28). A second conduit second end (57) can be coupled to the fluid flow generator

(44) adapted to allow a flow of supercritical fluid (4) from the extraction chamber (8). This illustrative example, is not intended to preclude other embodiments of the second piston actuator

(45) which can reciprocally move the second piston (12) to sealably engage and disengage the second terminal portion internal surface (20) of the second terminal portion (18) of the extraction vessel (6) with the second conduit (55) sealably fitted to the second piston port (28) allowing conveyance of an amount of supercritical fluid (4) from the extraction chamber (8). The first and second piston actuators (31)(45) can in the alternative, as illustrative examples, be a push-pull solenoid, pneumatic cylinder, hydraulic cylinder, or the like.

Now referring primarily to Figures 6 through 8 and 10 through 12, particular embodiments can, but need not necessarily, include a first piston retaining assembly (58) which engages the first piston (11) to maintain sealed engagement of the first piston (11) with the first terminal portion internal surface (19) of the extraction vessel (6) under normal operating conditions and which disengages from the first piston (11) to allow the first piston (1 1) to be disengaged from the first terminal portion internal surface (19) of the extraction vessel (6). The first piston retaining assembly (58) acts on the first piston (1 1) to substantially eliminate movement of the first piston (1 1) sealably engaged with the first terminal portion internal surface (19) when the fluid pressure within the extraction chamber (8) is within the range of about zero psi and 20.000 psi.

Now referring primarily to Figure 12, as to particular embodiments, the first piston retaining assembly (58) can include only a first piston retaining member (59) which engages the first piston (11) sealably engaged to the first terminal portion internal surface (19) of the extraction vessel (6). The first piston retaining member (59) can take any form adapted to be engaged and disengaged from the first piston (1 1). While the illustrative example shown in the Figures includes a first piston retaining member (59) configured as a substantially flat first piston retaining plate (60) having a bifurcated end (61) defining a piston retaining member slot (62) configured to receive the first tubular actuator shaft (32) between the two parts of the bifurcated end (61), this is not intended to preclude embodiments of the first piston retaining member (59) otherwise configured.

Again, referring primarily to Figure 12, the first piston retaining assembly (58), can but need not necessarily further include, a first piston retaining member actuator (63) connected or directly connected to the first piston retaining member (59). The first piston retaining member actuator (63) can be operable to move the first piston retaining member (59) to engage the first piston (11). The first retaining member actuator (63) can have a structure and function the same or similar to the above described first and second piston actuators (31)(45); however the first piston retaining assembly (58) could also take the form of push-pull solenoid, pneumatic cylinder, hydraulic cylinder, or the like.

Now referring primarily to Figures 6 through 9 and 12, the first piston retaining assembly (58) can, but need not necessarily, further include a first piston retaining member guide (64) including a first piston retaining member guide channel (65) into which the first piston retaining member (59) moves between a first piston position which engages the first piston (1 1) while sealably engaged with the first terminal portion internal surface ( 19) of the extraction vessel (6) and a second piston position which disengages the first piston retaining member (59) from the first piston (1 1). The first piston retaining member guide (64) can take any form adapted to guide the first piston retaining member (59) between the first piston position and the second piston position. While the Figures show the first piston retaining member guide (64) configured as a substantially flat piston retaining member guide plate (65) having a first piston retaining member channel (66) configured to receive a substantially flat piston retaining plate (60) having a bifurcated end (61 ) defining a piston retaining member slot (62) as above described, this is not intended to limit the first piston retaining member guide (64) solely to this configuration.

Again referring to Figures 6 through 8 and 12, as to particular embodiments, the first piston retaining member guide (64) and the first piston retaining member (59) received in the first retaining member guide channel (65) can have substantially flat first and second faces (67)(68 ). The first piston retaining member guide (64) and the first piston retaining member (59) received in the first retaining member guide channel (65) can be disposed between a substantially flat first end plate (69) and a substantially flat first pressure receiving plate (70). The flat first end plate (69) can include a first piston aperture (71) in which the first piston (11) reciprocally moves. The piston height (72) between the first and second piston base (21 )(22) can be matched to a combined thickness (73) of the first end plate (69) and the first piston retaining member guide (59). The first piston (1 1) can be moved in the first piston aperture (71) to engage the first base (21) with the first pressure receiving plate (70) to dispose the second base (22) in substantially flush or recessed relation to the surface of the flat first end plate (69) facing the extraction vessel first end (9) to allow the first piston (1 1) to disengage from the first terminal portion internal surface (19) of the extraction vessel (6)(as shown in the example of Figure 8). The first piston (1 1 ) can be moved in the first piston aperture (71 ) to dispose the first base (21 ) in substantially flush or recessed relation to the surface of the flat first end plate (69) facing away from the vessel first end (9) and with the first piston (1 1 ) extending sufficiently outward of the flat first end plate (69) to sealably engage the first terminal portion internal surface (18) of the extraction vessel (6)(as shown in the example of Figure 6).

Now referring primarily to Figure 12, particular embodiments can, but need not necessarily, further include a second piston retaining assembly (74) which engages the second piston (12) when sealably engaged with the second terminal end portion internal surface (20) of the extraction vessel (6) and which disengages the second piston (12) to allow the second piston (12) to be disengaged from the second terminal end portion internal surface (20) of the extraction vessel (6). The second piston retaining assembly (74) acts on the second piston (12) to substantially eliminate movement of the second piston (12) when sealably engaged with the second terminal end portion internal surface (20) of the extraction vessel (6) when the fluid pressure within the extraction chamber (8) is within the range of about zero psi and 20,000 psi.

As to those embodiments which include a second piston retaining assembly (74), the second piston retaining assembly (74) can be configured in the same or similar manner as above described for the first piston retaining assembly (58) including one or more of: a second piston retaining member (76) which removably engages the second piston (12) when sealably engaged with the second terminal portion internal surface (20) of the extraction vessel (6), a second piston retaining member guide (77) including a second piston retaining member guide channel (78) in which the second piston retaining member (76) moves between a first piston position which engages the second piston (12) sealably engaged with the second terminal portion internal surface (20) of the extraction vessel (6) and a second piston position which disengages the second piston retaining member (76) from the second piston (12) when sealably engaged with the second terminal portion internal surface (20) of the extraction vessel (6).

As to particular embodiments, the second piston retaining member guide (77) and the second piston retaining member (76) received in the second piston retaining member guide channel (78) can have substantially flat first and second faces (79)(80). The second piston retaining member guide (77) and the second piston retaining member (76) received in the second piston retaining member guide channel (78) can be disposed between a substantially flat second end plate (81 ) and a substantially flat second pressure receiving plate (82). The second end plate (81) can include a second piston aperture (83) in which the second piston (12) reciprocally moves. The second piston height (84) between the first and second bases (21)(22) can be matched to the combined thickness of the second end plate (81) and the second piston retaining member guide (77). The second piston (12) can be moved in the second piston aperture (83) to engage the first base (21) with the second pressure receiving plate (82) to dispose the second base (22) in substantially flush or recessed relation to the surface of the flat second end plate (81) facing the extraction vessel second end (10). The second piston (12) can be moved in the second piston aperture (83) to dispose the first base (21) in substantially flush or recessed relation to the surface of the flat second end plate (81) facing away from the vessel second end (10) and with the second piston (12) extending sufficiently outward of the flat second end plate (81 ) to sealably engage the second terminal portion internal surface (20) of the extraction vessel (6).

Now referring primarily to Figures 1 through 5 and 12, embodiments can, but need not necessarily, include one or more connecting members (85) which interconnect the first and second pressure receiving plates (70)(82). Particular embodiments include first and second connecting members (86)(87) correspondingly fixedly connected to opposed sides of the first and second pressure receiving plates (7())(82). The extraction vessel (6) can be disposed between the first and second connecting members (86)(87) with the extraction vessel first and second ends (9)(10) correspondingly disposed adjacent the first and second piston retaining assemblies (58)(74) to allow corresponding sealable engagement of the first and second pistons (11)(12) with the first and second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) of the extraction vessel (6).

Now referring primarily to Figures 1 IB and 12, embodiments can, but need not necessarily, further include a first or a second extraction vessel centering guides (88)(89)(or both a first and a second extraction vessel centering guides (88)(89)) correspondingly coupled to one or both of the first and second end plates (69)(81). The first and second extraction vessel centering guides (88)(89) can each be configured to engage a corresponding portion of the extraction vessel external surface (14) proximate or at the extraction vessel first or second ends (9)( 10) to align the first and second terminal portion internal surfaces ( 19)(20) to correspondingly receive and sealably engage the first and second pistons (1 1)(12). As to particular embodiments, the first or second extraction vessel centering guides (88)(89) can each be configured to include a pair of opposed guide plate faces (90)(91) joined by a guide plate peripheral edge (92). A portion of the guide plate peripheral edge (92) can include a pair of converging edge portions (93)(94) fixedly located to engage a corresponding portion of the extraction vessel external surface (14) at or proximate the extraction vessel first or second ends (9)(10). Sliding engagement of the extraction vessel external surface (14) at or proximate the extraction vessel first or second ends (9)(10) with the pair of converging end portions (93)(94) until the extraction vessel (6) cannot be moved any further toward convergence of the pair converging edge portions (93)(94) disposes the extraction vessel (6) at a location at which the first and second pistons (1 1)(12) can slidably sealably engage the corresponding first and second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) of the extraction vessel (6).

Now referring to Figures 5 and 13, embodiments can, but need not necessarily, include an extraction vessel support (107) coupled to the extraction vessel external surface (14). The extraction vessel support (107) functions to support the extraction vessel (6) with the extraction vessel first and second ends (9)(10) correspondingly adjacent the first and second piston retaining assemblies (58)(74) to allow corresponding sealable engagement of the first and second pistons (1 1)(12) with the first and second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) of the extraction vessel (6) (as shown in the example of Figure 1). As to particular embodiments, the extraction vessel support (107) can be extended and retracted to allow corresponding movement of the extraction vessel (6) from an extraction vessel first position (108) at which the extraction vessel first and second ends (9)(10) are correspondingly adjacent the first and second piston retaining assemblies (58)(74) to allow corresponding slidable sealable engagement of the first and second pistons ( 1 1 )(12) with the first and second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) of the extraction vessel (6) (as shown in the example of Figure 1) to a extraction vessel second position (109) a sufficient distance from the connecting members (86)(87) to allow loading or unloading of an amount of matrix (3) into or from the extraction chamber (8)(as shown in the example of Figure 2). As an illustrative example, the extraction vessel external surface (14) can be engaged between two pairs of opposed roller elements (1 10)(11 1) spaced apart to allow the extraction vessel support (107) to travel upon forcible urging between the extraction vessel first position

(108) and the extraction vessel second position (109). As another example, the extraction vessel support (107) can include telescopingly engaged portions which allow extension and retraction between the extraction vessel first position (108) and the extraction vessel second position (109).

Again, referring primarily to Figures 5 and 13, embodiments of the extraction vessel support ( 107) can, but need not necessarily, further include an extraction vessel support actuator (1 12) operable to draw the extraction vessel (6) toward the extraction vessel second position

(109) . As to particular embodiments, the extraction vessel support actuator (1 12) can engage the extraction vessel (6) with the first or second extraction vessel centering guides (88)(89) to draw the first and second terminal portion internal surfaces (20)(21 ) into axial alignment with the first and second pistons (1 1)(12). As to particular embodiments, the extraction vessel support actuator (1 12) can include a magnet ( 1 13) (or an electromagnet which can be energized) which generates a magnetic field (1 14) which acts on the extraction vessel support (107) or the extraction vessel (6) to draw the extraction vessel (6) toward the extraction vessel second position ( 109) and can further function to hold the extraction vessel (6) at the second position through a pre-selected operation cycle of the supercritical fluid extraction system (1) or until manually disengaged by de-energizing the electromagnet (113). Understandably, the extraction vessel support actuator (1 12) could take various forms including a push-pull solenoid, pneumatic cylinder, hydraulic cylinder, or the like. Now referring primarily to Figures 3 and 13 , embodiments of the extraction vessel support (107) can, but need not necessarily, further include an extraction vessel rotation element (115) coupled to the extraction vessel (6). The extraction vessel rotation element (1 15) allows the extraction vessel (6) disposed in the second position (109), as above described, to rotate about an extraction vessel rotation element axis (116) to correspondingly rotate the longitudinal axis (15) of the extraction vessel (6) between a generally vertical orientation (117) (as shown in the example of Figure 2) and a generally horizontal orientation (118) (as shown in the example of Figures 3 and 4).

Now referring primarily to Figures 6 and 13, a heat source (119) can be coupled to the extraction vessel external surface (14) to control the temperature of the extraction vessel (6) and the corresponding amount of extractant (4) flowing through the extraction chamber (8) of an extraction vessel (6) within a temperature range of between about 5°C to about 150°C. While the figures show a plurality of heat bands coupled in spaced apart relation to the extraction vessel external surface (14), embodiments may include a single continuous band along the entire length or a portion of the length of the extraction vessel external surface (14) depending upon the thermal transfer properties of the material used for the extraction vessel (6). The heat source (1 19) can be coupled to a temperature adjustment element (120) which can monitor temperature of an amount of extractant (4) in the extraction chamber (8) to allow continuous adjustment of the temperature to maintain pre-selected subcritical conditions (129) or pre-selected supercritical conditions (130) of the extractant (4) in the extraction chamber (8). The temperature adjustment element ( 120) can maintain a preselected temperature or a preselected temperature profile (preselected temperature change over a period of time) during an operating cycle of the extraction system (1).

The temperature of the extractant can be selected from the group of temperature ranges comprising or consisting of: about 5°C to about 15°C, about 10°C to about 20°C. about 15°C to about 25°C, about 20°C to about 30°C, about 25°C to about 35°C, about 30°C to about 40°C, about 35°C to about 45°C, about 40°C to about 50°C, about 55°C to about 65°C, about 60°C to about 70°C, about 65°C to about 75°C, about 70°C to about 80°C, about 75°C to about 85°C, about 80°C to about 90°C, about 85°C to about 95°C, about 90°C to about 100°C, about 95°C to about 105°C, about 100°C to about 1 10°C, about 105°C to about 115°C, about 110°C to about 120°C, about 115°C to about 125°C, about 120°C to about 130°C, about 125°C to about 135°C\ about 130°C to about 145°C, about 140°C to about 155°C, or combinations thereof over a period of time. Now referring primarily to Figures 6 and 12, the fluid flow generator (44) can regulate the pressure of the extractant (4) inside of the extraction chamber (8) in range of between about 500 psi (about 55 bar) to about 20,000 psi (about 1380 bar). The fluid flow generator (44) can coupled to a pressure monitor (121) which monitors the pressure inside the extraction chamber (8) to allow continuous adjustment of the pressure to maintain pre-selected subcritical or supercritical conditions (129)(130) inside of the extraction chamber (8). The pressure of the extractant (4) can be selected from the group of pressure ranges including or consisting of: about 500 psi to about 1500 psi, 1000 psi to about 2000 psi, about 1500 psi to about 2500 psi, about 2000 psi to about 3000 psi, about 2500 psi to about 3500 psi, about 3000 psi to about 4000 psi, about 3500 psi to about 4500 psi, about 4000 psi to about 5000 psi, about 5500 psi to about 6500 psi, about 6000 psi to about 7000 psi, about 6500 psi to about 7500 psi, about 7000 psi to about 8000 psi, about 7500 psi to about 8500 psi, about 8000 psi to about 9000 psi, about 8500 psi to about 9500 psi, about 9000 psi to about 10,000 psi, about 9500 psi to about 10,500 psi, about 10,000 psi to about 1 1,000 psi, about 10,500 psi to about 1 1,500 psi, about 11,000 psi to about 12,000 psi, about 1 1 ,500 psi to about 12,500 psi, about 12,000 psi to about 13,000 psi, about 12,500 psi to about 13,500 psi, about 13,000 psi to about 14,000 psi, about 13,500 psi to about 14,500 psi, about 14,000 psi to about 15,000 psi, about 14,500 psi to about 15,500 psi, about 15,000 psi to about 15,500 psi, about 15,500 psi to about 16,500 psi, about 16,000 psi to about 17,000 psi, about 16,500 psi to about 17,500 psi, about 17,000 psi to about 18,000 psi, about 17,500 psi to about 18,500 psi, about 18,000 psi to about 19,000 psi, about 18,500 psi to about 19,500 psi, and about 19,000 psi to about 20,000 psi, or combinations thereof over a period of time.

Now referring primarily to Figures 6, 9, and 13, an extraction vessel housing (131) can surround the extraction vessel external surface (14) to insulate the extraction vessel (6) provide the user a contact and gripping surface which remains substantially at ambient temperature.

Now referring primarily to Figures 1 through 5, the extraction system (1) can, but need not necessarily, include a programmable controller (122) operable to control the operation of one or more of an extraction vessel support actuator (112), the first piston actuator (31), the second piston actuator (45), the fluid flow generator (44), a plurality of conduits and valves (123) configured to allow transfer of the amount of extractant (4) into the one or more extraction chambers (8) and transfer the amount of extractant (4) entraining one or more extracts (2) removed from a matrix (3) away from the one or more extraction chambers (8). As shown in the illustrative examples of Figures 1 through 4, the extraction system (1) can include two extraction vessels (6) inclusive of one or more of the components above described. However, this illustrative example is not intended to limit the extraction system (1) to embodiments having only two extraction vessels (6) and certain embodiments can include only one extraction vessel (6) while other embodiments may include two, three, four or more extraction vessels (6) each of which can be operated in unison by the controller (122) to process matrices (3) for the removal of one or more extracts (2) whether in serial, staggered parallel, or parallel application of one or more processing steps defined by one or more processing programs (124) contained in a controller memory (125) executable by a controller processor (126) communicatively coupled to the controller memory (125).

Now referring primarily to Figures 1, 12 and 13, the extraction system (1) as above described can be obtained and each of the one or more extraction vessels (6) can be disposed in the extraction first position (108) in which extraction vessel first and second ends (9)( 10) are adjacent the first and second piston retaining assemblies (58)(74) to allow corresponding sealable engagement of the first and second pistons (11)(12) with the first and second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) of each extraction vessel (6) (as shown in the example of Figure 1).

Now referring primarily to Figures 2, 12 and 13, an extraction vessel (6) can be moved to the extraction vessel second position (109) a distance from the first and second piston retaining assemblies (58)(74)(as shown in the example of Figure 2). The first or second porous end assemblies (95)(96) can be removed from one or both of the extraction vessel first or second ends (9)(10) (as shown in the example of Figure 13). A first or second porous end assembly (95)(96) can be re-engaged with a corresponding extraction vessel first or second end (9)(10)(as shown in the examples of Figures 6 and 9). An amount of matrix (3) can be transferred into the extraction chamber (8) through the remaining open extraction vessel first or second end (9)(10) (as shown in the example of Figure 6). The remaining first or second porous end assembly (95)(96) can be re-engaged with the extraction vessel first or second end (9)(10) (as shown in the example of Figure 6 through 9).

Now referring primarily to Figures 3, 4, 12 and 13, as to particular embodiments, an extraction vessel (6) disposed in the extraction vessel second position (109) can be rotated from a substantially vertical orientation (1 17) (as showoi in the example of Figure 2) to a substantially horizontal orientation (118) to facilitate removal of the first and second porous end assemblies (95)(96), cleaning of the extraction vessel (6), or transfer of a matrix (3) to or from the extraction chamber (8) (as shown in the example of Figure 4). Now referring primarily to Figure 1, the extraction vessel (6) can be returned to the extraction vessel first position (108) in which extraction vessel first and second ends (9)(10) are adjacent the first and second piston retaining assemblies (58)(74) to allow corresponding scalable engagement of the first and second pistons (11)(12) with the first and second terminal portion internal surfaces (19)(20) of each extraction vessel (6) (as shown in the example of Figures 6 through 9). The method can be performed with respect to additional extraction vessels (6) consistent with a selected serial, staggered parallel or parallel processing program (124).

Now referring primarily to Figures 1 and 6, depending upon the kind and amount of matrix (3) transferred to the extraction vessel chamber (8) and the specific extract or mixture of extracts (2) to be removed from the matrix (3), the controller (122) can control the fluid flow generator (44) and can control the heat source (119) to deliver a pre-selected amount of extractant (4) from a fluid source (44 A) at pre-selected flow rates, pressures and temperatures to achieve pre-selected subcritical conditions (129) or pre-selected supercritical conditions (130), or a combination thereof, inside the extraction chamber (8) (as shown in the example of Figure 6). While the figures illustrate the extractant (4) having a direction of flow within the extraction chamber from the second terminal portion (18) toward the first terminal portion (17), as to certain methods the extractant (4) can have a direction of flow in the extraction chamber (8) from the first terminal portion (17) toward the second terminal portion (18).

For example, the controller (122) can control a flow rate, pressure and temperature of carbon dioxide ("C0 2 ") to achieve pre-selected subcritical conditions (129) for a pre-selected period of time under which density of the subcritical carbon dioxide can be relatively low, and can remain relatively low even as the controller (122) increases pressure until the extraction system reaches the critical point of the C0 2 . Thereafter, the controller (122) can control the flow rate, pressure and temperature of carbon dioxide to achieve and maintain pre-selected supercritical conditions (130) for a pre-selected period of time under which density of supercritical carbon dioxide can be relatively high, and can remain relatively high. Alternately, the controller (122) can control a flow rate, pressure and temperature of carbon dioxide ("CO2") to initially achieve supercritical conditions (126) for a pre-selected period of time under which density of the subcritical carbon dioxide can be relatively high, and can remain relatively high as compared to subcritical conditions (125). The amount of extractant (4) under the pre-selected subcritical conditions ( 129) or pre-selected supercritical conditions (130) can fluidicly engage the matrix (3) to remove selected extracts, a selected mixture of extracts, or substantially all the extracts extractable with one extractant (4) or combination of extractants (4) from the matrix (3) (as shown in the example of Figure 6). While the solvating power of subcritical C0 2 may be reduced under subcritical conditions (129), a high degree of selectivity may be achieved, as only the most soluble components can be efficiently solubilized by the CO2.

For example, with respect to botanical drug extracts derived from cannabis plant material, the cannabinoid fraction can be selectively obtained containing only a limited number of non- target compounds, many of which can be subsequently readily removed from the extract (2). In contrast, under supercritical conditions (130), C0 2 has an increased density which has the effect of greatly increasing the solvating power of the CO2, which can confer an advantage in that more cannabinoids are solubilized achieving high yields in a lesser period of time. Accordingly, the extraction of botanical drug substances, including, but not limited to, cannabinoids from cannabis plant material can for example be accomplished with CO2 under subcritical conditions (129) at a temperature of between about 5°C to about 15°C and at a pressure of between about 700 psi to about 1200 psi or under supercritical conditions (126) at temperatures of between about 90°C to about 100°C and at a pressure of between about 7,000 psi to about 8,500 psi, or even at temperatures of between about 80°C to about 110°C and at pressures of between about 9,000 psi to about 10,000 psi (or even greater pressures of up to 12,000 psi and even greater temperatures of up to about 120°C can be utilized). The use of supercritical conditions (126) to extract botanical drug substances can afford advantageously lower extractant (4) to matrix (3) ratios of between about 5 to 1 to about 7 to 1. It is believed that these advantageous solvent-to-feed ratios of between 5 to 1 to about 7 to 1 have not been taught in association with the extraction of botanical drug substances.

Now referring primarily to Figures 6 and 12, extractant (4) (whether at subcritical conditions (129) or supercritical conditions (130) containing the selected extract or mixture of extracts (2) removed from the matrix (3) can egress through the second piston port (28) (as shown in the example of Figure 6). The amount of extractant (4) containing the specific extract or mixture of extracts (2) can be transferred from the second piston port (28) to an extract receiving vessel (127). CO2 can be subsequently removed under vacuum and the recovered extract held at a temperature in the range from -15°C to -20°C.

In the preparation of a botanical drug substance from a cannabis plant, decarboxylation can be carried out prior to extraction with liquid C0 2 . Decarboxylation can be achieved by heating the cannabis plant material to temperatures and for times which ensure at least 95% conversion of the acid cannabinoids from the acid form to their neutral form while ensuring thermal degradation of THC to CBN is less than 10%. For example, medicinal cannabis plant can be heated to a first temperature for a first time period to evaporate off retained water and allow for uniform heating of the plant material and the temperature is increased to a second temperature for a second time period until at least 95% conversion of the acid cannabinoids to their neutral form has occurred. As can be easily understood from the foregoing, the basic concepts of the present invention may be embodied in a variety of ways. The invention involves numerous and varied embodiments of an extraction system (1) and methods for making and using such extraction system (1) including the best mode.

As such, the particular embodiments or elements of the invention disclosed by the description or shown in the figures or tables accompanying this application are not intended to be limiting, but rather exemplary of the numerous and varied embodiments generically encompassed by the invention or equivalents encompassed with respect to any particular element thereof. In addition, the specific description of a single embodiment or element of the invention may not explicitly describe all embodiments or elements possible; many alternatives are implicitly disclosed by the description and figures.

It should be understood that each element of an apparatus or each step of a method may be described by an apparatus term or method term. Such terms can be substituted where desired to make explicit the implicitly broad coverage to which this invention is entitled. As but one example, it should be understood that all steps of a method may be disclosed as an action, a means for taking that action, or as an element which causes that action. Similarly, each element of an apparatus may be disclosed as the physical element or the action which that physical element facilitates. As but one example, the disclosure of an "extractor" should be understood to encompass disclosure of the act of "extracting" ~ whether explicitly discussed or not -- and, conversely, were there effectively disclosure of the act of "extracting", such a disclosure should be understood to encompass disclosure of an "extractor" and even a "means for extracting." Such alternative terms for each element or step are to be understood to be explicitly included in the description.

In addition, as to each term used it should be understood that unless its utilization in this application is inconsistent with such interpretation, common dictionary definitions should be understood to be included in the description for each term as contained in the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, second edition, each definition hereby incorporated by reference. All numeric values herein are assumed to be modified by the term "about", whether or not explicitly indicated. For the purposes of the present invention, ranges may be expressed as from "about" one particular value to "about" another particular value. When such a range is expressed, another embodiment includes from the one particular value to the other particular value. The recitation of numerical ranges by endpoints includes all the numeric values subsumed within that range. A numerical range of one to five includes for example the numeric values 1 , 1.5, 2, 2.75, 3, 3.80, 4, 5, and so forth. It will be further understood that the endpoints of each of the ranges are significant both in relation to the other endpoint, and independently of the other endpoint. When a value is expressed as an approximation by use of the antecedent "about," it will be understood that the particular value forms another embodiment. The term "about" generally refers to a range of numeric values that one of skill in the art would consider equivalent to the recited numeric value or having the same function or result. Similarly, the antecedent "substantially" means largely, but not wholly, the same form, manner or degree and the particular element will have a range of configurations as a person of ordinary skill in the art would consider as having the same function or result. When a particular element is expressed as an approximation by use of the antecedent "substantially," it will be understood that the particular element forms another embodiment.

Moreover, for the purposes of the present invention, the term "a" or "an" entity refers to one or more of that entity unless otherwise limited. As such, the terms "a" or "an", "one or more" and "at least one" can be used interchangeably herein.

Thus, the applicant) s) should be understood to claim at least: i) each of the extraction systems herein disclosed and described, ii) the related methods disclosed and described, iii) similar, equivalent, and even implicit variations of each of these devices and methods, iv) those alternative embodiments which accomplish each of the functions shown, disclosed, or described, v) those alternative designs and methods which accomplish each of the functions shown as are implicit to accomplish that which is disclosed and described, vi) each feature, component, and step shown as separate and independent inventions, vii) the applications enhanced by the various systems or components disclosed, viii) the resulting products produced by such systems or components, ix) methods and apparatuses substantially as described hereinbefore and with reference to any of the accompanying examples, x) the various combinations and permutations of each of the previous elements disclosed.

The background section of this patent application provides a statement of the field of endeavor to which the invention pertains. This section may also incorporate or contain paraplirasing of certain United States patents, patent applications, publications, or subject matter of the claimed invention useful in relating information, problems, or concerns about the state of technology to which the invention is drawn toward. It is not intended that any United States patent, patent application, publication, statement or other information cited or incorporated herein be interpreted, construed or deemed to be admitted as prior art with respect to the invention.

The claims set forth in this specification, if any, are hereby incorporated by reference as part of this description of the invention, and the applicant expressly reserves the right to use all of or a portion of such incorporated content of such claims as additional description to support any of or all of the claims or any element or component thereof, and the applicant further expressly reserves the right to move any portion of or all of the incorporated content of such claims or any element or component thereof from the description into the claims or vice-versa as necessary to define the matter for which protection is sought by this application or by any subsequent application or continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof, or to obtain any benefit of, reduction in fees pursuant to, or to comply with the patent laws, rules, or regulations of any country or treaty, and such content incorporated by reference shall survive during the entire pendency of this application including any subsequent continuation, division, or continuation-in-part application thereof or any reissue or extension thereon.

Additionally, the claims set forth in this specification, if any, are further intended to describe the metes and bounds of a limited number of the preferred embodiments of the invention and are not to be construed as the broadest embodiment of the invention or a complete listing of embodiments of the invention that may be claimed. The applicant does not waive any right to develop further claims based upon the description set forth above as a part of any continuation, division, or continuation-in-part, or similar application.