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Title:
ROTATING DRUM MACHINE AND METHOD FOR USING SAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/161509
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An apparatus and method is provided for producing kief from cannabis plants. The apparatus includes a drum that rotates about a horizontal axis that cannabis plants are placed inside. As the drum rotates, kief separates from the cannabis plants. A cooling mechanism is used to cool the cannabis plants as the drum rotates to prevent the kief from sticking together

Inventors:
SHIPLEY, Tom (1 Hershey Drive, Smith Falls, Ontario K7A 0A8, K7A 0A8, CA)
GEILING, Ben (1 Hershey Drive, Smith Falls, Ontario K7A 0A8, K7A 0A8, CA)
Application Number:
CA2019/050224
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 25, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CANOPY GROWTH CORPORATION (1 Hershey Drive, Smith Falls, Ontario K7A 0A8, K7A 0A8, CA)
International Classes:
B07B1/22; A01F11/00; A24B15/18; A61K31/352; C07D311/80; C11B1/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BARTOSZEWICZ, Lola A. et al. (Aird & McBurney LP, Brookfield Place181 Bay Street, Suite 180, Toronto Ontario M5J 2T9, M5J 2T9, CA)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

We claim:

1. An apparatus configured to separate kief from cannabis plant feedstock, comprising: a) a support frame;

b) a drum rotatably attached to the support frame, the drum configured to rotate with respect to the support frame, the drum further comprising a closable opening configured for providing access to place cannabis plant feedstock into the drum;

c) a motor comprising an output shaft operatively coupled to the drum, wherein operation of the motor causes rotation of the drum with respect to the support frame; and

d) a cooling mechanism configured to cool the feedstock during rotation of the drum.

2. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1, wherein the drum comprises a substantially horizontal drum shaft, the drum shaft rotatably attached to the support frame.

3. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2, further comprising a drive shaft operatively coupled to the drum shaft, wherein the output shaft of the motor is operatively coupled to the drive shaft.

4. The apparatus as set forth in claim 3, further comprising a speed reducing mechanism disposed between the output shaft and the drive shaft.

5. The apparatus as set forth in claim 4, wherein the speed reducing mechanism is selected from the group consisting of a belt and pulleys, a chain and sprockets, and inter-meshed gears.

6. The apparatus as set forth in any of claims 1-5, wherein the motor comprises an electric motor.

7. The apparatus as set forth in claim 6, further comprising an electric motor controller configured to control the electric motor.

8. The apparatus as set forth in any of claims 1 -7, wherein the motor comprises a hydraulic motor.

9. The apparatus as set forth in any of claims 1-8, wherein the cooling mechanism comprises a container configured to retain dry ice, the container configured to be placed in the drum, the container further configured to cool the feedstock in the drum as the dry ice evaporates in the drum.

10. The apparatus as set forth in any of claims 1-8, further comprising a refrigerated enclosure wherein the apparatus is disposed in the enclosure, and wherein the cooling mechanism further comprises a refrigeration mechanism configured to cool the refrigerated enclosure.

11. The apparatus as set forth in claim 10, wherein the refrigerated enclosure comprises a cold room disposed in a building structure.

12. A method for separating kief from cannabis plant feedstock, the method comprising the steps of:

a) placing cannabis plant feedstock into a rotatable drum;

b) rotating the drum so that kief separates from the cannabis plant feedstock when the drum is rotating;

c) cooling the cannabis plant feedstock and the kief; and

d) removing the kief separated from the cannabis plant feedstock from the drum.

13. The method as set forth in claim 12, wherein the rotatable drum is positioned in a refrigerated enclosure, and wherein a refrigeration mechanism cools the refrigerated enclosure, cannabis plant feedstock, and kief.

14. The method as set forth in any of claims 12-13 further comprising providing an apparatus, comprising:

a support frame, wherein the rotatable drum is rotatably attached to the support frame, the drum configured to rotate with respect to the support frame, the drum further comprising a closable opening configured for providing access to place the cannabis plant feedstock into the drum;

a motor comprising an output shaft operatively coupled to the drum, wherein operation of the motor causes rotation of the drum with respect to the support frame; and

a cooling mechanism configured to cool the cannabis plant feedstock during rotation of the drum.

15. The method as set forth in claim 14, wherein the drum comprises a substantially horizontal drum shaft, the drum shaft rotatably attached to the support frame, and wherein the apparatus further comprises a drive shaft operatively coupled to the drum shaft, wherein the output shaft of the motor is operatively coupled to the drive shaft.

16. The method as set forth in claim 15, wherein the apparatus further comprises a speed reducing mechanism disposed between the output shaft and the drive shaft.

17. The method as set forth in claim 16, wherein the speed reducing mechanism is selected from the group consisting of a belt and pulleys, a chain and sprockets, and inter-meshed gears.

18. The method as set forth in any of claims 14-17, wherein the motor comprises an electric motor.

19. The method as set forth in claim 18, further comprising an electric motor controller configured to control the electric motor.

20. The method as set forth in any of claims 14-17, wherein the motor comprises a hydraulic motor.

21. The method as set forth in claim 12, further comprising placing a container holding dry ice in the rotatable drum, wherein the dry ice cools the cannabis plant feedstock and kief in the drum as the dry ice evaporates.

Description:
ROTATING DRUM MACHINE AND METHOD FOR USING SAME

Cross-Reference to Related Applications

This application is based on and claims priority to U.S. Provisional

Application Serial No. 62/635,184 filed on February 26, 2018 which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

Background of the Invention

The present disclosure is related to the field of rotating drum machines, in particular, rotating drum machines for use in the separation of kief from cannabis plants.

Hashish, or hash, is an extracted product composed of compressed or purified preparations of stalked resin glands from the cannabis plant. It contains the same active ingredients as marijuana— such as tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”) and other cannabinoids— but often in higher concentrations than the unsifted buds or leaves from which the marijuana is made.

Hashish may be solid or resinous depending on the preparation; pressed hashish is usually solid, whereas water-purified hashish— often called "bubble melt hash"— is often a paste-like substance with varying hardness and pliability; its color, most commonly light to dark brown, can vary from transparent to yellow, tan, black or red. This all depends on the process and amount of solvent left over.

Hashish is made from cannabinoid-rich glandular hairs known as trichomes, as well as varying amounts of cannabis flower and leaf fragments. The flowers of a mature female plant contain the most trichomes, though trichomes are also found on other parts of the plant. Certain strains of cannabis are cultivated specifically for their ability to produce large amounts of trichomes. The resin reservoirs of the trichomes are separated from the plant through various methods.

Mechanical separation methods use physical action to remove the trichomes from the plant, such as sieving through a screen by hand or in motorized tumblers. This technique is known as "drysifting". The resulting powder, referred to as "kiefl or "drysift", is compressed with the aid of heat into blocks of hashish; if pure, the kief will become gooey and pliable. The problem with hand screens or known tumblers is that they are too small and inefficient for commercial volume production.

Ice-water separation is another mechanical method of isolating trichomes. The clarity of the final product determines quality of the final product. Ice -water separation is based on the principle that the resin glands of the cannabis plant are denser than water. Trichomes may break away from supporting stalks and leaves when plant material becomes brittle at low temperatures. After plant material has been agitated in an icy slush, separated trichomes are often dense enough to sink to the bottom of the ice -water mixture following agitation, while lighter pieces of leaves and stems tend to float.

The ice-water method requires ice, water, agitation, filtration bags with various-sized screens and plant material. With the ice-water extraction method, the resin becomes hard and brittle and can easily be separated. While this can allow large quantities of pure resins to be extracted in a very clean process without the use of solvents, the use of ice and water adds additional steps and complexity and with correspondingly more effort in the handling and disposal of the ice and water used in the process.

Chemical separation methods generally use a solvent such as ethanol, butane or hexane to dissolve the lipophilic desirable resin. Remaining plant materials are filtered out of the solution and sent to the compost. The solvent is then evaporated, or boiled off (purged) leaving behind the desirable resins in an oil form. The oil still contains waxes and essential oils that can be further purified by vacuum distillation. The product of chemical separations is more commonly an oil and not really hashish, as the latter name covers trichomes that are extracted by sieving where most of the glands are left intact.

It is, therefore, desirable to provide a machine for the production of kief that overcomes the shortcomings of the prior art.

Brief Summary of the Invention

An apparatus and method is provided for producing kief from cannabis plants. In some embodiments, the apparatus can comprise a drum that rotates about a horizontal axis. Cannabis plants can be placed inside and as the drum rotates, kief can separate from the cannabis plants. In some embodiments, a cooling mechanism can be used to cool the cannabis plants as the drum rotates to prevent the kief from overheating and sticking together, thereby reducing the effort from extracting the kief from the drum after being separated from the cannabis plants.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, an apparatus can be provided for separating kief from cannabis plants, the apparatus comprising: a support frame; a drum comprising a substantially horizontal drum shaft extending therethrough, the drum shaft rotatably attached to the support frame, the drum configured to rotate about the drum shaft within the support frame, the drum further comprising a closable opening configured for providing access to place cannabis plant feedstock into the drum; a drive shaft operatively coupled to the drum shaft; a motor comprising an output shaft operatively coupled to the drive shaft, wherein operation of the motor causes rotation of the drum within the support frame; and a cooling mechanism configured to cool the feedstock during rotation of the drum.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the apparatus can further comprise a speed reducing mechanism disposed between the output shaft and the drive shaft.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the speed reducing mechanism can comprise one or more of a group comprising of pulleys and belt, sprockets and chain and inter-meshed gears.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the motor can comprise an electric motor.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the apparatus can further comprise an electric motor controller configured to control the electric motor.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the motor can comprise a hydraulic motor.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the cooling mechanism can comprise a container further comprising dry ice, the container configured to be placed in the drum, the container further configured to cool the feedstock in the drum as the dry ice evaporates in the drum.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the apparatus can further comprise a refrigerated enclosure wherein the apparatus is disposed in the enclosure, and wherein the cooling mechanism further comprises a refrigeration mechanism configured to cool the refrigerated enclosure.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the refrigerated enclosure can comprise a cold room disposed in a building structure.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, a method can be provided for separating kief from cannabis plants, the method comprising the steps of: providing an apparatus, comprising: a support frame, a drum comprising a substantially horizontal drum shaft extending therethrough, the drum shaft rotatably attached to the support frame, the drum configured to rotate about the drum shaft within the support frame, the drum further comprising a closable opening configured for providing access to place cannabis plant feedstock into the drum, a drive shaft operatively coupled to the drum shaft, a motor comprising an output shaft operatively coupled to the drive shaft, wherein operation of the motor causes rotation of the drum within the support frame, and a cooling mechanism configured to cool the feedstock during rotation of the drum; placing cannabis feedstock into the drum; operating the motor thereby causing rotation of the drum, wherein kief is separated from the feedstock when the drum is rotating; cooling the feedstock; and removing the kief separated from the feedstock from the drum.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the method can further comprise the step of placing a container filled with dry ice into the drum, whereby the feedstock and the kief can be cooled as the dry ice evaporates.

Broadly stated, in some embodiments, the method can further comprise the step of placing the apparatus in a refrigerated enclosure wherein the cooling mechanism comprises a refrigeration mechanism configured to cool the refrigerated enclosure.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Figure 1 is a front elevation view depicting one embodiment of a rotating machine.

Figure 2 is a rear elevation view depicting the rotating machine of Figure 1.

Figure 3 is a top plan view depicting the rotating machine of Figure 1.

Figure 4 is a left side elevation view depicting the rotating machine of Figure 1.

Figure 5 is a right side elevation view depicting the rotating machine of Figure

1

Figure 6 is a front perspective view depicting the rotating machine of Figure 1. Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiment

Referring to Figures 1 to 6, one embodiment of rotating drum machine 10 is shown. In some embodiments, machine 10 can comprise drum 12 disposed in support frame 14. Drum 12 can further comprise substantially horizontal drum shaft 16 extending therethrough. Drum 12 includes a cylindrical side wall l2a and circular end walls l2b and l2c joined to flanges at opposite ends of side wall l2a with fasteners. End walls l2b and l2c may be removed from attachment to side wall l2a to access the interior of drum 12 through an opening at the end of side wall l2a and place cannabis feedstock within drum 12. Further, at least one of cylindrical side wall l2a and circular end walls l2b-c may include an opening (not shown) and a door (not shown) that is moveable between an open position allowing access to the interior of drum 12 through the opening and a closed position blocking the opening. Drum shaft 16 can be rotatably supported and attached to frame 14 by pillow block bearing 18 at one end thereof. The other end of drum shaft 16 can be operatively coupled to drive shaft 28 via shaft coupler 20. Drive shaft 28 can be rotatably supported and attached to frame 14 by pillow block bearings 18 disposed on platform 22, as shown in Figure 3. Drive shaft 28 can be operatively coupled to output shaft 33 and motor 36. Alternatively, drum shaft 16 may not extend all the way through drum 12 and shaft coupler 20 may be joined to the end of drum 12 opposite drive shaft 16, which is joined to the end of drum 12 opposite motor 36.

In some embodiments, machine 10 can comprise a speed reducing mechanism disposed between output shaft 33 and drive shaft 28. In some embodiments, the speed reducing mechanism can comprise of drive shaft 28 comprising pulley 30 attached thereto and operatively coupled to pulley 32 disposed on output shaft 33 by belt 34. In the illustrated embodiment, the speed reducing mechanism comprises a belt and pulley system although this system can be substituted by a sprocket and chain system, an inter-meshed gear system or any other speed reducing system as well known to those skilled in the art.

In the illustrated embodiment, motor 36 can comprise an electric motor, wherein machine 10 can further comprise motor controller 26 further configured to control the operation of motor 36. In some embodiments, motor controller 26 can be disposed on housing 24 further disposed on platform 22. In other embodiments, motor 36 can comprise a hydraulic motor powered by a supply of pressurized hydraulic fluid, and wherein motor controller 26 can be substituted with hydraulic motor control mechanism, as well known to used skilled in the art.

In operation, machine 10 can separate kief from cannabis plants placed inside of drum 12. After cannabis plants have been placed inside drum 12, motor 36 can be operated to rotate drum shaft 16 and, thus, drum 12. Cannabis plants in drum 12 will tumble therein causing kief to separate therefrom. In some embodiments, machine 10 can comprise a cooling mechanism to cool the cannabis plants and kief to keep the kief from heating up as a result of the cannabis plants being rotated within drum 12 and sticking together. In some

embodiments, the cooling mechanism can comprise a container 38 (Fig. 3) filled with dry ice that is placed inside drum 12 with the cannabis plants wherein the plants, and the kief separated therefrom, can be cooled when the dry ice evaporates. In other embodiments, machine 10 can be disposed in a refrigerated enclosure, such as a walk-in refrigeration unit 40 (Fig. 6) having a refrigeration mechanism 42, as well known to those skilled in the art, wherein the environment in which machine 10 operates in is cooled to a suitable temperature (e.g., a temperature ranging from -40 to 10 degrees Celsius, -30 to 5 degrees Celsius, or -20 to 0 degrees Celsius). In some embodiments, machine 10 can operate in a batch mode where an amount of cannabis plants can be placed inside drum 12 and when the kief separation process has been completed, drum 12 stops rotating so that the kief and remaining cannabis plant material can be removed.

In some embodiments, machine 10 can operate in a continuous feed mode, wherein cannabis plants can be continuously added to drum 12, and wherein kief can similarly be withdrawn.

Although a few embodiments have been shown and described, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made to these embodiments without changing or departing from their scope, intent or functionality. The terms and expressions used in the preceding specification have been used herein as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, it being recognized that the invention is defined and limited only by the claims that follow.




 
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