C1D1 Cannabis Extraction Labs
Extracts have become one of the most popular ways to consume Cannabis. By 2020, Cannabis concentrate sales had increased over 40%, and the shift to clean, more pure extracts has to continue to grow since. Cannabis concentrates have even sparked a new stoner holiday “710” (July 10th). This become the second 420 – giving cannabis users another day to celebrate the plant, specifically with these high potency extracts. This genre of extracts include shatter, wax, butter, THC diamonds, ice water hash and more. For more on these types of concentrates, check out our blog post on the different types of Cannabis Extracts.
Cannabis extraction is the process of separating desirable compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material. This separation is done using different types of solvents like butane, propane, ethanol (CDA 12 A), Co2, and even water (and yes water is a solvent). Obviously some of these methods are safer than others. Ice water extraction is performed with little more than ice, water and agitation. Some of the processes on the other hand pose a significant safety hazard if not performed under the proper conditions and parameters.
In order to perform these more volatile and potentially dangerous processes, it’s extremely important to make sure you are performing the process using safe equipment, proper SOPs (standard operating procedures) and containing the process in a properly built hazardous location. For processes using hydrocarbons (most commonly butane and propane) the labs must be built to Class 1 Division 1 (C1D1) code. For the less volatile solvents like ethanol extraction, labs can be built to Class 1 Division 2 (C1D2) code.
What is Class 1 Division 1?
Class 1 Division 1 is a type of hazardous workplaces. These hazardous locations have a possibility of fire or explosion under normal or abnormal conditions because of the presence of flammable, combustible or ignitable gases, vapors, liquids, dust, or fibers / flyings (Grainger).
The Class defines the type of explosive or ignitable substances that are present in the atmosphere. Class 1 locations consists of areas where gases, vapors or liquids may exist that have the potential to become flammable. Class 1 flammable gases and vapors are categorized into four groups – A, B, C, or D based on how easily the compounds can be ignited. In cannabis extraction, most of the solvents used in extraction and refinement fall into Group D. Group D contains butane, ethanol, hexane, methanol, and propane along with other solvents that are less common in cannabis extraction, but fall within the same hazardous group.
The Division refers to the likelihood of the hazardous material being present in an explosive or ignitable concentration. There are two different classifications for the Division – Division 1 and Division 2. Division 1 is classified as an area where the explosive or flammable gases, vapors or liquids can exist under normal, everyday operating conditions. Division 2 is classified as an area where the gases, vapor or liquids are not likely to exist during regular operation.
Division 1 substances are defined as “ignitable concentrations of hazards exist under normal operation conditions and/or where the hazard is caused by frequent maintenance or repair work or frequent equipment failure” Division 2 substances are defined as “Ignitable concentrations of hazards exist under abnormal operation conditions” (Akron Electric). Division 1 solvents are more likely to ignited under normal operations, and therefore have additional requirements to make sure the hazardous locations are monitored for safety.
What Makes a C1D1 / C1D2 Lab
C1D1 and C1D2 extraction labs contain equipment that provide safety to the operators within them and the spaces around them.
Extraction Lab – The first piece is the lab itself. These hazardous locations are essentially a containment of the processes and solvents. The labs are built out of steel that in the event of an accident, will contain the explosion and fire. Labs are most commonly constructed out of 18 or 20 gauge steel. The steel is pressed into interlocking panels, that can either be single wall, or 2 panels separated by insulation, commonly referred to as “sandwich panels”. The extraction labs also contain explosion proof components – these include explosion proof electrical outlets and explosion proof lighting.
Gas Monitors – C1D1 labs are outfitted with a gas monitor. These monitors are programmed to the specific solvent that will be used – like hydrocarbons or ethanol. These monitors read the amount of vapors in the room, making sure they never
exceed safe levels of exposure to the operator. There are safety measures connected to these monitors. If the levels reach the threshold, it will relay to the system and measures will be taken to return the room to a safe operating environment.
In some cases, the system may kick on explosion proof fans that will “purge” the room. Purging means that the room will be cleared of all the air in the room, sucking out the vapors with it, returning the room to a safe working environment. In other cases, it may shut down all of the power to the room to prevent the vapors in the room from igniting.
Ventilation – C1D1 extraction labs are required to “turn over” or replace a certain amount of air every hour. This exchange of air removes some of the heavier than air gases from the lab. These are continuously running fans that pull clean air into the room and exhaust the air inside the room. There are also emergency purge fans that will completely evacuate the air inside the room and replace it with clean air from outside the hazardous space.
Alarms – C1D1 and C1D2 extraction labs come outfit with alarms. These alarms include audio and visual alarms inside and outside of the room. In the event of an explosion, fire, or a mandatory purge from high level of vapors, the alarms will go off. The visual alarm is a strobe light, providing a visual warning either that the room is purging or shutting off power to the equipment that is running inside the lab. The audio alarms will also sound to make the operators aware of what is happening.
Additional Features – There are additional features for safety. Eye wash stations are a safety feature of the labs that help ensure the wellbeing of the operators. If there is ever a chemical spill, this allows the processors to quickly wash any solvent that may have gotten in their eyes. C1D1 labs can also include additional exit doors for safety and better process flow as cannabis extracts make their way through the extraction and refinement processes.
H&H Extraction Solutions provides a variety of C1D1 and C1D1 extraction labs. We manufacture both modular C1D1 Extraction Booths and Containerized Extraction Labs. Both of these labs have their benefits. If extractors are looking to build a C1D1 into an existing building, a modular booth is typically their best option. This option can provide more space and are generally more affordable. Containerized C1D1 extraction labs are great for processors who either do not have space in an existing building, or are looking to put a lab outdoors. These labs come fully engineered and peer reviewed, and are ready to operate once being tied into power, water and sewer.
Contact us today to find out more about H&H’s C1D1 and C1D2 solutions for your cannabis extraction business.