Off-gassing hood facilities are among the newer product lines and services HAL Extraction is now offering to customers looking for safer plant oil extraction processes in the cannabis industry.
The Colorado-based company, founded in April 2016, has expanded its product lines and product modifications which, as well as the off-gassing offering, also include approved glass panels for the original Extraction Booth products, improved fan systems, booth height extension configurations, and dual sensor control abilities.
Driving the company in all its product upgrades is the same motivation founder and CEO, Linn Havelick CIH, had when first launching the original product lines. His goal is to vastly improve and engineer compliant solutions to significantly reduce the risks of catastrophic fires and explosions caused using flammable materials such as butane, propane, or ethanol in extracting oils from the cannabis plant.
“I started HAL Extraction to keep people safer in the Extraction workplace, because they were blowing themselves up,” as he succinctly says.
The off-gassing units, which can fit with all Extraction Booth models and retail at approximately $20,000, comes into play when spent plant material, still wet with solvent from the Extraction Booth process, continues to slowly release these solvents.
“The Extraction Booth systems works very well to capture and remove those airborne flammable solvents,” Havelick stressed. “However, the spent plant material was piling up in valuable workspace within the booth while waiting to dry – or degas.”
As a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) Linn has years of experience in process chemistry, laboratory, and hazardous materials work, as well as formerly being the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at the Colorado School of Mines. Havelick and the company went to work to create and improve the degassing issues facilities face today. So, the Degassing Cabinet was born with the additional benefits of improving available space for the original primary extraction process and keeping the airflow at a more comfortable level for the operator.
“The Degassing Cabinet was developed to provide space for the spent feed while the solvent evaporated and to control hazards during that part of the process,” Havelick explained. “This allows customers to make full use of the space within their Extraction Booths.”
The Degassing Cabinet originates from the same principles all of HAL’s products do, namely a high-quality blend of engineering and compliance combined with utility and ease of use.
Like the original Extraction Booth, the Degassing Cabinet is installed as a building component and contains electrical equipment. HAL Extraction works with product safety leaders Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to ensure its equipment meets every applicable standard and offer the safest products on the market. In addition, Havelick sits on the UL board and has worked closely with the body from day one. In 2018 HAL’s Extraction Booth was the first to receive a UL listing. HAL Extraction remains the only one in the industry to hold this certification to date.
“No competitors have yet been able to meet these stringent safety standards while we have released the second and third generations of our patented technology,” Havelick said.
Similar protocols are followed with the Degassing Cabinet, giving HAL another major step-up on any competition it may face.
Saving Costs Both in the Long Run and Short-Term
The Degassing Cabinet will both reduce any residual risk of possible explosive incident from the drying of spent material, therefore vastly reducing or eliminating any costs associated with such an event, as well as improve process efficiencies, again helping lower the cost burden.
Such cost reductions mirror those offered by the Extraction Booth itself.
Internal data from the company proves customers using their own wasted air-conditioned processes, without the proper design and patented technology offered by HAL, can spend an additional $25,000 to $50,000 a year on cost of operations. With the retail cost of the Extraction Booth starting at approximately $40,000, the savings make it almost a free purchase with additional savings over the life of the operation.
HAL Extraction’s patented AMAV (Active Monitoring + Adaptive Ventilation) technology combined with a patent-pending design called DVAC (Distributed Vapor Airflow Capture) and another patent-pending “Focused Flow” process, can result in a total of 83% savings of wasted conditioned air.
While the largest cost to processors is the raw plant material – outside of a HAL customer’s control – the HVAC spend can often be the largest controllable operational cost. Company data suggests HVAC costs in the New England region can total between $100 and $120 for a typical shift to meet safety codes but are significantly reduced to just $18-$20 using the AMAV and DVAC technology offered by HAL. They have shown specific numbers and calculated savings on a State-by-State basis.
Cost savings across the patented HAL product lines prove the necessity for operators to make the necessary investments from the outset. Such an approach can also save a lot of the headaches caused when would-be customers decide to do a Design/Build, as well as the potential costs of not getting it right or approved.
“Savvy customers know it is the right investment,” said Josh Gladfelter, Chief Engineer for HAL Extraction. “Others think it is easier to do it themselves and then they find they spend more money on engineers and consultants trying to find out how to build a similar product; we have the safety data and technology and know what to do with it, as is shown in the hundreds of Extraction Booths sold and approved for operation to date.”
Ease of Use, Leading the Way
A newly released modification to the original HAL Extraction Booth is the availability of glass panels to replace some existing wall panels, making the workspace more comfortable. The use of such panels fits in with the company’s principle of ease of use, exemplified by such functionality as human interaction with sensor products. Former HAL outside sales executive, Xavier Jaillet, described in a recent Cannacurio podcast as being able to “kind of talk to the sensors if you will. HAL’s continues to make changes enhancing the ease of use when it comes to our products,” he added.
The tempered glass panels, manufactured to meet National Fire Protection Authority (NFPA) standards, allow for visibility both from inside and outside the booth and can bring in natural light, certainly allowing for a more comfortable working environment for operators. HAL is the only company to offer this product improvement for their clients.
HAL Extraction’s newly released product lines include a height extension configuration for all HAL Extraction booths. “This functionality is simple to add and allows for even greater flexibility for growing companies attempting to maximize production”, explained Gladfelter.
“This upgrade extends the booth height to accommodate large extraction equipment and tall loading clearances,” Gladfelter states. “A secondary frame supports the upper panel assembly and can easily be added to existing booths.”
Dual gas sensors are now available, allowing for one sensor to independently monitor multiple solvents at the same time. Previously, customers might have had to use different sensors to monitor different gases because different calibration points were needed for each gas. Such sensors need to be integrated to the Control Panel for proper operation. HAL is the only company to provide such Control Panels.
“The Dual Gas Sensing will elevate the ventilation rates to purge the room if either gas has reached a hazardous level,” said Gladfelter.
Finally, the Extraction Booth can be ordered with a configuration that has a secondary set of fans as a back-up to provide companies guaranteeing continuous use operations, or for higher ventilation rates based on operational protocols.
The continuing drive towards perfecting an already industry leading product range will always be a major pillar of HAL’s company ethos.
“We are the first, the best, and intend to stay in front while continuing to set the standards for the industry,” Havelick concludes.