Open-loop and closed-loop extraction are two popular methods for extracting a desired substance from a material. Open-loop extraction refers to the process of removing a substance from a material in an unsealed system that has an open-ended tube. Closed-loop extraction, on the other hand, described a process that involves extracting a material using a system that is completely closed off to the outside environment. To determine which method suits your application best, you should understand the key differences between open-loop and closed-loop extraction.
Safety of Operation
One of the most notable differences between open-loop and closed-loop extraction is the safety of each process. In short, open-loop extraction poses far more safety risks than closed-loop extraction. The increased danger of open-loop extraction pertains to the fact that the process takes place in an unsealed system.
Because the extraction equipment has an open-ended tube, gases can escape during the process and increase the risk of harmful exposure or even explosions. Closed-loop extraction, however, takes place in a system that seals off the air, eliminating the potential for dangerous gases and flammable solvents to escape.
Quality of Final Product
Another key difference between open-loop and closed-loop extraction is the quality of the final product. During open-loop extraction, the final concentrate comes into contact with the solvent. As a result of this exposure, the extracted material decreases in purity. During the process of closed-loop extraction, the solvent and final product never come into contact, which means the resulting extract will turn out cleaner and have a higher quality.
The efficiency of each process further differentiates them from one another. Ultimately, closed-loop extraction is more efficient from both a time and cost standpoint than open-loop extraction.
In terms of time, closed-loop extraction occurs under greater pressure and allows for higher temperatures, which means you can complete the process more quickly. In addition, because closed-loop extraction takes place in a closed system, you can reuse the chemical solvents involved in the process, ultimately saving you resources and money.