Updated: Aug 28
AUGUST, 28 2022
Preliminary results from study by Solvent Direct PhD Analytical Chemist, Dr. R indicates Methanol "is not necessary or sufficient to cause fast crash."
FAST CRASH RESEARCH UPDATE
By: PhD Analytical Chemist, Dr. R
First I want to thank the Team at Solvent Direct for proactively seeking me out and asking me to contribute my expertise to the Medusa Task Force. I have extensive experience in analytical chemistry, including analysis of LPG in the petroleum industry. I also have expertise in the exactraction of hemp, isolationon of CBD and analysis of cannabinoids.
I don’t have all of the test and measurement equipment in place that I would like and I am also constrained by limitations of the materials that I am allowed to handle in my lab. Nevertheless, I hope that I can positively contribute a little to helping to solve this problem. At this point, I wish to share some early findings and information.
I’ve gotten a few gas samples with the help of Solvent Direct. A couple of these were collected into 300 CC treated stainless steel cylinders. After dealing with shipping and other difficulties, I’m reevaluating whether the use of these type of sample containers is practical and we are looking at alternatives.
Nevertheless, these allowed some preliminary analyses to be made, results below.
Unfortunately, the sensitivity for measuring diethanolamine with my existing equipment is not where it needs to be. These gas samples could contain diethanolamine up to about 50 ppm and I wouldn’t be able to see it. One reason for this is that diethanolamine is a polar, sticky and is a heavy molecule. It is not very soluble in hydrocarbons, like butane, but it’s soluble enough to be present in ppm concentration levels.
The main interesting thing one might tentatively conclude from these results is that a gas can be spicy even if methanol is present at less than 1 ppm, but even if present at 3 ppm it is not necessarily going to be spicy. One might say that methanol is not necessary nor sufficient to cause fast crash.
My chemical intuition says that the presence of methanol is probably indicative of the presence of polar compounds in general but in and of itself is not a problem when present at ppm levels. Now, it’s difficult to make this statement with certainty given the low number of samples that I’ve analyzed. That’s why I say this is a tentative conclusion.
I can’t use THCA in my lab, but I was able to dissolve some CBDA into heptane and then add about 100 ppm of diethanolamine. CBDA began to drop out of solution as fine particles. This is probably not too surprising because diethanolamine as a base reacts with CBDA as an acid to make a salt, which would be less soluble in nonpolar solvents.
One can’t conclude much from this single experiment either, but it is consistent with the observations of Rami Rodriguez and Dukejohnson on Future4200.
I can’t do much more in my lab without improving diethanolamine detection limits, so that’s what we are working on in the near term. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments for me, please route these through Solvent Direct. Thanks, Dr. R
"Dr. R" is a PhD Analytical Chemist with extensive analytical, foods and beverages, petroleum and petrochemical experience who has been engaged by Solvent Direct to identify the cause and solution to the Medusa or Fast Crash condition. In the past couple of years, Dr. R has had funding to research hemp processing and extraction aimed at improving and ensuring consumer product safety.
CARBON CHEMISTRY CLEAN UP SOP
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CONTINUED FROM JUNE 2022
WHAT IS THE DEFECT BEING OBSERVED?
Butane, Propane and Isobutane used to make THCA Crystals (diamonds) are not behaving normally.
Abnormal bubble formation is seen from "pours" - more than usual.
Many small cubic faceted or rectangular bar shaped crystals may form instead of the typical triangular faceted crystals.
Upon sitting, crystals that had initially formed as clear crystals appear to degrade into a "chalk-like" appearance.
LEADING THEORIES ABOUT THE CAUSE?
Alcohol, Ethanol and/or Methanol contamination
Solvent impurities tied to benzene contamination
Ammonia or Amine interactions left over from the LPG sweetening/refining process
Biomass processing changes
WHY DO WE CARE?
MANUFACTURING EFFICIENCY AND SIX SIGMA OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY
Medusa reactions are causing significant disruptions to normal manufacturing SOP's for labs across the US. It appears all gas distributors have been impacted by the fast crash, and some more than others. Solvent Direct is committed to helping extractors find operational efficiency. Medusa reactions must be stopped by using the Six Sigma quality management system to prevent variability.
Extraction is similar to the world of craft beer and big beer in many ways. Craft brewers live with inconsistency, they make batch adjustments and accept some waste in order to meet the demands of their "craft" customers. Big brewers understand their process, they control ingredients and product quality up and down the distribution chain.
Six Sigma is a system of management using engineering and statistical techniques to reduce product defects and to "control" processes. It's called "Six Sigma" because a system described by a normal distribution will be error free 99.9997% of the time if it is operated within +/- 3 Sigma.
SIX SIGMA IN SIXTY SECONDS
Six Sigma relies heavily on defining specifications to meet customer needs, understanding critical factors for products, and use of statistical tools to analyze and maintain product and process consistency (quality).
Consistency demands understanding and attention to important details. Living in the world of the Wild West is fun and exciting, but it's not the world of delivering consistent products day in and day out.
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
SOLVENT DIRECT IS COMMITTED TO ENSURING SAFE AND CONSISTENT STANDARDS FOR EXTRACTION SUPPLY.
Solvent Direct is 100% committed to supporting our clients with the highest purity lab supply exclusively for extraction. We have formed the Medusa Task Force comprised of industry leaders, extraction experts, chemical engineers and other petroleum experts to further research these reactions. Our goal is to help extractors by creating solutions to the problem, identify the cause of the Medusa reactions, create a standard for future identification, and eliminate potential variability in the supply chain as quickly as possible.
Going back to the first reports of the Medusa reactions in 2021, our supply teams have been documenting incidents, traveling to labs, collecting samples, inspecting cylinders, and working closely with extractors, chemists, and petroleum engineers to identify a cause. While this research is still in progress, our team is actively seeking new incidents and we encourage clients and non-clients to reach out.
Solvent Direct was built from the ground up to help extractors and while some of our peers are quick to point the finger at alternative causes, we believe we owe it to our clients to get to the bottom of this problem so extractors can get back to operating at their highest, best and most profitable use of time.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
SOLVENT DIRECT WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU.
We are actively investigating all potential leads and seeking more information from extractors, petroleum experts, chemists, and nucleation experts with insight or expertise into these reactions. We are researching Medusa reactions in cylinders from many different distributors as well as tracing chains of custody and looking into the supply streams earlier in production with the scientific community. Please let us know if you are interested in contributing your time, samples, or money to our research
Additionally, our Team is traveling to labs impacted by medusa to collect samples, interviews, and data. If you are interested in allowing us to come in to your facility and analyze your process, please contact us to start a file.