Welcome to the World of Fraction Finding
Beginner Level Syllabus
- What is In-Situ Fluorescence Spectroscopy for In-Line Process Monitoring?
- Wavelengths vs Waveforms
- Basics of the Fraction Finder
- Fraction Finder – Ethanol Extraction Explainer Video
- Fraction Finder – Short Path Distillation Explainer Video
- Fraction Finder – Wiped Film Evaporation Explainer Video
- Traditional Method vs Fraction Finder Method
- Challenges with typical fraction finding techniques
- What about color changes to determine fractions?
What is In-Situ Fluorescence Spectroscopy for In-Line Process Monitoring?
In-Situ: This means in place or during a process.
Fluorescence: Light radiation emitted by certain substances as a result of being exposed to a shorter wavelength such as ultraviolet light
Spectroscopy (absorption vs fluorescence): The Fraction Finder and HPLC systems both use spectroscopic analysis to identify chemicals. However, the type of spectroscopy detection method and wavelength regime are different. The Fraction Finder uses fluorescence, whereas HPLCs for cannabinoid detection utilize absorption. Both systems utilize UV (Ultra violet); however, the Fraction Finder operates in the near uv, whereas hplc operates in deep UV.
In-Line Process Monitoring: This is exactly what it sounds like – scanning and tracking what is occuring in the system while the system is operating; in this case, it is fluorescence produced by botanical extracts
Wavelengths vs Waveforms
Wavelengths are signals that respond to and measure fluorescence. The unit for measuring wavelengths is Nanometers (nm). Different molecules have different fluorescence signals which act as basically molecular signatures. For example, THC fluoresces at 460 nm, whereas Chlorophyll fluoresces at 680 nm. Waveforms are different than wavelengths. Waveforms refers to the shape of the wavelength signal. Molecules have different waveforms. Visit our Fraction Finder Chemical Cheat Sheet to see examples.
The first & only real-time molecule monitoring system for botanical processing.
In basic terms, how does the Fraction Finder work and what it is?
Different molecules respond to fluorescent light different. The way that an extract responds tells you what it is.
Basics of the Fraction Finder
1. Optical Sensor (contains a UV detector)
2. Digital Display (contains a Compute Module)
3. Light-Blocking Tape (blocks ambient light from the sensor)
4. Adapter (if necessary, adapts the sensor to unusual equipment)
Fraction Finder for Ethanol Extraction Explainer Video
Fraction Finder for Short Path Distillation Explainer Video
Fraction Finder for Wiped Film Evaporation Explainer Video
Traditional Method vs Fraction Finder Method
Refinement departments refine extracted plant material into more concentrated products. The potency and yield outcome of the process is based heavily on the operator’s timing in separating molecular compounds. We define the two methods for short-path distillation as the Traditional Method and the Fraction Finder Assist Method. We define the Traditional Method as using temperature, vacuum, flow, and color changes to determine fraction changes. We define the Fraction Finder Assist Method as referencing the same process controls but in combination with a real-time molecule monitor that directly analyzes the distillation and indicates fraction changes to the operator.
Challenges with Typical Fraction Finding Techniques
One challenge with using the eye to determine fractions is that no two strains are exactly alike. Two adjacent runs may contain slightly different strains or impurities that may change the color. So it could be that observing a particular color on Run A indicated it was time to switch flasks. However, on Run B it may not be the case. Impurities may cause that color to come up before the fraction is ready, or perhaps after. In either case, you end up with a non-optimal result. So how do you avoid human error? The FRACTION FINDER solves that problem by showing you which fraction is being passed so you know the precise, most optimal time to switch flasks.
What about color changes to determine fractions?
Colorimetry is the science and technology used to detect color as perceived by humans. This technology is less subjective than the human eye, however, it relies on the same phenomenon as our technician’s eye – using color to determine fractions. This can and has worked well, however, there are other ways that are less prone to impurities and strains variety. Additionally, the FRACTION FINDER sensor can detect fractions at a much lower concentration than the human eye, while eliminating the manual task of eyeballing fraction changes.