Passive vs. Active Solvent Recovery: What’s the Difference?

Passive vs. Active Solvent Recovery: What’s the Difference?

There are two primary methods for solvent recovery: passive and active. They have similar approaches to recovery, but the core differences between passive and active solvent recovery can make a significant difference in the process. Here, we discuss these differences and why choosing the correct method is essential.

The Differences

Both recovery processes obtain butane via extraction, but the method of butane retrieval is different for each recovery process. Passive recovery uses a combination of cooling and heating to condense and evaporate the butane extract and detach it from the medium. In comparison, active recovery requires the use of gas compressors, which can assist in transferring the gaseous solvents.

Pros of Passive Solvent Recovery

The pros of passive recovery include low startup costs and user-friendliness. Compared to the active recovery process, passive recovery is an excellent option for beginner operators who have tight budgets and are still learning. Using passive recovery is a good way to get your business running, and the process requires less maintenance over time.

Cons of Passive Solvent Recovery

A con to consider with passive recovery methods is the manual labor they require. The transportation of supplies—specifically dry ice—can be strenuous. Furthermore, temperature and pressure are the driving forces of the machine; these two parameters need close monitoring.

Pros of Active Solvent Recovery

All things considered, there are also pros to the active solvent recovery process. One is efficiency, and the other is how scalable the method is. This recovery process is more efficient in recovering the butane, one of the most significant differences between passive and active solvent recovery. It can recover large amounts with ease compared to passive recovery.

Additionally, this efficiency enables a scalable operation to take place. For those looking to grow their operations in the future, investing in active solvent recovery pumps can benefit their businesses long term.

Cons of Active Solvent Recovery

Compared to the low initial costs of a passive system, an active system requires more funds initially. Depending on your operation’s budget and goals, this is something considerable to think about. Active recovery systems may also require increased repairs, but periodic maintenance can improve the reliability and life span of the equipment.

To learn more about solvent recovery and the best system for your operation, reach out to Beaker & Wrench today. We offer certified GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) through all our equipment and services.

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