First and foremost, all compliant cannabis extraction must take place in a properly classified environment. Arguments can be made that the nature of extraction falls under C1D2 guidelines, but for safety’s sake and industry standard practices, C1D1 is the universally accepted classification.
C1D1 is the acronym used to refer to a Class 1 Division 1 environment. As defined by NFPA 70 (National fire code), a Class 1 Division 1 environment is required in any location where:
- An ignitable concentration of flammable gas or vapor can exist under normal operating conditions.
- An ignitable concentration of flammable gas or vapor can exist frequently because of repair or maintenance operations or because of leakage.
- Breakdown or faulty operation of equipment or processes might release an ignitable concentration of flammable gas or vapor and might also cause simultaneous failure of electrical equipment in such a way as to directly cause the electrical equipment to become a source of ignition.
An environment must adhere to strict national fire code guidelines to be classified as C1D1 compliant.
Vent the Area
The first order of business is an exhaust system to dilute the concentration of flammable gases to a non-explosive level should they become uncontainable. A minimum air exchange rate of 1 cfm/ft^2, (though double that is preferred) is the go-to specification in this scenario. We prefer to interlock the exhaust system with flammable gas detection equipment in our designs. This allows us to run a safe, static exhaust rate during baseline readings as well as the ability to instantly increase ventilation if flammable concentration levels are reached. This allows us to limit the first factor in an explosive situation.
Use Proper Equipment and Electrical
The next component of a safe lab is compliant equipment. All electrical connections and components housed or used within the C1D1 environment must be classified for use in said environment. This includes lights, security cameras, gas detection equipment, electrical plugs, gas compressors, etc. These items are often overlooked and are crucial to ensuring a safe operation of your extraction lab. By utilizing such equipment, we are now controlling the third factor in an explosive situation — ignition.
There are several other factors to consider when designing a complaint extraction environment. For the sake of this article, we have only scratched the surface.
Precision Extraction prides itself on being an end-to-end solutions provider, and we offer not only C1D1 compliant extraction and post processing equipment but also C1D1 prefabricated rooms and cannabis lab and facility planning services. See below for Precision equipment and service offerings for extracting with butane safely.