Balance Enclosure for Marijuana Preparation and Research

Thursday September 06 2018

A balance enclosure is a laboratory component designed to isolate a sample in a safe environment during one or more stages of processing. They are typically comprised of a glass or acrylic structure reinforced within a sturdy yet lightweight aluminum frame, with a variable speed blower providing adjustable air flows within the work environment. Balance enclosures enable analysts to handle samples via an easily-accessible hinged panel.

This apparatus is ideal for measuring cannabinoid derivatives that have been prepared using preparatory solvents such as butane. These solvents can be harmful to laboratory personnel responsible for measuring active marijuana constituents such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Fumes and particulates must, therefore, be extracted to reduce the risk of solvent ingestion and combustion. However, the extractive air flow must be considerate of the granulated and lightweight nature of the analyte to reduce its impact on measurement sensitivity.

Balance enclosures for marijuana preparation and research must, therefore, be constructed to efficiently extract fumes and particulates from the air to protect laboratory personnel and support accurate marijuana measurements.

Airfiltronix Balance Enclosures from Glas-Col

Airfiltronix, a division of Glas-Col, supplies a range of balance enclosures equipped with an exhaustive filtration unit. This ductless fume hood eliminates the need for installing costly ventilation systems, allowing facilities to improve the accuracy and safety of marijuana weighing and processing.

The BE-1 Ductless Fume Hood is a robust balance enclosure designed for research applications with distinct benefits for containing powders and granulated media during weighing. It is equipped with a variable speed blower that enables continuous adjustment of the air flow and face velocity within the chamber. Air flow options range from 131 – 480 cubic feet per minute (CFM) depending on the material of the filter. With a HEPA filter and a 2” carbon filter installed, maximum air flow options range to 114 cubic feet per minute (CFM). The optimal blower speed is set at approximately 75 linear feet per minute (LFPM), although the air flow speed can be increased while the front panel is open.

Powders and gross particulates with particle geometries as small as 0.3 microns can be filtered from the balance enclosure with an efficiency of up to 99.99%, reducing the risk of employees ingesting airborne materials with residual solvent contents. Organic vapors can also be successfully extracted from the enclosure.

Cannabinoid measurement is routinely carried out in a balance enclosure equipped with an activated charcoal filter and a HEPA filter, which can capture volatile compounds from the air in the chamber. The FR-4 Activated Charcoal filter, for example, is effective at adsorbing a range of organic vapors and can absorb as much as 50% of its own weight, enabling long-lasting service for high-throughput laboratories and commercial applications.

This balance enclosure can provide a cost-effective solution to the safety challenges of modern marijuana measurements.

Glas-Col Balance Enclosures

At Glas-Col, we engineer and supply a broad range of laboratory instrumentation designed to enhance the analytical capabilities of numerous sectors. Our equipment is suitable for high-sensitivity marijuana extraction and processing for research or medicinal purposes.

For more information on marijuana processing with Glas-Col, read about our Laboratory Products for Cannabis Extraction or The Benefits of Short Path Distillation. Or, if you would like more information about our balance enclosures, simply contact us.