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Butane can be used to extract certain organic compounds from plant materials. Some of the organic materials that be can extracted are capsaicin, Sassafras oil, THC and some of the aromatic compounds in other spices. Normally when people perform a butane extraction, they allow the butane to evaporate off into the atmosphere. This can not only be dangerous, but it is also somewhat wasteful. It is especially wasteful when one can easily recycle the butane to extract even more of the organic compounds that are still left in the plant material, or use it later.

By connecting two plastic pop bottles together with tubing you can filter the butane off of your material, taking the organic compounds with. You can then distill it back into the bottle with the plant material and repeat the process. Distillation is done in a very short time by putting the bottle with the butane in hot water. Upon the butane distillation, it will leave the organic materials behind.

This device could be compared to a Soxhlet extractor, although this device does not run continuous. I think could be more convenient since it can be reloaded more easily, and can be made for pennies. The ability for this to be reloaded easily allows you to extract from as much material as you want with out losing a significant amount of butane.

Materials needed

- 2 pop bottles - ideally 12 to 16 ounces. I am sure these sizes are completely safe, I’ve never tested anything bigger. - Tubing - Aquarium tubing works great and can be found at pet stores and farmer markets. - Pens - the tips of these are needed to help create the seal in between the tubing and the lids. - Cotton ball - This is gently shoved at the neck of the pop bottle to filter out small unwanted particles.


1. Drill a hole in each lid of the pop bottles. Make sure the hole is just barely big enough for the tubing to fit tightly in. Cutting the tube on a steep angle makes it much easier to get through the hole.

2. Take the off the end of the pen that writes off of the tube. After taking out the ink cartridge, connect the tubing to the tapered end of that section of the pen. Attempt to pull this through the hole. This will press the tube against the lid, and seal it. Do this with the other lid as well.

3. Once you have the lids set up, fill one of the pop bottles with the material that you plan to extract, and put a cotton ball gently in the neck of the bottle.

4. Fill it full of butane and screw on the lid. Allow the butane gas to fill the other bottle, and to get back up to room temperature. The plant material is now soaked in butane, and it is dissolving the organic compounds.

5. Turn the bottle with the butane and plant material upside down, and place it above the empty bottle. Placing a Hot towel on the top bottle will help speed up draining the butane into the empty bottle.

6. Once the butane is completely drained into the other bottle, sit the bottle with the plant material by, or below the bottle with the butane in it. Place the bottle of butane into hot water, and wait for it to distill back into the other bottle. If you do not want to perform the extraction on the same material again, you can pinch off the end of the tubing. Open up the bottle and empty it of the waste material and refill it, or empty it completely, and just distill your butane back into it to use for another time.

I have done this several times, and it works pretty well! The worst part is taking out the plant material IFF you use large chunks. This problem is easy to over come though, and you should be using material that is in small pieces to begin with when doing extractions!

Other solvents that do not dissolve the plastics used may work as well, but temperatures and pressures would very making it potentially dangerous.

Here I have attached a few pictures of how to connect the pen tip, the tube, and the lid together. I also have a picture were it is complete with a cotton ball for filtering inside. For the picture, I used a 2 Liter Mountain Dew bottle. If I were to preform an extraction, I would use a sprite, or coke bottle 12 to 16 ounces. The reasons are they clear and so you can see what is going on more easily, and they are significantly stronger.

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