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CO2 is nontoxic and is Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA for use in food products. Our bodies produce it when we breathe, and it is commonly used in carbonated beverages. With CO2 as a solvent for oil extraction, no toxins, heavy metals or hydrocarbon materials come in contact with the extracted oils. CO2 is “solvent free”. Other extraction solvents, such as hydrocarbon based propellants like propane and butane, hexane and pentane, or ethanol/alcohol mixtures require additional distillation or purging beyond the extraction process to separate the solvent from the extracted oil. CO2 has a very low boiling temperature and wants to be a gas a room temperature, thus it naturally separates from the extracted oil the same way a soda goes “flat”. The spent plant material is also free of residual solvents so it can be re-used as well. CO2 is non-flammable. Flammable solvents must be processed in a NEMA Class 1, Division 1, 2 or 3 (explosion proof) environment. CO2 is not flammable and does not require costly explosion proof facilities. CO2 is “cold” – Botanical oil extractions can be done at temperatures that are native to the botanical material, minimizing thermal degradation of the plant material and the extracted oil. CO2 is “tunable” – the solvency power of CO2 can be adjusted simply by increasing or decreasing pressures and/or temperatures. The ability of the CO2 to selectively extract affords the ability to create unique extractions that have varying levels of desirable oils and waxes (see below). Less desirable plant constituents, like chlorophyl, can also be “de-selected”. CO2 is inexpensive. CO2 is readily available and widely used throughout several industries. In addition, Apeks’ production CO2 oil extraction systems recirculate and subsequently recover 95% of the CO2 used in each extraction. CO2 is environmentally friendly. Industrial CO2 for extractions comes from byproducts – primarily hydrogen and ammonia manufacturing and fermentation for ethanol. CO2 used for extractions does not contribute to the overall atmospheric CO2 levels.