Buckminsterfullerene-olive oil production process
At the time of writing this first article (May 22, 2012), we are diligently working to get the lab capacity into place for the commercial-scale production of highly purified Buckminsterfullerene-in-oil solution. Just about an entire laboratory has to be outfitted in a suitable place.
For those interested in the process from raw “buckyballs” to Buckminsterfullerene in extra virgin olive oil, what follows is our method of producing it.
It starts by purchasing sublimated C60 – 99.97 to 99.99% pure. (We decided to do this to avoid the need to purchase a vacuum oven, which costs many thousands of dollars) The substance looks like a fine black powder.
UPDATE : We now purchase 99.5% pure and use our own vacuum oven to achieve 99.95%.
C60, along with many other fullerenes is produced in arc generators, using very pure Carbon electrodes. The resulting soot is dissolved in rather unhealthy solvents, and 1 to 3% of the solvent will be trapped in the crystal matrix. It is hard to ascertain the veracity of manufacturers’ claims on purity, and if they do not vacuum-oven dry the C60 first, our end product would have a substantial amount of carcinogenic solvent in it. That solvent is used during the liquid chromatographic separation process, where the C60 is separated from the other fullerenes, some of which are could be harmful to health, such as carbon nanotubes (single- and double-walled). There is clinical evidence from various animal trials that carbon nanotubes are not harmful to health, but we want to stay on the safe side so we will use pure C60 and no mixture of fullerenes. Because vacuum oven-dried pure C60 is much expensive than “ordinary” pure C60, the only economical way to produce C60 oil is to vacuum dry a “pure” C60 yourself. That way you will be 100% certain that the final product is bona-fide. We only purchase from reputable vendors in North America, since there are scammers selling C60 as well.
One of the reasons we wanted to avoid the use of a vacuum oven is because a temperature of 450 degrees Celcius (842 Fahrenheit) is required. Even a 2000 dollar vacuum oven only goes only to a little more than half that. Ovens that go substantially higher cost a fortune, in terms of electricity use as well. And even the smallest ones weigh around 300 lbs.
Then comes the mixing stage. C60 doesn’t dissolve in water at all, and it is only very poorly soluble in edible oils such as olive oil, the oil used in the original c60 rat study.
In the original study, the researchers allowed two weeks for the C60 to dissolve, and we will allow a similar time, using an array of magnetic stirrers.
Very important is the exact type and brand of olive oil used. Olive oil is adulterated worldwide, and what is generally sold in supermarkets as extra virgin, is no such thing – neither is it often truly pure olive oil at all, but instead cut with cheaper oils. Because we do not know whether (part of) the anti-aging effect is due to certain types of fatty acids in the olive oil used, we think it is of prime importance to stick to what the researchers used in their LD-50 study, that became the most exciting life-extension discovery so far. We source our olive oil from a delicatessen shop that carries Turkish extra virgin olive oil, similarly rich in long chain fatty acids to the Tunesian oil used in the study. It is irrelevant that the olive oil we use is of the most expensive kind, because only small quantities are used per bottle, and the cost of production plus the C60 itself is an order of magnitude greater than even the most exquisite extra virgin olive oil.
Seen the long mixing time, it is important to do it in a cool room. We are using hot-air sterilized brown glass bottles with a glass stopper. It is known from the study that the C60 acts as an extremely potent preservative, keeping the oil unoxidized for years. The glass bottles are sterilized in a hot air sterilizer, and the oil is, after centrifuging, filtered through a filter with a pore size of 0.22 μm, small enough to block all bacteria. We must use glass bottles, because the C60 is thought to react with the plastic, in addition to the fact the we do not want any volatile compounds such as phtalates in the plastics to end up in the oil. Our bottles are sterilized in a hot-air sterilizer that can take a few dozen bottles at a time.
The centrifuging stage at 5000 g is a very expensive production step, both in cost of the hardware as time involved. We will be using a Thermo IEC Centra GP8R, centrifuging 3 liters per batch, taking one hour or less, when centrifuged at 5000 g. (Image is of the centrifuge we have ordered and will receive in a few days). We paid 4000 dollars for this used machine. Centrifuging is the first step in assuring a product free from small particles. Vacuum filtration is the final step. Liquid handling during these stages is done by electric pipette fillers and Schilling burettes, by personell wearing mouth masks and gloves. Finally, the bottles are sealed with heat shrink band and stored in a fridge until they are sold.
We have produced our first test batch – they will now be submitted to various stages of third-party testing (such as microbiological contamination, heavy metal-, particle- and solvent content) before we start selling.
The purity is 99.95%:
Republishing this article is prohibited. Violations are subjected to a copyright license fee.