17.8 More goodies from Sam

Hi guys,

I have the following liquidation units for sale.

#1) A never-used industrial-scale packaging solution that includes the following turnkey setups:

- A Dried Flower setup capable of processing up to 6,000 units per hour (100 units per minute)
- A Oil Fill setup capable of processing up to 4,500 units per hour (75 units per minute)
- A Finishing setup capable of cartoning up to 3,600 units per hour (60 units per minute)
- A Tax Stamp Machine capable of stamping up to 7,200 units per hour (120 units per minute)

The liquidation price of the equipment is $1,256,905, which is 50% Off.

#2) A CO2 Skid by Vitalis that includes the following:

- Q90S: CO2 Extractor Skid with 90L capacity (used only for 120 hours)
- Chiller, pumps and all other ancillary equipment for biomass extraction.Remote installation and trainin
- The unit is EU-GMP Compliant.

The price of the equipment is $286,000, which is 50% Off the invoiced price of the equipment.

#3) A 2-stage Wipe Film Evaporator and Short Path Distillation Skid by Sciphy (Capacity 10 liters per hour). Comes with chillers, pumps and other ancillary equipment. Original price was $400K. Being sold for about $200K.

Contact me for any details at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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16.2.7 Field testing the Medxtract Essential

Sometimes good thangs come in twos and this was one of those occasions, cause shortly after publishing my results from testing Extract Crafts EtOH Pro, MedXtract in Canada, offered us their competing Essential vacuum recovery system under the same offer, to run like I stole it and just send back the shards when I’m through. 

Hard to pass up such a good offer, even though I had already extracted all of my cannabis backlog this year, so I extracted Rosemary instead, and tried out the heated vacuum purge chamber feature using some concentrate that I recovered from my biannual dab pipe cleaning and haven’t figured out what to do with yet.

My EtOH Pro article created a stir in some circles where LPG concentrate is the preferred product, so let’s separate that debate as a different issue. 

Those of ya’ll whose primary interest is dabbing concentrates will get the most bang for your buck with concentrates extracted using nonpolar, lower boiling point LPG extraction below -50C techniques, so as to preserve the maximum monoterpenes.  Extracting “Live Resin” will ostensibly maximize the aromatics and flavor.

Neither the EtOH Pro nor the MedXtract Essential are suitable for LPG extraction, though they can both be used to refine LPG extracts using processes like winterization.

Ethanol extraction however encompasses effective dab-able concentrates, and is the method used to produce a large number of carts, where the terpenes are added back post extraction, in addition to numerous other applications, including medical, so it is a viable process in the cannabis industry and ethanol processing equipment should be looked at from that more global perspective.

One plus factor here locally, is that ethanol extraction is still legal, where it is now a Class B felony to extract using LPG outside a licensed and permitted facility.  That is a plus to us brothers and sisters avoiding jail and property seizure.

My testing was oriented toward answering function and utility at the margin questions.

Does the unit perform as claimed by the manufacturer?

How many functions might it serve in the average home?

Is there an advantage to this over a simple countertop still like the Megahome still or a simple DIY pot still?”    

Is this a unit that would support my needs when I’m serving as my own resource for meds?

What other functions might it serve?

The MedXtract Essential is made in Canada and slow Customs can sometimes be an issue with imports, but my test unit arrived in good condition within a few days without issue.

 

What cha get

Some assembly required but the two Allen wrenches needed are supplied.  Everything went smoothly except inserting the four tubes inside the collection jars.  That went well after I shortened them slightly and chamfered the tube end with sandpaper, as per the installation manual and furnished my own pocketknife and sand paper. 

Here is the unit fully assembled, including the Buchner funnel lid feature:

 

Fully assembled and itching to strut

The tests:

1.0  The first I ran was recovery efficiency. I decanted 1500 mL of 190 proof into a recovery jar, marked the meniscus level with a sharpy at exactly at the top of the graduated mark, and then poured that into the boiler.

I set the digital temperature controller on the boiler to 70C and set the dead band to +/- 1C.  After it stabilized, it ran from 68C to 72C.

 

Low when set at 70C

 

High when set at 70C

     After pushing the start button to turn it on, I started the vacuum pump and condenser fans. 

     I then pressed on the boiler lid until the gauge started to move and backed off and observed the level of alcohol in the boiler through the window and shut down the process when the last drop evaporated.

     I then backfilled the boiler using the brass ¼” flare fitting cap in the lid, which also served to blow down the condensers and empty their contents into the collection jar.

     To insure that the condenser was fully purged, I restarted the pump and used a towel to press the hot lid tight enough to initiate a vacuum seal and let it build to around 5” before shutting off the pump and fan again and back filling.. 

     Recovery efficiency was high as demonstrated by the following before and after pictures.  Recovering 1500 mL at 70C took 38 minutes.

 

Starting level with meniscus at top of 1500 mL line

 

Almost indiscernible level change after recovery

2.0 The next five runs I made starting with 1.75L of 80 proof Hood River Vodka, which I turned into about 700 mL of 188 proof in five runs.  80 proof is available in most locations that 190 proof is not, so the Essential could be used to             concentrate Ethanol for extraction.

An experiment not run with either machine, but which ostensibly would work, is producing your own alcohol from mash.  Last time I did a cost analysis, it costs about $8/L to produce.

3.0  As I was already set up for alcohol concentration, I concentrated two bottles of bargain Pinot Grigio into about 200 mL of tasty Brandy. 

Here is a handy boiling point calculator that I found at: https://www.omnicalculator.com/chemistry/boiling-point  ,

Using it I came up with a 51.70C boiling point under 9.92” Hg atmospheric pressure (-20” Hg), so started the boiler at 52C and evacuated it to under 20” Hg vacuum.  Once below -20” Hg, I started bumping up the temperature until              it reached a light boil around 55C.  Yield was about ~ 200 mL of a fragrant and tasty 130 proof Brandy.

4.0  As I wasn’t impressed with my previous experiment turning a long case of 5% beer into White Lightening, I decided to skip that one this time and move right on to the Rosemary extraction experiment.

5.0  Alas, I extracted all my cannabis material conducting the EtOH Pro test, so I ran this test extracting Rosemary, which grows profusely in our front garden. 

Unlike Cannabis, Rosemary’s goodness lies within her plant cells as opposed to being in surface trichomes, so I blended a half gallon of Rosemary leaves stripped from the stems in 190 proof Ethanol and strained the slurry through a 10 mesh pasta strainer to remove the bulk of the solids.

I had previously assembled the Buchner funnel by installing the four ¼ /20 studs that attach it to the lid itself, so I assembled the filter stack resting one of the #4 lab filters provided on the perforated plate and covered it with the woven stainless cloth screen. 

That was held in place by a gasket, on which the lid rested after removing the standard lid gasket, and the lid was held in place by four knurled brass nuts.

 

Buchner Filter Lid assembly

The Buchner lid assembly then sits on top of the boiling pot and the solution to be filtered is drawn through the filter assembly using system vacuum and a siphon hose.

 

Buchner Funnel Lid assembly with siphon tube drawing in solution to be filtered.

I then recovered the alcohol from the system and filtered it again through a coffee filter to product the following Rosemary essential oil extract.

 

Rosemary Essential Oil

6.0  The last test I ran was using the boiling tank as a heated vacuum purge chamber, using the silicone rubber pot liner and raw parchment paper to produce a shatter.

Alas the only suitable material that I had to use was some heavy dark red tincture from cleaning my dab pipe, which I ran as is without first removing the bulk of the alcohol.  I made a parchment liner for the silicone rubber pot liner and poured the roily tincture directly into the parchment.

To achieve a deeper vacuum, I hooked one of my own vacuum pumps to the auxillary pump port for this process and was able to achieve -30” Hg on the pot gauge.

 

Parchment liner in silicone rubber container

 

Winterized and filtered reclaim tincture from dab pipe

 

The Mess

In retrospect, it was a mistake starting with that much alcohol present and the resulting bumping made a mess of the inside of the boiling pot, but it worked to adequately purge the balance of the alcohol and left behind fully a purged concentrate.

Because it was already decarboxylated and much of it was CBN, I had to place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to solidify it up enough to flake off the parchment into jars.  After warming back up it produced a stiff pull and snap material solid enough to stand the dab tube upright in or suspend the dab jar as pictured.


 

Stiff pull and snap fully purged reclaim suspended by dab tool

Equipment cleanup for return was easy and involved recovering some more alcohol and wiping down all the easily cleaned stainless surfaces, which I did three times to make sure because of crossing both state and international borders.

Additional features not tested:

The MedXtract Essential kit comes with a timer and an adapter allowing both the boiler and the condensing console to plug into it. 

The intent is to provide a shutoff in leu of the operator’s close observation, so as to prevent the boiler running dry and overheating the essential oil.

Unfortunately I didn’t know the times of any of my experiments, so didn’t test that feature. 

What now?

Hee, hee, hee, testing these two vacuum stills has stirred my interest into other applications in the culinary arts and I’ve charmed a retired Le Cordon Bleu graduate to work with me developing applications as soon as his Covid shots and waiting period are over.

 

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4.6.7.3 CO2 for cheap, beer for free by D Gold

FREE BEER!?!?!!!

 

Yep.  If you add up all the costs of the ingredients for making a batch of great home brewed craft beer in the most economical manner possible, the value of the CO2 produced by fermentation can be about equal to the cost of the beer {sans labor, of course), if you happen to have a high-tech grow room or greenhouse with a co2 sensor system.

 

So if you have a grow room or greenhouse that uses co2 tanks to enhance the growing atmosphere, measures and enhances the co2 in the air with a sniffer / sensor rig, and are paying about $35 or $40 or more for a 20 lb tank refill, co2 is costing about two bucks a pound.  If you harvest and propagate your own yeast, and full-grain  brew from good domestic malt, a five gallon batch of fine home brew can cost about ten bucks, and produce 5 or 6 lbs of co2 

 

The fermentation tank can be put into a closet or room adjacent to the grow room, (or in the grow room if the temperature is kept around 70) and the co2 vented into the grow room thru a plastic tube coming from the fermentation lock.

 

This is a pretty inefficient method for primary co2 production compared to tanks or gas generators, but it can certainly help. The co2 from 5 gallons of beer could do a good bit of good in a small grow tent, especially with a closed system and a small dehumidifier.

 

But a high-tech grow room or greenhouse with co2 injection or generation is  where to get benefit from all the co2 that the beer makes if the system uses a sniffer /sensor to determine the co2 levels in the room or greenhouse.  The constantly bubbling beer fermentation puts its magic gases into the air, lowering the amount of time the co2 solenoid is open, and lessening the amount of purchased co2 released by the tank or generator.

 

Speaking of Free Beer, that was the name of a rock band that played the  dive bar circuit around San Francisco in the early seventies.  The band’s music wasn’t anything special, but they were locally popular for about a year.

 

They would heavily flyer the city with the posters that said “Free Beer”, the name of the bar, and the time and date of their show. People would show up, pay the cover charge, order a beer, and be told “the beer ain’t free ... that’s the name of the band”.  

 

Here’s an interesting afterthought:

 

In 1966 and 67 or so I lived in the Lower East Side in NYC several times, while also living in San Francisco. A student standby airline ticket cost $76.18 and many people flew back and forth many times. A kilo of weed cost $80 on Haight Street, and a small shot glass full constituted a righteous New York nickel bag. And while everyone in SF had vast amounts of cheap marijuana, everybody in New York constantly wanted it.

 

I knew a guy back then and there who was into meditation and spiritual development - like most everybody at the time - who developed what he called “Bonga Yoga”. He combined Eastern breathing exercises with bonging cannabis and DMT.

 

The DMT back then wasn’t like the organic DMT that is around today; we didn’t  even know that real DMT could be found in the organic sources that are being used currently.   The DMT was synthetic, Xtreeeeeemly powerful, either crystalline or a beige wax or soaked into parsley.  One good hit was like tens of thousands of micrograms of LSD ... for about 20 minutes.   Even though the dosage and experience was beyond intense, nobody ever had a bad trip because after smoking the DMT, you were so far from your body, mind, consciousness, and ego that there was nothing left to freak; a negative experience became virtually impossible.

 

So “Bonga Yoga” consisted of deep breathing exercises wherein the smoker visualizes the  inhale bringing goodness into the body, and the exhale removing physical and spiritual toxins. Ten continuous bong hits (load the next hit while holding in the previous one) followed by a hit of about 50 to 100 mg. of DMT from a pre-packed pipe. Wow!

 

Lots of growers smoke in their grow room occasionally.  Have a few good bong hits then do some breathing yoga while watching the CO2 monitor.  Inhale the good ... exhale the toxic.  Do it hard and fast in giant breaths while sitting straight and upright, sitting about 5 or more feet from the CO2 monitor,  and watch the gauge as you inhale oxygen and exhale CO2.  If you work at it ... in a closed environment growroom ... you can get damn high by doing yogic breathing in an attempt to raise the CO2 levels two or three hundred points as a human CO2 generator. Be careful.  You might get so high you fall off the chair.

 

And I’ll end this loosely linked rambling stream-of-consciousness with an almost free source of ethanol:  take a gallon of gasoline, add 12 ounces of water in a big sep funnel of some sort,  watch the layers separate, and drain off the clear layer at the bottom.  What will you get?  24 ounces of 100 proof ethanol!  And you can then pour the gasoline right back into your tank.

 

The government requires industrial ethanol distillers to denature the alcohol before it leaves the distillery by adding any number of poisonous additives to make it undrinkable.  Most, if not all gasohol distillers, denature their alcohol with gasoline ... which is probably the easiest additive to remove.

 

Don’t drink it ... at least until you get it lab tested.  But, unless they denature it with a poison other than gasoline, I’ll bet that real high quality vodka could be made this easily from today’s gasoline ... at about 25 cents a quart. We’re I a hard working moonshiner back in West Virginny realizing about $100 for a gallon of 100 proof ‘shine,  I would certainly check this out.

 

 And by “high quality”, industrial alcohol for gasoline mixing is made in a steam powered reflux column still.  Much of the alcohol  is distilled 50 times as it goes thru the still, leaving most or all of the unwanteds in the slops that exit the bottom of the column. 

 
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16.2.6 Testing the Extract Craft EtOH Pro

While I participated in beta testing Extract Crafts Turbo vacuum still back in 2016, alas I missed that opportunity when they were beta testing their EtOH Pro unit, so imagine my joy and amazement when I got a shot at testing their production unit.

The opportunity came at a propitious moment, because we no longer have the skunk pharm research lab and it is now a Class B felony locally to extract using LPG outside a licensed and permitted facility. 

As a consequence, despite owning BHO extraction equipment, I again joined the ranks of home extractor seeking viable safe legal affordable solutions and reviewed this equipment in that light.

“Is there an advantage to this over a simple countertop still like the Megahome still or a simple DIY pot still?”    

“Is this a unit that would serve my needs when serving as my own resource for meds?”

My motivation was my need to extract this year’s C-99/NL harvest, as well as some Canna Gooey material I have been curing in jars since 2017, so I chose the still legal QWET process using 190 proof ethanol and the EtOH Pro allowed me to extract my two material lots in fifteen (15) half gallon runs.  A reasonable trial…….

The EtOH Pro arrived so professionally packaged that I took pictures to make sure I could get it right on the return after testing, and it bears the appearance of having been done by a packaging engineer.  Mine arrived in good shape, but even if it hadn’t, I would have had to salute them for their efforts.

Extract Craft EtOH Pro as received after top foam panel removed for clarity.

Inside were instructions to download the operator’s manual from their web site and assembly was adequately covered, being straightforward and simply involving screwing in the four legs and attaching the lid and jar holsters.

Extract Craft EtOH Pro assembled and ready for testing.

Backside of EtOH Pro showing large heat exchanger and holster for lid and spit jar.

With lid stored in holster for convenience while processing reclaim pot

Jar holster with ½ gallon reclaim jar.

Backside of recovery pot showing electrical connections.

The EtOH Pro is a clean design supporting easy wipe clean up, with the bulk of the assembly stainless and the attached recovery pot powder coated.  The pot sits on rails which guide its male plug into the systems female receptors.

Setup consisted of turning the machine on and holding the startup button ten seconds so as to set my altitude as about 98’ above sea level.  The downloaded “destruction manual” details how to set it for higher altitudes in 1,000-foot increments, which involves then pushing the button once for each 1000 feet of altitude.

Operation was as simple as pouring my solution to be recovered into the pot, placing the lid on top, setting the dial, and pushing the button.  For my recovery trials I ran at about ¾ of the dial range, and when using the pot as a heated vacuum chamber for purging, I used full dial.

After pushing the button, I held the lids on the ½ gallon recovery jar and the recovery pot itself to ensure a good seal and then walked away and let it strut its stuff.  I periodically checked the boiling with a flashlight through the clear lid and monitored my recovery progress by watching the level of alcohol in the ½ gallon recovery vessel.

Besides the 15 product runs of about 1400 ml each, I also did three recovery runs of straight alcohol to measure recovery efficiency and timing.  I performed those tests by performing a couple false starts to clear the condenser and dumping the spit jar, before filling the recovery jar until the meniscus was at the exact top of the 1/6” wide 1500 ml mark on the jar, and then decanting that jar into the recovery pot. 

After recovering the 1500 ml alcohol, which took about 73 minutes, I again performed a couple false starts to clear the condenser and dumped the spit jar before again measuring the level, and I found that the meniscus was now just at or slightly below the 1500 ml mark, suggesting losses were 1/16 to 3/32” in a half gallon jar, which is a negligible loss.

Level before recovering 1500 ml

Level after recovering 1500 ml (note 1400 ml mark from processing 15 lots)

The EtOH doesn’t have an automatic shutoff so elapsed time is somewhat subjective, which is why I ran it three times for an estimate. 

On the plus side, because it operates at low temperature due to the vacuum, catching the exact moment isn’t critical as the product isn’t in eminent danger of burning.  When running product, I marked the expected recovery level on the jar so I could keep track of progress at a glance, while sitting at my desk.

Three of my half gallon runs and one gleaning run was extracting jarred and cured 2020 material and the balance 2017.  I turned the 2020 material into dabs and the 2017 material into MCT oil sublingual tincture.

Besides the EtOH pro, I used an existing rotary vane AC vacuum pump and a 2L vacuum flask with Buchner funnel.  Alas, I was unable to find my calibrated lab thermometers so used both infra-red handheld and an electronic emersion thermocouple to approximate temperatures.  There was a 11F degree disparity between the two, so temperature is approximate.

I used the QWET process utilizing inexpensive easy to obtain ½ gallon canning jars and used my -18C/0F freezer to chill both the jarred material and the 190 proof Everclear/Clear Springs prior to extraction.

With the 2020 material I started with a 3-minute soak with the first and moved to a 5-minute soak with the second jar and an 8-minute soak with the third.  I did a second extraction of 10 minutes to glean the remainder.  I turned half of it into dabbing concentrate and the other half into a MCT tincture.

The dab-ables I finished in two steps.  I poured them out of the collection pot while there was still enough alcohol left to not leave a heavy film, decanting into a Pyrex casserole dish or a 10” pie dish.  I then let most of the remaining ethanol evaporate away over the next couple of days, before scraping it up and smearing it on raw parchment paper that I had folded into a round basket that fit inside the collection pot. 

I placed the parchment paper in the flat bottomed EtOH recovery vessel, using the EtOH Pro controls to maintain the heat around ~125F, and an auxiliary lid supplied by Extract Craft that allowed me to use one of my vacuum pumps to pull a 10,000 micron/-29.5” Hg vacuum during purge.

I used my own instrumentation during purge testing but did note that while my test gauge showed -30” (29.92”), the smaller liquid filled gauge supplied showed only about -29” Hg. 

My 6 CFM pump is capable of around 100 microns/0.003937” Hg Absolute, so I question its accuracy, but alas, though my own test gauge has a calibration feature, I have no certified standard to calibrate it against either.

That does highlight the point that if you wish more accuracy and resolution, you can replace the analog gauge with a digital micron gauge, giving you 760,000 graduations instead of the 60 on the current one.      

The EtOH temperature control dial shown below is marked with a portion of the dial marked in red for alcohol recovery and the remaining section in green for purging.  When in the red portion of the dial, the internal vacuum pump is engaged and when in the green portion the pot gets hotter, but the internal vacuum pump no longer engages.

 

The control panel

Here is the auxiliary lid, as modified by Moi to enable me to install other instrumentation for testing purposes.  The mods in the picture below are the ¼” brass bulkhead, with the rest of the Christmas tree assembly as delivered from Extract Craft.

The EtOH auxiliary purging lid, as modified by Moi

I turned the balance of my concentrate into a sublingual by first removing the alcohol from my QWET extract and then replacing some of it with enough MCT oil to flow smoothly through an eyedropper, directly in the recovery pot.

After mixing and decanting the MCT oil/concentrate mixture into dropper bottles using an eyedropper, I added a dropper full of Lorann cinnamon candy flavoring oil to make it tastier as a sublingual.

Cleanup in both cases was easy and involved wiping the wetted surfaces with a paper towel wetted with clean ethanol.

Summary:

My original question in testing this unit was, “Is there an advantage to this over a simple countertop still like the Megahome still or a simple DIY pot still?”

Not close to an apples and apples comparison.  The big advantage I see that a vacuum still has over a conventional still like the Megahome or DIY pot stills, is that it boils off the alcohol at a much lower temperature, so as to reduce decarboxylation. 

It is also at a low enough temperature under reduced atmosphere so as to reduce oxidation and not burn the concentrate if you inadvertently let it boil dry. 

Due to its orders of magnitude larger heat exchanger, the EtOH also has a higher recovery rate than a Megahome style stills.

Lastly, the EtOH recovery pot doubles as a temperature-controlled vacuum chamber for further purging on parchment or PTFE film, a feature not possible with the Megahome or DIY stills.

To the last question of “Is this a unit that would serve my needs when serving as my own resource for meds?”

Clearly it is, as it just did with minimal auxiliary equipment, most of which in inexpensive and was lying around anyway.

Besides the EtOH Pro and auxiliary lid, I used the following common household items:

1.0          Our existing freezer set at -18C/OF.

2.0          ½ gallon canning jars to both cure and extract my material in. 

3.0          A pasta strainer and 10-quart stainless soup pot to drain the jars in after extraction.

4.0          The timer on the kitchen stove.

5.0          A Pyrex casserole dish and two 10” pie plates for evaporation.

                5.1          Plastic bag to keep out cat and dog hairs.

6.0          A single edged razorblade in holder to transfer concentrate from the plates to the parchment.

7.0          Standard raw parchment paper.

I also used the following less common existing equipment:

8.0          A 2L vacuum flask

                8.1          #1 Lab filters

                8.2          Commercial coffee filters.

9.0          A vacuum pump.

Other uses:

Hee, hee, hee, snicker,snark, snort, I just had to try it!  I picked up a couple 750 ml bottles of Pinot Noir and a long case, which I turned into 200 mL of brandy and 100 mL of white lightening.

I first distilled off 500 mL of liquid from the two bottles of wine, which you can see from the pictures below were cloudy, but when I distilled off the first 200 mL from that, I got a bell clear brandy that burned with a clear almost invisible flame and which was both tasty and potent.

 

Long Case of beer and two bottles of Sale Priced Pinot Noir

Brandy From First and Second Distills of Pinot Noir

Distilling the beer to yield white lightening worked, but was a low yield for all the effort at 5%, so I gave up after distilling off about 100 mL of high octane ethanol.  The flavor at this concentration is malty and reminiscent of a brandy.


 

White Lightening From Beer

Another possible use for this vacuum still is to concentrate lower proof vodka into higher proof for use in extraction.  To explore that possibility I’ve ordered a new hydrometer and a pound of Drierite desiccant to see how high I can get the proof with multiple runs and a dessicant.  More on that later…..

 

 

 

 

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17.0 Used facilities and equipment for sale:

This used facilities and equipment for sale thread is intended solely as a public service to bring buyers and sellers together and the offering have not been vetted by Graywolf’s Lair, nor are they recommended or promoted by us’ns. 

If you have something you wish to post, contact Graywolf at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

I consider a good transaction one where both parties walk away happy.  The onus is on you to transact with customers from this site in an honorable win, win fashion to protect your ability to post here.

We will not post product, only equipment and facilities related to the cannabis and hemp industry.

Caveat emptor, the onus is on the buyer to vet the deal, but bon appetite and good hunting for matches made in heaven!

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