Spraying Butane Directly on Silicone Mats

How many of ya’ll have gotten caught up in the movement of using a silicone baking mat to spray butane columns directly onto, instead of into a Pyrex dish or similar container?

Many folks have, using it as an alternative to parchment paper, for working their oil into waxes, because it is relatively non stick.  It seemed like a questionable practice to me, in view of Cole Palmers and other sites rating silicone rubber as unacceptable for butane service, so I decided to test it myself.

To do so, I solicited an Oil Slick mat from their representative Joshua, and he was nice enough to provide me with one for testing free and provided me with additional information, which I will share with you later in this post.

I conducted the test by carefully weighing the mat and then placing it in a Pyrex dish.  Next I sprayed a can of butane directly on it and let it soak in the butane for two minutes, or about the time it took to dissipate the pool of butane.  I removed it slightly early, to have an even time.

When I weighed the pad again, I found that it had gained about 30.4% more weight, though even as it sat on the scale, the added weight was evaporating away rapidly.  It was more or less like a sponge to the butane.

What that means to me, is that the silicone rubber absorbed the butane.

My concern is that when the butane comes back out, it will bring things with it, which I don’t want in my oil.

Interestingly, as it turns out, Oil Slick themselves don’t recommend the practice and I’ve attached a letter from Joshua stating so and exactly why.

Hi Greywolf,

I am sure you know, silicone swells in the presence on non-polar solvents. Hexane is actually used as a “swelling agent” for silicone tubing to allow for an easier connection.

The swelling effect is the primary reason why silicone makes a poor compatibility choice when selecting a material to come into prolonged direct contact with non-polars.

As you must also be aware, chemical contamination from “extractables” in silicone materials, (in a procedure such as you are describing) is due almost entirely to the physical release of low molecular weight siloxanes, and other impurities from the manufacturing process.

This is why Tygon 3350, or SaniTech-Ultra, are made with platinum cured silicone rather than the more common peroxide cured variety.  This is also why We use platinum catalyzed USP6 silicone in our pads. (rather than peroxide/food grade).

As far as I am aware, we are the ONLY company doing this. The cost of material for a simple “baking mat” would be prohibitive in that industry.

For the record (sometime I feel like a broken record)We do not sell the Pad to spray directly onto. Many (many) folks do, and when we realized it (july of 2012), we switched the silicone we use as our raw material as aprophylactic measure.  

We also removed the Logo from our pads, because we feared that immersion in non-polar solvent could act to weaken the bond between that thin layer of logo silicone, and the pad beneath. As concerned as we were about the logo….i cringe when I see folks spraying into parchment. The matrix of silicone in common parchment paper (non-Quilon / silicone coated) is extremely fragile compared to a pad. I imagine the violence of swelling and shrinking on that scale would be tenfold compared to the effect that prompted our own change of material.

The physical wear of swelling/shrinking/swelling/shrinking along with the various stresses inflicted by the innovative public (razor blades, torches etc…) make any sort of performance warranty unmanageable.
So we make em as pure as it gets, and when people ask us….we tell em that if they insist on using them this way, to please discard them if they notice any physical degradation.

I would refrain from cutting the pad to perform your testing, as this will expose the inner weave. Once cut or torn, the physical consequences of swelling could lead to damage along the exposed area.

Let me know where to send it, and I will get a Pad out to you today. Always happy to hear your thoughts. I redacted about 2 pages of hyper technical diatribe from this email…. because I figured you have likely done your own research regarding Pt cured silicone, and the various plasticizers that are used in food grade silicone. This is understandably a topic quite close to my heart; and I will be vary happy to discuss at length should you have specific questions (or non-specific musings?).

Also, should you require it, you have my explicit permission to share anything we discuss with whichever forums you are involved in.



40 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Chris Lizotte on June 11, 2016 at 4:21 PM

    you just saved my health a ton! As I have been blasting onto my green silicon pad for months and I’ve noticed the center getting mush and weak. I just have had bad experience blasting into Pyrex 8 by 8 pans – if the pan had 4″ high sides than 2″ is love it , I wouldn’t get any blow by around the edges. Is love to buy one of your mats.


  2. ive seen the damage of spraying directly to silicone pads (baking sheet) myself. The chunks of “rubber” came out from between the weave/threads leaving little round (rubber) balls in my final bho product. Im now wondering about the solid type silicone baking pans. like 8×8 but solid instead of weave? Maybe spray into water in the pan and then separate after most of the off gassing is done. Freezing the bho on the pyrex dish does make it simpler to scrape but still sticks some.


  3. Posted by Z Gharib on June 23, 2015 at 12:08 PM

    I just graduated in April with a ACS certified bachelors of science in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. I’ve been missing lab. To fill that hole in my heart I’ve attempting some of your extractions and getting fantastic results. I love the in depth chemical detail you provide. I looked up this article after practically injuring myself attempting to scrape last night’s extraction of my pyrex plate. I figured a non stick silicon container would save me a lot of effort. As soon as I read the word “swelling” in this article I was like DUH. I flashed back to organic lab where our instructor had discussed this observation in detail. I love that this article made me recall my lab days.

    I would love to come work for you guys btw! Make awesome extracts, run them through some high powered instruments (GC-FID for example), and then high five everyone if it’s over 90%.

    I’m serious though, I have my resume ready.

    Zeyead Gharib


  4. Posted by Greg on February 14, 2015 at 9:42 PM

    I recently purchased the oil slick sheets. Which it claims its a laboratory grade PTFE 100% resistant to non polar solvents. Which I’m just wondering if you have tested any of this product? Also weather it would be recommended to use this product threw the vacuum stage?


  5. A simple $2 dollar pyrex dish is all you fucking need, quit being stupid people. If theres even a question on safety or health of it why use it when there is something out there already that is cheaper and 100% clean and used by all the professional BHO makers.

    PYREX people, its that fucking simple.


  6. […] Remember, silicone is safe enough to place in the human bodies. Millions of women each year use silicone breast implants to fill out where nature left deficits. If you can trust silicone in your body, you can certainly […]


  7. i have vac’ed w oil slick in chamber works great for me. Make sure u have newer version no logo


  8. Posted by C4h10 on January 2, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Has anyone found actual traces of silicone in their BHO from lab testing? I see a lot of people saying its unsafe but it would be nice to see some real test results. Maybe a side by side test of a run with Pyrex only and one blasted onto parchment paper?


    • I used to get oil from someone, would randomly find small pieces of clear rubber in it, noticed later that he had silicone pads he was spraying onto. idk if that was silicone but it sure seems like it. for anyone concerned, i now make my own concentrates, vac purged only blast onto pyrex outside etc.


    • Posted by Carl Boone on January 3, 2016 at 2:05 AM

      I only had problems with some of the silicon getting into my product when I was stupid enough to use a razor blade to scrape. Other than that, I have used it several times, and have come out with some extraordinary wax. However, after reading this article I will go back to Pyrex. It is better to be safe than sorry.


  9. Would silicone pads be suitable for the final step of solvent winterization, for ethanol evaporation? Or will there be the same reaction that butane has? It seems as if an oil slick pad would be much more useful for collecting absolutes than a razor blade and pyrex, but I wouldnt want to try it if there was an adverse reaction


  10. Posted by Willbur on November 8, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    What are your thoughts on blasting onto ptfe roll like they have on aqua labs? It says it’s 100% non-polar solvent resistant. I’ve been using them off and on for about a month now and have had great results. Since it’s a micro weave some oils can seep through the paper but it’s less than would be left in the corners of a pan. Any thoughts on spraying onto a solid ptfe sheet vs. a micro weave? Thanks.


    • PTFE is resistant to both polar and non polar solvents and I see no issues with it, other than you do not want to scrape any of it into your oil or wax and combust it, as one of the byproducts is Hydrofluoric Acid.


  11. Posted by Michael on October 30, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Do u think i can spray directly onto organic parchment? If not do you think i can spray on a pyrex and while its in liquid form pour it onto it?


  12. Posted by Jay on October 11, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    So what IS the best container to blast in when using an open system?


  13. Posted by felipetrece on August 22, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    so, they said that tygon 3350 is suitable with butane? they said they r going to send it to u to try? how big r the pads? and how much do they cost?


  14. Posted by tony on August 21, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    My version 2 oilslick jus came in I know its bad to blast on to directly so can I use it to purge in my chamber instead is it safe? Gonna do a run sooon


  15. Posted by dan on August 14, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Hi there,
    RI patient here.
    I have been spraying into parchment for about 2 years now with great success. I only use “beyond gourmet” brand parchment because they do not coat their parchment with silicone. They use some type of acid wash to make the paper smooth. I would like to hope this is safe to do, and that I have not been harming myself, however I do not really have the means to test it. I would appreciate your input on the subject.


    • Hi Dan!

      I’m unaware of any complications from acid wash parchment paper.


      • Posted by benji on November 1, 2014 at 7:58 AM


        I was wondering if you guys have tried using the butane as a carrier?

        I’ve been using “Slick Sheet PTFE roll” and using it as an insert in my vac oven.
        After properly reduced we pour the extraction onto the pre-heated slick sheet. The remaining butane bubbles out and once it settles after about half an hour I begin the vac-ing process.

        The slick sheet i find superior to pads because they are disposable and are completely resistant to non-polar solvents. It makes the whole process cleaner and easier for myself.

        I was curious if anyone else does it this way?




    • Posted by beandipwashere on November 26, 2014 at 2:38 PM

      To clarify the Beyond Gourmet brand of parchment I’ve seen some online vendors label it as silicone free, however per the vendors website it’s chlorine and quilon free and is silicone coated. Per what I’ve read above it still doesn’t make it safe if I understand correctly.


    • Posted by tom Alexander on January 18, 2015 at 11:36 AM

      I’m a Ri patient too…email me tjx2006@gmail.com


  16. Posted by bryant on July 31, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Hi Greywolf,

    Thanks for the helpful information! Time to start using my old slick pads as coasters. I had a question, is it safe to spray butane through the column directly onto parchment paper? I’ve heard multiple opinions on both side. Thanks!


  17. Posted by K on July 25, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Interesting. I haven’t sprayed onto my oilslick, however I am using it to evaporate an alcohol extraction. Do you think this is OK?


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