French vaping-grade nicotine

Based on the 12 green chemistry principles (Minimizing the economic, social and environmental footprint – Futura Sciences), our engineering team came up with an innovative method to extract nicotine from tobacco leaves. Our nicotine, important component for vapers, is said to be ‘vaping-grade’ for its safe inhalation properties. It is nicotine made by vaping, for vaping!

Nicotine is molecule naturally present in tobacco leaves. From the alkaloids group, it is a stimulant, non-carcinogenic but toxic in large doses and capable of generating strong dependence in the case of regular consumption.

In a cigarette, the danger is the combustion and not the mere presence of nicotine. In an e-liquid, nicotine enhances the “hit” sensation (contraction of the pharynx during the passage of the vapour), craved by smokers.

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Green chemistry at the heart of our process

Used by the pharmaceutical industry in the manufacturing of patches or chewing gums, nicotine is only recently used in the vape industry. Usually made in China, India or the U.S.A, traditional extraction methods use toxic solvents such as dichloromethane, a substance classified as carcinogenic which allows obtaining higher production yields. This type of process involves an additional phase of nicotine purification, generally carried out in Switzerland.

With the ambition of producing a “by vaping, for vaping” nicotine, we have set out to develop a more virtuous extraction process, respecting the product, the consumer and the environment.

For over 3 years, the nicotine we use has respected these principles. Specifically designed for inhalation, our vaping-grade nicotine does not require the use of toxic solvents during its manufacture. From the selection of the fields where the tobacco plants are grown to the final distillation, we control the entire production chain to provide optimal product traceability.

For its extraction, our team of engineers has developed an industrial exploitation method in full agreement with the principles of green chemistry. Our installation ensures, independently, optimized management of material flows since the entire unit is based on a closed circuit, limiting, for example, the soft water supply. This creates very little waste and its technology reduces the use or generation of substances harmful to the environment. The extraction method also limits the presence of impurities in the finished product.

Finally, VDLV recovers part of its waste by supplying mulch (tobacco residue after extraction) to local anaerobic digestion companies for the production of energy and fertilizer.

nicotine vapologique
A french vapin-grade nicotine extracted from french tobacco leaves

Supported by Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine, VDLV has always had the ambition to produce nicotine from tobacco plants grown in France. This type of production process requires the use of tobacco with a strong nicotine power. However, until very recently, French tobacco was mainly cultivated for smoking. It had too low nicotine contents to be industrialized by VDLV.

Agronomist engineers, located in Bergerac, have carried out a long work of varietal selection in order to find the plants that could meet our needs. After a promising first year of 5 hectares, in 2018, then 20 ha, in 2019, 60 ha were cultivated in 2020. This year, vaping tobacco will be harvested in Dordogne, Auvergne, Charente and Corrèze. The amount of dark tobacco harvested should meet all of VDLV’s annual nicotine requirements.

The long-term goal to maintain a strong bond with the local farmers by encouraging them to develop innovative cultivation techniques such as experimentation with seed varieties or the application of new phytosanitary solutions that respects the environment.

Vaping-grade nicotine in all VDLV e-liquids.

The implementation of vaping-grade nicotine in VDLV e-liquids went through different steps.

While waiting for the yield capacities to fully cover our needs, we decided in 2017 to launch a collection of 3 e-liquids of the Origin nV range (limited edition) containing the brand new , VDLV nicotine. At that time, the nicotine produced was extracted from tobacco plants of foreign origin.

Once fully qualified analytically, vaping-grade nicotine could be integrated into all our e-liquids.  It is now available to all vapers. It can be found in Vincent dans les Vapes (Les Incontournables and Les Grands) products and in CirKus (Authentic CirKus, Black CirKus and Classic Wanted).

The story of vaping-grade nicotine keeps on evolving, thanks to the commitment of our partners, agronomists and local tobacco growers. Today, we use tobacco exclusively grown in France.

Discover the Vaping Post  ducomentary about VDLV’s vaping-grade nicotine