Extraction using Supercritical CO2 as extraction agent

The extraction of natural raw materials is carried out using different kinds of solvents. One of these processes uses pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2) under supercritical conditions. This supercritical fluid extraction process (SCFE) has many advantages to traditional solvents e.g. hexane, especially if the extract should be used in food-, medicinical- and pharmaceutical products, where high standards are needed with regard to product quality. Typical processes cover:

  • Decaffeination of coffee
  • Extraction of hops
  • Extraction of essential oils
  • Extraction of flavour
  • Extraction of colour pigments

High quality products by using high pressure

Using supercritical CO2 for the extraction process has a lot of advantages in comparison to processes using organic extraction solvents, e.g.:

  • Easy availability
  • Low price
  • Non-toxicity
  • Non-explosivity
  • Solvent free products
  • Reduction of pesticides
  • No thermal stress due to moderate temperature conditions (below 100°C)
  • Easy separation of solvent and product

Simplified Process Flowsheet for SCF Extraction Process

Simplified Process Flowsheet for SCF Extraction Process