Compound Extraction with Supercritical CO2

Compound Extraction with Supercritical CO2

Supercritical CO2 - a natural solvent

Supercritical carbon dioxide (over 74 bar and 31 ° C) has special properties. Behaving like a gas and a liquid at the same time, supercritical CO2 is characterised by its high diffusivity and high density. Together, these features endow carbon dioxide in a supercritical state with high transport and extraction capacities. These characteristics make it a natural solvent. Its use can help reduce the use of chemical solvents and is applicable in many areas.

Industrial applications of supercritical carbon dioxide:

  • Fine chemistry / pharmaceuticals / cosmetics: extraction of amino acids, extraction of active ingredients and essential oils from plants.
  • Metallurgy / Metal construction: cuttings recycling.
  • Electronics: electronic and optoelectronic component cleaning.
  • Painting: reduction of chemical solvents use.
  • Specialist "dry cleaning"

The item or product to be treated is placed in an extractor through which supercritical carbon dioxide flows. Being highly soluble, the supercritical carbon dioxide extracts certain compounds from the material with which it comes into contact. The fluid then expands, and passing into the gas phase separates from the compound extracted. The extract obtained is collected in a separator for use or disposal.