What is Supercritical CO2?
The SFE-CO2 process combines extraction, separation and concentration in one simultaneous process to obtain the extract. The process consists of pumping pressurised carbon dioxide into a chamber filled with primary matter. When carbon dioxide is subjected to pressure it becomes “supercritical” and forms liquid properties while remaining in a gaseous state. Due to the liquid properties of the gas, the CO2 functions as a solvent, enabling to extract the oils and other substances such as pigments and resin.
The separation and short extraction period, ensures the bio-availability and the quality of the active compounds to be at its highest purity. Due to zero solvent, pesticide residue, low heavy metal levels, the supercritical CO2 extraction is considered environmentally friendly.
Advantages of SFE-CO2 extraction
No legal constraints
Free of impurities
No harmful residues
CO2 is an inactive gas
No heat damages
No solvent residues
No pesticide residues
Longer shelf life
Process Flow Diagram
The major process parameters are the temperature, pressure and flow rate. The three primary steps are extraction, separation, and CO2 recovery. The plant is charged into the extractor, along with the CO2 through a high-pressure pump (>74bar) and CO2 heater (>31℃). The extract laden CO2 is sent to a separator(s) via a pressure reduction valve. At reduced temperature and pressure, the extract precipitates in the separator while the CO2, free of extract, is recycled to the CO2 main tank.
Our principal is one of the pioneers of Supercritical CO2 extraction technology. Dated back to the early 1980’s, our principal has a long history of Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE-CO2) research and over ten years of experience in production. Our principal was the first to industrialise the supercritical extraction equipment in China.