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Green processes for added-value compounds recovery through supercritical fluid extraction


Super critical fluid extraction

Extraction processes are in the spotlight as one of the main unit operations used for biomass exploitation. These processes are traditionally performed with organic solvents that are associated with non-renewable sources for their production. Moreover, due to the nature of the process, their removal from the extract should be carefully performed in order to recover the target components free of toxic residues. Purification procedures are also known to be associated with high energy consumption.

Based on these considerations green extraction procedures are emerging as alternatives to the traditional ones. Supercritical fluid extraction belongs to this category since the extraction is performed solvent-free and the extract is pure and free from any residue making unnecessary further separation steps

The supercritical fluid extraction equipment operates with carbon dioxide as pressurized fluid or in its supercritical fluid state (above 31°C and 73 atm) to take advantage of its gas-like and liquid-like properties. In this way it is possible to achieve a selective extracting process with the further advantage of a reduced necessity of further purification steps, higher yields, and reduced extraction time.

SDU researchers

  • Massimiliano Errico, Associate Professor, Department of Green Technology, Faculty of Engineering.
  • Lars Porskjær Christensen, Head of Department, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy, Faculty of Science.