Supercritical (high pressure) CO2 as organic solvent
CO2 at high pressure, above its critical point, behaves like an organic solvent and is able to dissolve oils, fats, cholesterol, ibuprofen among other non-polar or slightly-polar compounds.
The process is similar to conventional extraction, but replaces the organic solvent by scCO2 (supercritical CO2) and run at high pressure. It can be used in many key industrial applications including: coffee/tea decaffeination, hop extraction (beer production), removal of TCA from cork, extraction of essential oils (rosemary, camomile), spices (pepper, paprika, chili), seeds and grains (soybean, sunflower…), degreasing/defatting (cacao, food, leather, metals..), removal of pesticides from cereals and dry washing of clothes and textiles.
The use of supercritical CO2 in the process has a number of advantages :
- Use of non-toxic chemicals so no toxic traces in the product
- No negative impact on the environRemoved the environmental impact of organics solvents
- Higher quality – oxidation avoided
Toxic and hazardous organic solvents in the extraction, crystallization and impregnation processes