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Extraction of Natural and Agricultural Products

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Extraction of components from a wide variety of natural products is accomplished naturally by using high-pressure carbon dioxide (i.e., SC-CO2) in the SFE mode. Such applications have resulted in an array of products since the late 1960s, including decaffeinated coffee/tea (below right), hops extract, spices (like from chile peppers), nutraceutical components, and improved oil or lipid-based products.SCCO2 Extraction of a Variety of Products Extraction accomplished with SC-CO2 can improve considerably the color, taste, and texture of the extracted product or residual left in the extractor as illustrated by the contrast for a hexane-extracted vs. SC-CO2-extracted cottonseed oil as shown in the photo inset below.

Cottonseed Oil

SFE (or fractionation) can be used effectively to extract, impregnate or remove objectable components from a variety of natural matrices. These can include naturally derived high-value extracts for use as nutraceuticals or to improve functional foods, as well as drug or medicinally relevant compounds. Examples of the former or latter include omega or gamma linoleic fatty acid containing oils or the anti-cancer drug from yew trees/scrubs/plant cell cultures, and compounds from northern New Mexico tree species, such as pinon, juniper, and Ponderosa pine.

Processing of SCCO2 extraction

Examples of other matrices processed by SC-CO2 extraction are noted in the image on the right. The Los Alamos Supercritical Fluid Facility has capabilities to span a wide scale of processing, from gram quantities of material to single batch processing of up to 60L in volume (see image below).

SCCO2 Processing






May 21/2008

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