Benefits of CO2 Extraction
What is CO2 Extraction?
For companies that desire to extract the essence of botanical material, seek high quality and high purity, CO2 supercritical technology offers a safe and cost effective solution with limitless applications. As an example, you would be hard pressed to enjoy a beer that does not contain hops that has been extracted by supercritical CO2.
The CO2 extraction process consists of pumping pressurized carbon dioxide into a chamber filled with plant matter. When carbon dioxide is subjected to pressure it becomes "supercritical" and has liquid properties while remaining in a gaseous state. Because of the liquid properties of the gas, the CO2 functions as a solvent, pulling the oils and other substances such as pigment and resin from the plant matter.
Why use CO2?
The increased public awareness of the health, environment and safety concerns associated with the use of some organic solvents in food processing and the possible solvent contamination of the final products. The high cost of organic solvents and the increasingly stringent environmental regulations together with the new requirements of the medical and food industries for ultra-pure and high added value products have pointed out the need for the development of new and clean technologies for the processing of food ingredients.
Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), using carbon dioxide as a solvent, has provided an excellent alternative to the use of chemical, petroleum based solvents such as butane or hexane or steam distillation. Over the past three decades, supercritical CO2 has been used for the extraction and isolation of valuable compounds. It is non-toxic, high quality and leaves no residues, and is considered a green manufacturing process.