This unique form of CO2 allows increased solubility and a high diffusivity coefficient in raw materials, making extraction more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional methods.
Supercritical CO2 is obtained by increasing the pressure and temperature of carbon dioxide until it becomes a solvent, an intermediate between a gas and a liquid.
Thanks to these properties, supercritical CO2 penetrates to the heart of the material to extract the compounds of interest. By varying the extraction operating parameters, we can control the solvent power of CO2 and thus select the extracted molecules or compounds according to their chemical nature.
Supercritical fluids are used as effective solvents in processes such as extraction, impregnation, particle formation (SAS, PGSS, RESS), formulation, sterilization, coating of compounds, extraction of active ingredients, cleaning and chemical reactions, and others to be discovered.
This solvent is “green” because the CO2 used in the process is a recovered product. It is itself a co-product generated during certain industrial processes. It is therefore easily recovered and reused for future extractions. This method requires less energy and resources than a conventional process. As well as being more environmentally friendly, supercritical CO2 also offers other economic advantages. It is more cost-effective than traditional chemical solvents, which can leave undesirable chemical residues in the final products. Supercritical CO2 leaves no residue, simplifying post-processing.
Supercritical CO2 is already used in many industries, including food production, pharmaceuticals and perfumery. However, its development potential is still immense and could be used in many other sectors.
Supercritical CO2 represents a unique opportunity to build a greener, more economical future. It’s important to continue exploring and developing this technology to ensure a more sustainable future for generations to come.