Skip to content

Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine : Material balance, energy balance, calculation of fluid flow resistance and operating range

high pressure chemical reactor

Supercritical CO2 fluid extraction has gained prominence in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetics. The efficiency and selectivity of this process depend significantly on the design and calculation of the extraction equipment.

Supercritical CO2 fluid extraction is a cutting-edge technology used in various industries, from pharmaceuticals to food processing. The efficiency of this process is dependent on precise calculations and designs. Two fundamental aspects of these calculations are material balance and energy balance.

Material and Energy Balance

The foundation of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction machine design lies in material and energy balances.

Defining Material Balance

Material balance, also known as mass balance, is a fundamental principle in chemical engineering.
It involves tracking the flow of materials into and out of a system to ensure conservation of mass.

Material balance is a fundamental concept in chemical engineering and plays a crucial role in designing and operating supercritical CO2 fluid extraction equipment.

Material balance involves accounting for the mass of the solute (desired compound) and the solvent (CO2) entering and exiting the extraction equipment.

Material Balance in Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine

  • In the context of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction, material balance involves accounting for the mass of both the solute (the compound to be extracted) and the supercritical CO2 solvent.
  • The goal is to ensure that the mass of solute extracted matches the mass of solute entering the system.

Defining Energy Balance

Energy balance is another critical concept in the calculation of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction equipment.

Energy balance also known as heat balance, is the accounting of energy entering and leaving a system.It ensures that the process remains at a constant temperature and pressure, which is crucial for maintaining the supercritical state of CO2.

Energy Balance in Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine

  • In the context of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction, energy balance ensures that the heat inputs, heat outputs, and work done on the system are in equilibrium.
  • This equilibrium is essential to prevent temperature and pressure fluctuations that could affect the extraction process.

Characteristic Size Calculation

Determining the characteristic size of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction equipment is crucial for optimizing its performance.

Diameter and Length

  • The diameter and length of the extraction vessel are key design parameters.These dimensions are calculated based on the desired extraction rate, solute concentration, and CO2 flow rate.
  • The equations used for diameter and length calculations are complex and rely on experimental data and process modeling.
supercritical co2 drying equipment

Fluid Flow Resistance and Operating Range

Understanding fluid flow resistance and the operating range is essential to ensure efficient extraction.

Flow Resistance:

  • Flow resistance in the equipment is influenced by factors such as the geometry of the extraction vessel, the viscosity of CO2, and the nature of the solute.
  • The Darcy-Weisbach equation is often used to calculate flow resistance.

Operating Range:

  • The operating range of supercritical CO2 extraction equipment involves specifying the pressure and temperature conditions at which the extraction process occurs.
  • These conditions are determined by the critical properties of CO2 and the desired solute.


The design and calculation of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction equipment involve intricate processes, including material and energy balances, characteristic size determination, and considerations of fluid flow resistance and operating range.

These factors are crucial for achieving efficient and selective extractions in various industries. By comprehensively analyzing these aspects, we can harness the power of supercritical CO2 fluid extraction for a wide range of applications.

This article has presented the information in various formats, including tables and lists, to enhance understanding and facilitate a seamless flow of information. Supercritical CO2 fluid extraction equipment, with its unique capabilities, continues to revolutionize various fields, offering a greener and more efficient alternative to traditional extraction methods.