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Supercritical CO2 extraction of volatile oil of angelica

Today, let’s talk about the volatile oil of Angelica sinensis, the dried root of Angelica sinensis in Chinese medicine.

Angelica, a widely used medicinal herb, contains valuable volatile oil with numerous therapeutic properties. This article explores the application of supercritical CO2 extraction in obtaining the volatile oil from Angelica, highlighting its advantages over traditional extraction methods.

Extraction Process

Supercritical CO2 extraction offers a highly efficient and environmentally friendly approach to extract the volatile oil of Angelica. The process involves subjecting Angelica plant material to high pressures and temperatures using carbon dioxide in its supercritical state, which allows it to behave both as a gas and a liquid. The supercritical CO2 acts as a solvent, selectively dissolving the volatile oil components from the plant material.

Comparison of Supercritical CO2 Extraction and Traditional Extraction Methods

Extraction MethodAdvantagesDisadvantages
Supercritical CO2High extraction efficiencyHigh equipment cost
ExtractionEnvironmentally friendlyRequirement for technical expertise
Selective extraction of volatile oil components
Minimal solvent residue in the final product
Mild operating conditions
TraditionalLow equipment costLow extraction efficiency
ExtractionSimple operationUse of organic solvents
Solvent residue in the final product
Potential degradation of volatile oil components


Supercritical CO2 extraction has shown promising results in obtaining the volatile oil of Angelica. Studies have demonstrated high extraction efficiencies, with selective extraction of the desired volatile oil components. The final product obtained through supercritical CO2 extraction has minimal solvent residue, making it more desirable for various applications.


Angelica, the name of Chinese medicine. It is the dried root of Angelica, a plant of the Umbelliferae family.

It is mainly produced in the southeastern part of Gansu, China. Min County has high yield and good quality, followed by Yunnan, Sichuan, Shaanxi, Hubei and other provinces, all of which are cultivated. It has the effects of nourishing blood and promoting blood circulation, regulating menstruation and relieving pain, moistening the intestines and laxative. It is commonly used for blood deficiency and chlorosis, dizziness, palpitations, irregular menstruation, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, deficiency and cold abdominal pain, rheumatism arthralgia, falling flutter injury, carbuncle sore, intestinal dryness and constipation. Liquor Angelica Huoxue Tongjing. Used for amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, rheumatic arthralgia, and fall and flutter injury.

The volatile oil of angelica currently sold on the market is basically the essential oil extracted by distillation, and the extraction rate of angelica by distillation is low.

Today I will mainly talk about the volatile oil of angelica extracted by supercritical CO2.

Extraction of volatile oil of angelica

The most commonly used Chinese angelica from Minxian County, Gansu has the optimization quality.

How to dry angelica

There are drying (fumigation), freeze-drying, sun-drying, and the output ratio and quality of the volatile oil are freeze-drying>sun-drying>drying.

Since freeze-drying is relatively rare, sun-drying and drying are commonly used. Extract from whole plant slices.

Active ingredient part

Supercritical CO2 extraction machine of volatile oil of angelica

Angelica volatile oil is divided into head extraction, middle extraction, tail extraction, and whole plant extraction.
The head has the highest oil yield, followed by the whole plant, again in the middle, and last in the tail.

The effect of angelica tail is to promote blood circulation and remove blood stasis. Compared with angelica body and angelica head, it has a stronger blood circulation effect and is especially suitable for breaking blood.

It can treat the human body’s deficiency, such as indigestible food caused by weak spleen and stomach, anemia and other related symptoms. It can also treat blood stasis, especially for women with irregular menstruation, blood stasis, abdominal pain, dysmenorrhea, and postpartum lochia, which can be adjusted and treated with angelica tail.

Angelica sinensis has a significant effect of nourishing blood.

Supercritical CO2 extraction

Supercritical CO2 extraction technology has the advantages of low operating temperature, effective components not easily broken down, high extraction yield, and no solvent residues.

We have compared the traditional co-water distillation method and supercritical CO2 extraction method to extract the volatile oil of Angelica sinensis. The content of ketones is not much different, but the extraction rate of supercritical extraction is more than 3 times that of co-water distillation.

Supercritical CO2 extraction parameters: extraction pressure 25MPa, temperature 50°C, separation pressure 10MPa, separation temperature 40°C, time 120 minutes.


Supercritical CO2 extraction offers an efficient and environmentally friendly method for extracting the volatile oil of Angelica. Despite the higher equipment cost and the need for technical expertise, this method provides numerous advantages, including high extraction efficiency, selectivity, and a cleaner final product. Further research and development in this field can potentially enhance the utilization of Angelica volatile oil in various industries.

About The Supercritical CO2 Extraction for Angelica Volatile Oil

Supercritical CO2 extraction is a widely used method for extracting the volatile oil of angelica (Angelica archangelica) and other botanical materials. Angelica is a medicinal herb known for its aromatic properties and therapeutic benefits. Supercritical CO2 extraction offers several advantages over traditional extraction methods, including its ability to extract volatile compounds efficiently and selectively. This process ensures the retention of the delicate aroma and medicinal properties of angelica oil.

Top 5 Steps of Supercritical CO2 Extraction for Angelica Volatile Oil

The extraction process typically follows these steps:

  • Preparing the Angelica Plant Material: The angelica plant is harvested and dried to an appropriate moisture level. The plant material is then ground or powdered to increase the surface area, facilitating the extraction process.
  • Loading the Extraction Vessel: The prepared angelica plant material is loaded into an extraction vessel or chamber designed to withstand high pressure. The vessel is sealed to create a closed system.
  • Extraction: Supercritical CO2 is introduced into the extraction vessel, where it acts as a solvent to selectively extract the volatile oil from the plant material. The supercritical CO2 penetrates the plant matrix and dissolves the volatile compounds, including aromatic constituents and other beneficial components.
  • Separation: After the extraction process, the supercritical CO2 containing the dissolved volatile oil is transferred to a separation unit. Here, the pressure is reduced, causing the CO2 to revert to a gas phase. The volatile oil, which is insoluble in gas-phase CO2, is separated and collected.
  • Collection and Post-Processing: The collected volatile oil undergoes further post-processing steps to remove any residual solvent or impurities. These steps may include filtration, distillation, or purification techniques to obtain a pure and high-quality angelica volatile oil.

Four Benefits of Supercritical CO2 Extraction for Angelica Volatile Oil:

  • Selective Extraction: Supercritical CO2 extraction allows for selective extraction of the volatile oil of angelica. The operating conditions, such as temperature and pressure, can be fine-tuned to target specific volatile compounds while minimizing the extraction of unwanted components.
  • Retention of Aroma and Medicinal Properties: Supercritical CO2 extraction preserves the delicate aromatic profile of angelica oil. The low temperatures used in the process help retain the volatile aromatic constituents, ensuring the final product maintains the characteristic aroma and therapeutic properties of angelica.
  • Solvent-Free and Safe: Supercritical CO2 extraction is a solvent-free process, using carbon dioxide as the extraction medium. CO2 is non-toxic, non-flammable, and widely recognized as safe for use in food and pharmaceutical applications. This eliminates concerns about residual solvents in the extracted angelica volatile oil.
  • Environmental Friendliness: Supercritical CO2 extraction is considered environmentally friendly as it reduces the use of organic solvents and minimizes waste generation. CO2 used in the extraction process can be easily recycled and reused, contributing to a more sustainable extraction method.


Supercritical CO2 extraction is a highly efficient and selective method for extracting the volatile oil of angelica. This extraction process preserves the aromatic profile and medicinal properties of angelica oil, making it suitable for various applications in the food, fragrance, and pharmaceutical industries. With its solvent-free nature, safety, and environmental advantages, supercritical CO2 extraction is a preferred method for obtaining high-quality angelica volatile oil.