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Supercritical CO2 Extraction Process : Working Principle And Advantage

Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine

Supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) refers to a state where carbon dioxide is held at or above its critical temperature and pressure. In this state, CO2 exhibits both liquid and gas properties, making it an ideal solvent for extracting essential compounds from various substances.

At the heart of the Supercritical CO2 Extraction process lies the critical point of carbon dioxide. This point represents the temperature and pressure at which CO2 transitions between its gaseous and liquid states. In the supercritical state, CO2 possesses properties of both a liquid and a gas, making it an ideal solvent for extraction.

In this state, carbon dioxide is maintained at a temperature and pressure above its critical point, typically around 31 degrees Celsius and 74 bar. At these conditions, CO2 becomes a highly effective solvent, capable of extracting a wide range of compounds from various materials.

How Supercritical CO2 Extraction Works

The process involves using carbon dioxide in its supercritical state as a solvent to extract desirable compounds from raw materials. The basic steps include:

  1. Pressurization: CO2 is pressurized to reach its supercritical state.
  2. Extraction: The supercritical CO2 is used to extract targeted compounds from the raw material.
  3. Separation: The extracted compounds are separated from the CO2, resulting in a highly concentrated and pure product.


The process kicks off with the pressurization of carbon dioxide. In a specially designed chamber, CO2 is subjected to increased pressure, pushing it into the supercritical state. This step is crucial, as it sets the stage for efficient extraction.

Introduction to Raw Material

Once the supercritical state is achieved, the targeted raw material is introduced into the extraction chamber. This could be anything from botanicals and herbs to cannabis and coffee beans. The choice of material determines the nature of the extracted compounds.

Solubilization and Extraction

The supercritical CO2 is an excellent solvent, penetrating the raw material and dissolving the desired compounds. This solubilization process is highly selective, allowing for the extraction of specific components without damaging the overall integrity of the material.


Following solubilization, the supercritical CO2, now laden with the extracted compounds, is transferred to a separator. In this phase, pressure is reduced, causing the CO2 to revert to its gaseous state. The extracted compounds are left behind, ready for further processing.

Collection of Extracted Compounds

The concentrated extract is collected in a separate vessel, leaving behind any residual CO2. This step is crucial in ensuring the purity and potency of the final product. The result is a highly concentrated extract, free from solvent residues and impurities.

Applications Of Supercritical CO2 Extraction Process

Supercritical CO2 extraction finds applications across various industries due to its versatility and efficiency.

Pharmaceutical Industry

In pharmaceuticals, this method is employed to extract active ingredients from plants for drug formulation. The precision of this extraction process ensures the purity of the pharmaceutical products.

The pharmaceutical industry harnesses the power of Supercritical CO2 Extraction to obtain pure and potent active compounds from medicinal plants. This precise extraction method ensures the production of pharmaceuticals with consistent quality.

Food and Beverage Industry

In the food and beverage sector, Supercritical CO2 Extraction is used to obtain flavors, fragrances, and essential oils. The process maintains the integrity of delicate compounds, producing high-quality extracts.

Essential Oils

Supercritical CO2 Extraction is widely used in the production of essential oils. The process allows for the extraction of aromatic compounds from plants without the use of heat or harsh solvents, preserving the delicate fragrance of the oils.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine

Top 3 Advantages of Supercritical CO2 Extraction Process

  • Selectivity : One of the key advantages is the high selectivity of the process. By adjusting temperature and pressure, specific compounds can be targeted for extraction, leaving unwanted substances behind.
  • Solvent Residue-Free : Unlike traditional extraction methods that may leave behind solvent residues, Supercritical CO2 Extraction is solvent-free. After extraction, the carbon dioxide evaporates, leaving only the extracted compounds.
  • Environmental Friendliness : The use of carbon dioxide as the solvent is environmentally friendly. CO2 is readily available, non-toxic, and non-flammable, making it a sustainable choice compared to some conventional solvents.

Key Components Of Supercritical Co2 Extraction Machine

CO2 Storage TankStores carbon dioxide in liquid form.
Pumping SystemPressurizes CO2 to the supercritical state.
Extractor VesselHolds the raw material for extraction.
SeparatorSeparates extracted compounds from CO2.
Collection VesselCollects the concentrated extract.
Pressure andControls and monitors pressure and temperature.
Temperature Control


In conclusion, Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machines stand at the forefront of modern extraction techniques. Their precision, environmental friendliness, and wide-ranging applications make them a vital tool in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to the food and cannabis sectors. As technology advances, these machines are poised to play an even more significant role in shaping the future of extraction processes.