Supercritical fluids in separation technology


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Azizi Che Yunus

The properties of the supercritical fluid near the critical point can be changed by varying the pressure and temperature, allowing selective and faster extraction. Supercritical fluids exhibit liquid-like density and gas – like viscosity & diffusion coefficients and can penetrate more into the solid matrix inaccessible to liquids due to negligible surface tension and viscosity. They are suitable as a substitute for organic solvents in a range of industrial and laboratory processes. These properties of supercritical fluids are well suited for the extraction of solutes, from various plants, fruits, flowers, seeds, leaves, which cannot be easily extracted using conventional extraction processes. In view of the above-mentioned advantages, supercritical fluid extraction is becoming increasingly popular in many industries such as petroleum, chemical, food, and perfumery.