UWB Crest

Novel Ingredients from Seaweed Extracts (NISE)

CO2 Extraction

A Sustainable Extraction Technique

Carbon dioxide is generated from many everyday activities, and is a by-product in the chemical and brewing industries. The recent growth in the production of biofuels such as bioethanol means that a sustainable supply of high purity CO2 is now readily available. As a solvent CO2 is universally considered as a clean, green solvent (cheap, non-toxic, non-flammable, recyclable) and can be used for the preparation of “organic” extracts in many countries. In addition, CO2 is tasteless, odour free and does not leave residues in the extract or extracted material, making is suitable for food, personal care or nutraceutical based applications.

Precise Targeting

Extraction can be carried out using CO2 in a liquid or supercritical state and the choice largely depends on the solubility of the molecules to be extracted. Liquid CO2 is significantly less polar than supercritical CO2 and is applicable only to small, non-polar molecules. In the supercritical state CO2 is a highly tuneable solvent and the manipulation of temperature and pressure allows selective extract of a wide range of molecules. Supercritical CO2 has low surface tension and viscosity and therefore high mass transfer rates can be achieved, providing ideal conditions for extracting compounds with a high degree of recovery in a short period of time and with easy separation of products.