In simple terms CO2 extraction in a process by which pressurized carbon dioxide is used to pull out required phytochemicals from plants. It has gained wide popularity in the current years as it is nontoxic and is much safer to use than the current methods of extraction. The process is extremely expensive, but as it delivers excellent results and thus people are opting more for it.
It has already begun to be used by the herbal and food industry and is one of the critical components in making decaffeinated coffee. Subcritical and supercritical are the two methods of extracting CO2 but the most common among these two methods is the subcritical method as this method retains all the useful chemicals and essential oils unlike supercritical which uses high pressure and heat which is a faster way of doing the same process, but it could end up affecting the extracted product. If you take a look at the Co2 phase diagram you will understand that there are many phases and there are different applications for different phases. The following are a few of the uses of CO2 extraction and how it is benefiting various different industries.
Power generation –
One of the most essential uses of sCO2 or supercritical carbon dioxide is that it is a great alternative to generate electricity when compared to conventional methods. Switching from the use of Brayton and steam cycles to sCO2 can help in increasing efficiency and power output which can be extremely helpful to generate power. The conversion of fossil fuel into fossil fuel also known as the Allam power cycle uses sCO2 as the working fluid along with fuel and pure oxygen as this helps in reducing the atmospheric emission to zero.
Aerogal production –
Superficial Carbon dioxide is also used in the production of silica, various metal-based aerogels and carbon.
Industrial Cleaning –
Supercritical CO2 is an essential component in the process of certain industrial cleaning as it is extremely nature-friendly and provides a thorough and higher standard of cleaning.
Extracting Cannabis oil –
Co2 extraction is one of the most effective methods of maintaining the terpene and cannabinoid being deactivated during the extraction process. CO2 leaves no residue behind. Thus it helps in delivering the purest form of cannabis oil to the consumers.
Manufacture products –
Extracted co2 is useful in manufacturing various products as they are environmentally friendly. Essential parts for rigid thermoplastic and fired ceramics are just a few of the products which use sCO2 as a major chemical reagent.
Isolation process –
It is a key component when it comes to the extraction of caffeine from coffee. sCo2 is hurled through green coffee beans which later are sprayed with intense water pressure to remove the caffeine easily.
Extraction of essential oil –
As supercritical carbon dioxide is nonflammable and nontoxic; thus it makes it as a perfect solvent which can help in the extraction process of essential oil from wax and other products. After the entire process is complete, the used CO2 can be released back into the air or it can be condensed back into a recovery vessel.