Tuesday, May 26, 2020
At least as far back as ancient China, people have been interested in the bioactive ingredients in plants and how best to extract them to reap their benefits. While scientific research has led to the development of several isolation and extraction techniques, most of the traditional methods suffer from weaknesses that limit the amount of pure substance that can be obtained from the plant. An emerging technique, which employs what is referred to as supercritical carbon dioxide, is gaining traction in several industries, as it is proving favorable in a number of ways in its ability to isolate vitamins as well as other substances thought to provide medicinal benefits that may be used in the development of neutraceuticals and other products.
Super critical carbon dioxide extraction is a technique to separate substances from within a plant. This approach combines other techniques to simplify and optimize the process of extraction. The data on its effectiveness and safety over other extraction methods are leading to its use in extracting a wide range of molecules from plants. Extracting substances from cannabis plants and hemp seed, for instance, has become more popular as the markets for the relevant ingredients have grown with recent regulatory changes. However, a major challenge in meeting this new demand is accessing safe and reliable extraction techniques.
This method involves placing plant material into an extraction vessel and pumping in carbon dioxide that has been exposed to high temperatures and pressures. The carbon dioxide then acts to dissolve portions of the plant. When the pressure is subsequently released by the opening of a valve, this dissolved material flows into another vessel, where heat and pressure are further modified to enhance the bonding of the material to the carbon dioxide. This bonding facilitates the separation of key ingredients from the plant. The extracted material is then collected in a separate collection vessel.
What makes supercritical carbon dioxide processing superior to other extraction methods?
This feature of supercritical carbon dioxide processing is advantageous because it enables the isolation of a pure product. Given that organic solvents are often toxic., ensuring that the final product is free of organic solvents is particularly important in industries where the isolated product is one that will be ingested.
In addition to minimizing degradation, supercritical carbon dioxide enables higher product yields by simply capturing more of the product. By working in a super critical state, however, this approach leverages thee technical benefits of both gases and liquids. Specifically, the supercritical carbon dioxide can travel into small spaces that only gases can travel while also dissolving and behaving like a solvent in a way that only liquids normally do. No degradation.
Takeaway: There are a variety of substances within plants that have the potential to improve our lives and our health. As research into these substances has grown, so too has our understanding of which substances are most beneficial and what their specific benefits are.
This critical information has increased our desire to isolate and extract specific molecules from others that are co-mingled within individual plants. As such, developing more sophisticated methods for extraction has been a major goal of plant-based industries. The use of supercritical carbon dioxide is growing due to promising data on its ability to more effectively, efficiently, and safely isolate these sought-after substances.
Supercritical CO2 processing is especially useful for THC remediation from hemp or cannabis. High Purity Extractions currently offers numerous supercritical CO2 extraction services, including;
Please contact us if you want to know more about the supercritical CO2 services that High Purity offers, or to get in our cue.
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