University Challenge - Extraction of Rosehip Seed Oil Using Supercritical Fluids

All you need are some ground rose hips and the Spe-ed Basic SFE system (for any manufacturers wanting to go green, this method can be scaled up)....

Rosehip oil is a valuable natural product for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and nutrition industries, yet conventional methods of extraction still rely heavily on the use of chemical solvents.

Traditionally, the determination of oil in rose hip seeds is accomplished by Soxhlet extraction, a piece of laboratory apparatus invented in 1879 by Franz von Soxhlet. This method, whether using a single system or a 'new' automated system, is time and labour intensive, and uses large amounts of solvent such as hexane, or petroleum ether making it environmentally unfriendly.

Since rose hip seeds contain a relatively low percentage of oil compared to other seeds, using the Soxhlet extraction method becomes more costly too, as the extraction requires a significantly larger quantity of organic solvent (hexane) compared to other seeds.

Using supercritical carbon dioxide to extract rosehip seed oil is not only a completely natural extraction, it eliminates the use, exposure to, and disposal of hazardous solvents, while providing comparable extraction results in far less time.

Equipment and Materials Required

Instrument: Applied Separations Spe-ed Basic, Spe-ed SFE 2/4 or Helix System

24mL Extraction Vessel

60mL Collection Vial

Spe-ed Matrix

Spe-ed Wool

Carbon dioxide – industrial grade with dip tube

and some rosehips (ground).


Weigh out 13g of ground rosehip seeds to an accuracy of ±0.1mg.

Place a plug of Spe-ed Wool into a 24mL extraction vessel.

Pour the prepared sample into the vessel using a funnel.

Place a plug of Spe-ed Wool on top.

Compress the sample with a tamping rod.

Fill the void volume with Spe-ed Matrix.

Seal the vessel and hand-tighten.

Install the vessel into the Spe-ed SFE.

Place a pre-dried and pre-weighed 60mL collection vial containing a plug of Spe-ed Wool on the discharge tube.

Extract sample according to the specified extraction conditions below.

Remove collection vial and dry residual moisture from oil to constant weight using a drying oven at 105ºC (AOAC Method 926.12 or EPA equivalent).

Extraction Conditions

Extraction vessel: 24 mL

Sample: 13 g

Pressure: 10 000 psi

Temperature: 70 ºC

Valve temperature: 120 ºC

CO2 Flow Rate: 3 L/min (gas)

Collection: 60 mL pre-weighed vial

Dynamic time: 15 minutes


How to pack an extraction vessel can be found here

Want to explore more application notes or discover the Supercritical Fluid Extraction systems available from Applied Separations? Head over to our Supercritical Fluid Extractions page.

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