SCF Industry Uses
No compound degradation, no toxic residue.
Supercritical fluid extraction is an environmentally clean technology using carbon dioxide to isolate a variety of natural compounds from microalgae. This benign extraction process provides:
- high selectivities
- short extraction times
- leaves no toxic solvent residues in the extract
Microalgae are microscopic algae found in fresh and marine waters. They are unicellular species which exist as individuals or in groups. Microalgae can range in size from a few micrometres to a few hundred micrometres. They are capable of photosynthesis and produce approximately half of the earth’s atmospheric oxygen and consume carbon dioxide to grow.
Microalgae are extremely diverse organisms, and it has been estimated that about 500,000 different species exist that produce over 15,000 novel compounds. Most microalgae produce unique products like carotenoids, antioxidants, fatty acids, peptides, and sterols. These compounds are normally extracted using toxic solvents which can cause compound degradation and leave unhealthy solvent residues in the extract.
Compounds extracted from microalgae using SCF
Selectively extract compounds quickly.
Supercritical fluid extraction is an alternative technique using supercritical carbon dioxide to selectively extract compounds such as carotenes and fatty acids quickly, while avoiding the co-extraction of triglycerides. Supercritical fluid extraction eliminates the use, exposure to, and disposal of hazardous solvents while providing superior extraction results in less time.
Examples of compounds naturally extracted from microalgae using supercritical carbon dioxide;
- Astaxanthin from Haematococcus Pluvialis.
- Alkadienes from Botryococcus Braunii
- Carotenoids from Chlorella Vulgaris
- Beta-carotene from Dunaliella Salina
- Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) from Arthrospira Maxima (Spirulina)