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iBiosys - Healthy World - Supercritical Fluid Extraction

SCF Industry Uses

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

No solvent residue. No health hazards. 

Essential oils can be primary ingredients in perfumes for cosmetics, soaps, and detergents. They form the basis of the spices in our foods. Put simply, essential oils are 'essential' for modern living.


The more we learn about the positive effect essential oils can have on our health and wellbeing, the more we are concerned about how those essential oils are produced.

Supercritical carbon dioxide extracts the essential oils more efficiently than petroleum-based solvents, but more importantly, upon returning to an ambient state, the carbon dioxide becomes a gas, leaving no residue. The flavour or fragrance is in its unadulterated state. No solvent residue, no health hazards, no solvent taste or smell.

iBiosys - Extraction of Essential Oils by Supercritical Fluid Extraction
iBiosys - Supercritical Fluid Extraction - Essential Oils - No lost top notes

Gentle supercritical fluid extractions

High yields with no lost 'top notes'.


Steam distillation is used in many essential oil procedures, but with exposure to temperatures over 100°C, many of the 'top notes' are destroyed or swept away, severely reducing their yield. 



Mild Extraction Conditions – 31°C temperature

Extraction of essential oils by supercritical carbon dioxide occurs under mild conditions, at a temperature of only 31°C. With temperatures less than body temperature (37°C), little thermal degradation of sensitive compounds occurs, keeping those top notes and producing high yields.



Easy Fractionation

Fractionation is also made easy, using only carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a 'tunable solvent' - load the feedstock into an extraction vessel and then, by only changing the pressure of the supercritical carbon dioxide, you can have the solubility characteristics of a myriad of different petroleum-based solvents. Eliminate the need to add or change solvents.

Extract essential oil from wax

No solvent residue. No health hazards. 

Sometimes supercritical carbon dioxide can be used in conjunction with more traditional methods, such as soaking perfume feedstocks in an organic solvent for a period of time.


The organic solvents containing the extracted perfumes (essential oils) and accompanying waxes are then decanted and evaporated, leaving a wax concrete. The essential oils can easily be separated from the wax with supercritical carbon dioxide. Because of the low temperature, the process gives high recoveries.

iBiosys - Essential Oils - Supercritical Fluid Extraction - no solvent residue
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