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iBiosys - Healthy World - Fragrances - Supercritical Fluids

SCF Industry Uses



No solvent residue. No health hazards. 

Fragrance compounds are volatile molecules that have an odour or aroma. They are low molecular weight compounds and are found in food, wine, spices, flowers, and many natural products.


These volatile compounds are composed of esters, terpenes, cyclic terpenes, aromatics, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, and lactones. All of these compounds are readily soluble in supercritical carbon dioxide at low temperatures and low pressures.

Supercritical carbon dioxide extracts the fragrances (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 fragrance is in its unadulterated state. No solvent residue, no health hazards, no smell of solvent.

iBiosys - fragrance extraction using supercritical fluids
iBiosys - Supercritical Fluid extraction - Easy to use

Mild and easy supercritical fluid extractions

High yields. No lost 'top notes'. 


Steam distillation is used in many fragrance (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. 


Extraction of fragrances 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.


Fractionation is also made easy, using only carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a 'tunable solvent' - load the perfume 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 fragrances 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 concrete. The fragrances (essential oils) can easily be separated from the wax with supercritical carbon dioxide. Because of the low temperature, the process gives high recoveries.

iBiosys - Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Fragrances
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