4. Supercritical Fluid Extraction

  1. Shri Ramaswamy2,
  2. Hua-Jiang Huang2 and
  3. Bandaru V. Ramarao3
  1. Casimiro Mantell,
  2. Lourdes Casas,
  3. Miguel Rodríguez and
  4. Enrique Martínez de la Ossa

Published Online: 4 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118493441.ch4

Separation and Purification Technologies in Biorefineries

Separation and Purification Technologies in Biorefineries

How to Cite

Mantell, C., Casas, L., Rodríguez, M. and de la Ossa, E. M. (2013) Supercritical Fluid Extraction, in Separation and Purification Technologies in Biorefineries (eds S. Ramaswamy, H.-J. Huang and B. V. Ramarao), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118493441.ch4

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

  2. 3

    Department of Paper and Bioprocess Engineering, Empire State Paper Research Institute, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York, USA

Author Information

  1. Chemical Engineering and Food Technology Department, University of Cadiz, Cádiz, Spain

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 11 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470977965

Online ISBN: 9781118493441



  • biorefinery;
  • fractionation;
  • refinement;
  • separation process;
  • supercritical fluid extraction (SFE)


Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is a mass transfer process under pressure and temperature conditions above the critical point of the solvent. The term “supercritical fluid” refers to any substance that is in an aggregated state at pressures and temperatures higher than the critical temperature and pressure. SFE can be applied to systems on various scales, from the laboratory scale to the pilot plant scale, through to the industrial scale. The chapter provides several examples of industrial applications and details of different industrial plants that use supercritical technology. The main important applications of extraction using solvents under supercritical conditions are the extraction, refinement and fractionation of edible oils, fats, and waxes. The extraction process for solid substances primarily consists of two stages, the extraction and the separation of the product from the solvent. The design and modeling of the process is centered on the extraction stage.