A dynamic model of a supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) process was developed and applied to the fractionation of the binary mixture squalene/methyl oleate by supercritical carbon dioxide. The model combines a mathematical model for each main piece of equipment of the SFE process, namely, the countercurrent packed extraction column, the separation column for oil recovery and solvent regeneration, the heat exchanger for heating fresh CO2, and the make-up of solvent in the process plant. Experimental tests were performed in a pilot-plant SFE apparatus where perturbations on prespecified operating parameters were induced and their effect on main process variables determined. A good agreement was obtained between experimental and predicted results. In addition, the dynamic model of the packed extraction column was applied to other SFE case studies where sufficient experimental data is available. The dynamic model was found to correctly predict the outlet streams composition profiles of all the case studies. © 2007 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2007
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