What is a Supercritical Fluid?

A supercritical fluid is any substance at a temperature and pressure above its thermodynamic critical point (31o C and 73 BAR for CO2). CO2 is most commonly used as a supercritical fluid. It is safe, inexpensive, environmentally friendly, and leaves no residue. These properties make it an ideal substitute for organic solvents.

 

A Supercritical Fluid

 

  • is safe and nonflammable, unlike butane which has been used for extraction of medical cannabis in the past.
  • is fast and selective.
  • is more efficient than the liquid solvents and gases currently used.
  • provides decreased processing time.
  • allows for reduced extraction and purification steps.
  • eliminates petroleum-based solvents.

CO2 Phase Diagram

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