Supercritical Fluid Extraction

Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is a technique that uses a supercritical fluid as an extraction solvent. Selective extraction can be made by exploiting the properties of differential solubility of target analytes in a wide variety of matrices.

Using supercritical carbon dioxide as an extraction solvent has many advantages. Extraction by means of supercritical carbon dioxide improves efficiency, with shorter extraction times and simplified procedures when compared with extraction techniques that use organic solvents.

In addition, it offers easier solvent elimination and sample concentration procedures. Since the critical temperature of CO2 is only 31ºC, extraction is done at temperatures that will not damage heat labile molecules and the absence of oxygen minimizes oxidation.

Applications for SFE include the extraction of active ingredients, including various flavors and medicinal constituents from natural product e.g. docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), advanced unsaturated fatty acids and fatty esters such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), fat-soluble vitamins and pharmaceuticals. Other applications include the elimination of unwanted constituents, such as decaffeination and desolvation in pharmaceutical tablets. It can also be applied to the pre-processing of samples prior to separation using HPLC or GC.

Supercritical Fluid Extraction System – Configuration

This system comprises a supercritical carbon dioxide pump, a modifier co-solvent pump, extraction vessel, and an automatic back pressure regulation valve. We offer a wide variety of extraction vessels in a range of different sizes and they can either be a column or cup type, depending on the physical state of the extraction sample. Extraction parameters include solvent volume, pressure, temperature and co-solvent ratio all of which can be adjusted to suit the application for optimal extraction yields.

Residual Pesticide Extraction Systems

SFE is an excellent technique for analyzing trace pesticides in soil and on food products. Residual pesticide extraction systems that use supercritical carbon dioxide are extremely versatile. JASCO has several SFC systems dedicated to residual pesticide extraction.

Residual Pesticide Extraction System

SFE Fasten Lock

  • Extraction vessel sizes : 10 mL or 50 mL
  • Simple patented ‘Fasten Lock‘ attachment offers simple loading and removal for both sizes of vessel
  • One to six vessels can be batch processed
  • Processing method for multiple samples. Continuous processing (serial) is offered as standard. Parallel processing is supplied as an option
 System 1System 2System 3System 4System 5
System FeaturesFull-automatic


2 flow lines with parallel processing

Single flow line

Single flow line

2 flow lines

with parallel processing

2 flow lines

with parallel processing
CO2 flow rate Max. 20 mL/min Max. 20 mL/min Max. 10 mL/min Max. 20 mL/min Max. 10 mL/min
Operating pressure Max. 30 MPa Max. 30 MPa Max. 30 MPa Max. 30 MPa Max. 30 MPa
Extraction temp. Ambient + 10ºC to 80ºC Ambient + 10ºC to 80ºC Ambient + 10ºC to 80ºC Ambient + 10ºC to 80ºC Ambient + 10ºC to 80ºC
Extraction vessel 50 mL 50 mL 10 mL 50 mL 10 mL
Vessel handling Fasten Lock Fasten Lock Tubing and connectorsFasten Lock Tubing and connectors
Sample number 6 6 6 2 2
Collection method Trap column Trap column Trap column Trap column Trap column


  • Simple operation
  • Quick extraction – about 30 to 60 minutes per sample, which is one-third to one-forth the processing time of conventional techniques
  • Eliminates trace pesticides – the extract is collected in a trap column
  • Minimal extract cleanup – also roughly separates impurities in trap column
  • Blockages and contamination are minimized – the trap column and piping is washed each tim
  • Low running costs – carbon dioxide is highly pure and inexpensive
  • The system is safe and environmentally friendly because carbon dioxide is non-toxic and nonflammable


  • Capacity of extraction vessels: 10 mL or 50 mL. The 10 mL vessel is ideal if operability is the focus. The 50 mL vessel is a better selection if the focus is on sample processing volume or analysis sensitivity
  • The 50 mL vessel offers simple one-touch attachment and removal
  • One to six vessels can be processed at a time. JASCO offers the single vessel type or the six-vessel type depending on the frequency of samples being measured