Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) Systems

Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) 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.

Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) Systems

Supercritical Fluid Extraction System
Supercritical Fluid Extraction System

Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) typically uses supercritical CO2 as the extraction solvent of choice as it has many advantages, including high matrix penetration and low viscosity at relatively low temperatures and in the absence of oxygen, this is important for compounds that may be heat labile or easily oxidized. SFE offers short extraction times and requires little or no organic solvents compared with other extraction techniques.

SFE can be used for many applications, including  active ingredients,  flavors, medicines from natural products (docosahexaenoic acid DHA), complex unsaturated fatty acids and fatty esters  (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 used in the pre-processing of samples prior to separation by HPLC or GC.

Supercritical Fluid Extraction System – Configuration

A typical system comprises a supercritical CO2 and co-solvent pumps, extraction vessel, and an automatic back pressure regulation valve.  Extraction vessels are available in a wide range of sizes (both column and cup type) depending on the nature of the sample. Extraction parameters that can be controlled include solvent flow rate, pressure, temperature and co-solvent ratio,all of which can be adjusted to suit the application for optimal extraction yields.

Residual Pesticide Extraction Systems

Supercritical Fluid Extraction Systems
Supercritical Fluid Extraction Systems

SFE is an excellent technique for analyzing trace pesticides in soil and food products. Residual pesticide extraction systems that use supercritical CO2 are extremely versatile. JASCO has developed several automated SFC systems dedicated to residual pesticide extraction.

  • Extraction vessel sizes : 10 mL or 50 mL
  • Simple patented ‘Fasten Lock‘ attachment for simple loading and removal
  • One to six vessels can be automatically batch processed
  • Continuous serial processing (standard). Parallel processing (option)
 System 1System 2System 3System 4System 5
System FeaturesFull-automatic

High-throughput

2 flow lines with parallel processing
Full-automatic

Single flow line
Full-automatic

Single flow line
Manual

2 flow lines

with parallel processing
Manual

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

Features

  • Simple operation
  • Fast extraction – approx. 30 to 60 minutes per sample, around 25% of the processing time required for conventional techniques
  • Eliminates trace pesticides – the extract is collected in a trap column
  • Minimal extract cleanup – impurities are retained on a trap column
  • Blockages and contamination are minimized – the trap column and tubing is flushed each time
  • Low running costs – high quality CO2 is inexpensive
  • The system is safe and environmentally friendly because CO2 is non-toxic and nonflammable

Flexibility

  • Extraction vessels: 10 mL or 50 mL. A 10 mL vessel is ideal if operability is the focus. The 50 mL vessel is a better for sample volume or analysis sensitivity
  • The 50 mL vessel offers simple one-touch attachment and removal
  • One to six vessels can be processed simultaneously. A single vessel or the six-vessel system can be selected depending on the number of samples being measured