- Core | Extraction Machines
Core Separations specializes in manufacturing a wide range of vital components utilized in CO2 extraction systems. As a prominent leader in the field of supercritical extraction, we maintain the highest standards of quality, safety, and functionality through our production methods and established practices. With more than 20 years of experience in working with supercritical fluids, our extensive knowledge positions us as experts in developing tailored systems for processing diverse natural products
Natural Product Extraction
CO2 extraction plays a vital role in diverse research fields, extracting valuable compounds from herbs, seeds, and leaves. It contributes to enhanced food supplements and substitutes like oat milk. Extracted natural products also hold potential for pharmaceutical applications, with Cannabis and Hemp being extensively studied for compounds like CBD and THC for pain management. We provide tailored solutions based on our expertise in supercritical fluid technology, ensuring optimal extraction results for our clients.
Why not read about some of the most common applications below?
Seaweed is a rich source of bioactive compounds that have medicinal and pharmaceutical properties.
CO2 has been used to extract a variety of compounds including Carotenoids, fatty acids and phytosterols.
CO2 extraction of coffee has long been an alternative method for the removal of caffeine to make decaffeinated coffee. However coffee also contains many interesting bioactive compounds such as polyphenols, flavanols and flavones. All ideal for CO2 extraction.
Cannabis and Hemp
The extraction of Cannabis and Hemp have well established over the last 15 years with the legalisation in many countries. CO2 technology is a popular technique in producing extracts for both recreational and medicinal products. These oils contains a variety of bioactive compounds such as Cannabinoids and terpenes.
Hops extraction is one of the biggest commercial uses for CO2 technology. It has long been used to produce hop oils rich in alpha and beta acids which add the bitterness present in brewing. Monoteperenes are also extracted and are what infuses the hop taste into beer.
Aerogels are porous materials that have highly insulative properties while being light weight. CO2 has long been used to form these structures by removing the solvents used in the gelation process, while maintaining the porous structure. This is due in part to the low surface tension of CO2 in its supercritical state.
Polymers often contain trace solvents and unreacted monomers after the polymerisation process. Due to the diffusive properties of CO2, it is able to penetrate the polymer matrix removing the trace solvents and unreacted monomers from the polymer. This can be beneficial in polymers used in healthcare products.
CO2 can be used to remove the residual moisture from food similar to that of freeze drying, Unlike freeze drying however CO2 produces a dried product that retains a better texture and porous structure while reducing the shrinkage of the material.
CO2 can effectively remove residual moisture from biological samples while preserving the materials structure. Ideal for preparing samples for SEM analysis.
Flexible Pressure Range
Flexible Pressure Range
Our systems are designed to provide our customers with maximum versatility and adaptability. With our standard extraction systems capable of reaching pressures up to 689 bar, we can cater to a broad spectrum of applications by achieving high CO2 densities. Moreover, for those seeking even more intensive capabilities, we offer systems that can reach up to 1000 bar, making them ideal for pilot or research projects.
Pressure Control (APC)
Pressure Control (APC)
Effective extraction hinges on precise pressure control. Without it, ensuring a selective extraction process becomes challenging. Managing CO2, especially across diverse flow rates and extraction volumes, presents its own set of challenges. At Core Separations, we’ve integrated various mechanisms to develop our adaptive pressure control system. This guarantees both accuracy and precision in pressure management, regardless of the flow rate or extraction volume.
Research and Pilot
Research and Pilot Systems
At Core Separations, we provide systems ranging from small-scale discovery to pilot-scale production, presenting an expansive selection to our clients. Our equipment suits a vast array of applications and research endeavors, enabling not only pure research but also the scaling up of innovative concepts. Our standard line-up includes capacities from 100mL up to 10L. And when you’re set for full-scale production, we have systems that exceed 100L at your disposal
Unique Core Separations Features
Core | Pumps
SFX Control Software
Core | Vessels
Got any questions, just ask!
1. How do I know how big a CO2 system I need?
When attempting to determine the optimal size of a CO2 system for research or production purposes, several factors must be taken into account. The prevailing misconception is that individuals often desire a system with future capacity in mind. However, it is important to note that CO2 extractions are most efficient when the extraction vessels are completely filled, allowing the CO2 to thoroughly interact with the material and extract the maximum amount of soluble compounds. Insufficiently filling the extraction vessels creates significant empty spaces where the supercritical fluids can bypass the material, resulting in subpar extraction outcomes. Therefore, the most suitable size is generally determined by the smallest volume that the customer can fill. It is preferable to conduct multiple smaller batches that are completely packed rather than a single large batch that remains underfilled.
Dual vessel systems present a favourable middle ground when considering extractions of varying sizes. For instance, a system equipped with both a 1L and 5L vessel allows for small-scale extractions suitable for research purposes, while also offering the capacity to scale up using the larger 5L vessel.
2. Why use co-solvent in your process?
CO2 is commonly categorized as a non-polar solvent, but this classification only holds partially true. By increasing the density of CO2 through elevated pressure, it becomes capable of dissolving moderately polar compounds. However, highly polar compounds like alcohols and amides do not exhibit solubility in CO2 alone. To facilitate the extraction of such compounds, the introduction of a co-solvent becomes necessary. The co-solvent modifies the polarity of CO2, enabling the extraction of these compounds. Incorporating a co-solvent pump into a Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) system expands the range of extractable compounds, enhancing its versatility.
Furthermore, co-solvent pumps prove valuable in the cleaning process by allowing the addition of a more polar solvent. This addition reduces the cleaning time required for the system, enhancing efficiency.
3. Why use subcritical CO2?
Subcritical CO2 refers to CO2 operating below its critical point of 31 °C and 74 bar. In this range, CO2 transforms into a high-pressure liquid and becomes suitable for processing materials at lower temperatures. Similar to other fluids, reducing the temperature directly influences the solubility of various compounds. For instance, subcritical CO2 exhibits reduced solubility for plant waxes, but it can still effectively dissolve smaller compounds like alpha and beta acids present in hops. This characteristic allows for a higher level of selectivity in the extraction process.
The primary distinction between a supercritical and a subcritical system lies in the capability to cool below room temperature. In most systems with a volume of 10 L or below, temperature control is achieved through the use of electrical heater bands. However, employing a thermal fluid enables a significantly broader range of conditions, enhancing control over the extraction process. This broader temperature range facilitates better control over extractions, offering more precise and customizable conditions. As we understand that it isn’t always clear which conditions will work best all our systems can be easily retrofitted to achieve subcritical conditions without change to the vessel.
4. How can I use CO2 fractionation to separate my compounds?
Typically, during the process of fractionation, the collection occurs in a manner where the least soluble compounds are initially gathered, followed by the subsequent collection of more soluble compounds like terpenes in the final collector.
5. When should I recycle the CO2?
One of the remarkable advantages of using CO2 as a solvent is that when collecting the product from the separator, it returns to its gaseous state, leaving the product uncontaminated.
Nevertheless, we can also harness the reusability of CO2 by recompressing it. While this may not be cost-effective for small-scale systems due to the relatively inexpensive nature of CO2 (depending on the grade), it becomes more sensible as we scale up. The commonly employed approach involves lowering the CO2 pressure to 55 bar (bottle pressure) and recycling it back into a tank.
However, this recycling process can pose challenges, as there can be carryover of materials leading to potential blockages and contamination of the extraction process. By thoroughly understanding the characteristics of the materials and process conditions, these effects can be minimized or eliminated.
6. How long does a CO2 extraction take?
The duration of an extraction process depends on the solubility of compounds in CO2. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the solvent-to-feed ratio, which specifies the required amount of CO2 per gram of material for extraction. Once this CO2 quantity is determined, the flow rate can be utilized to estimate the duration of the extraction process.
However, it should be noted that faster delivery of CO2 does not necessarily lead to quicker extractions. If the velocity of CO2 is excessively high, it can cause channelling within the material, resulting in suboptimal extraction outcomes. Therefore, it is important to strike a balance and ensure an appropriate CO2 velocity that facilitates thorough extraction without compromising the quality.
7. What classes of compounds are Soluble in CO2?
CO2 exhibits the ability to dissolve a wide array of natural products. This diverse group includes terpenoids, phenolics, sterols, lipids, diterpenes, cannabinoids, alkaloids, carotenoids, waxes, and polyphenols. The solubility of these compounds in CO2 as a supercritical fluid is influenced by factors such as pressure, temperature, and fluid density.
Why use Supercritical CO2
Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE), is commonly used to extract compounds from solid botanical materials due to its achievable pressure and low temperature (critical temperature and pressure of 31 °C and 74 bar). It has a number of benefits unique to CO2 over traditional petrochemical derived alternatives.
With a system that has multiple collectors with their own back pressure regulators, the conditions in each separator can be adjusted to achieve a specific density. Selectively precipitating different compounds into each of the separators.
When isolating the extract from a CO2 extraction, it requires depressurisation of the CO2. This involves a phase change from a supercritical fluid into a gas. This ultimate change in density results in the separation of the dissolved compounds from the CO2. The CO2 gas is then able to escape leaving the extract uncontaminated by the extracting fluid.
Unlike other solvent extraction, CO2 is recovered from other industrial processes as a by-product. The renewable and abundant nature of CO2 is one of the most attractive properties when using CO2 as an alternative solvent.
The polarity of the CO2 can be adjusted with the addition of a solvent of higher polarity such as ethanol. Small percentages of more polar solvents can have a significant effect on which components are extracted. It can also help reduce the pressures required to extract components such as polyphenols.
By altering the pressure and temperature alters the CO2 density is tuneable giving CO2 its selective extraction properties.
One of the most powerful aspects of CO2 as a solvent is witnessed when collecting the product from the separator as it reverts to a gas, so leaving your product uncontaminated. We can also re-use the CO2 by re-compressing it.
Learn how our systems work!
We strive to create systems that are user-friendly and efficient, ensuring a seamless experience from straightforward operations to low dead volume pipework. Our systems are designed to deliver exceptional selectivity in CO2 processing and maintain a high standard of extract quality.