Aromatic oils can be extracted from plant material using CO2 as the solvent material, producing a different oil than those extracted by steam distillation.
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Aromatic oils can be extracted from plant material using CO2 as the solvent material, producing a different oil than those extracted by steam distillation.Supercritical Fluid and High Pressure Solvent Extraction
The simplest way to explain CO2 or high-pressure solvent extraction is that you place plant material in a pressure vessel and pump liquefied gas or liquid solvent through at a specific pressure and temperature. The pressure will then force into the cell walls, separating the desired constituents rapidly. CO2 is now considered a superior solvent for botanicals; it can be widely manipulated with subtle changes in pressure and temperature and leaves no toxic residue behind. There are (1) low-pressure, cold extraction which involves chilling the CO2 to between 35-55 degrees and pumping through the plant material at between 800 and 1500 psi and (2) Supercritical Fluid extraction which involves heating the CO2 to above 87 degrees F and pumping above 1,100 psi. Low pressure CO2 is the preferred method for producing high-quality botanical extracts. Supercritical CO2 is seen as a promising green solvent because it is non-toxic and separation of reaction components from the starting plant material is simpler than with traditional organic solvents. Advantages of using CO2 extracts include:
- Closest organoleptic profile, flavor and fragrance to the raw botanicals
- No loss of top notes and back notes
- No chemical and solvent residue, thus pollution free
- High concentration of minor active ingredients means better efficacy
- Better shelf life due to co-extraction of antioxidants
We also carry some fixed oils that are CO2 extracted. You'll find them here under the category CO2 Extracts