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Highly efficient CO2 green extraction process – SK Skrlj explains sustainable supercritical and subcritical CO2 extraction systems

This method is used in the production of bioactive compounds from herbs and other plants, where a high degree of extract purity is required, especially in the pharmaceutical and food industry. It is most known for its use in the production of hemp paste, as well as decaffeinated coffee and tea. The method is considered environmentally friendly, as it doesn’t create any unwanted or harmful side products.

The extraction of nutrients and natural products has a long history – its origins can be traced all the way back to the ancient civilizations. At the time, the extracts were used for food, cosmetic and spiritual purposes, much like today. Archaeologists have found that more than 4,000 years ago, during the pharaonic dynasties, extractions were performed to obtain colors, aromas, and medicines.

The experts

“In recent years, there has been a tremendous increase in interest in products, derived from hemp. This trend is, of course, dictated and followed by manufacturers of hemp-related products on the market. So how should consumers select the “right” product whose quality and safety is guaranteed by the manufacturer, despite the risks associated with obtaining the extract? We talked about this with Dr. Marko Likon (SK-Skrlj), environmental innovator and chemical technologist.”

Plants are the most widespread natural entity on which we rely in search of pharmacological benefits. However, residues and waste are often neglected. The leaves and roots of potatoes and carrots, which are usually discarded, contain large amounts of phenolic compounds with antioxidant properties, such as chlorogenic acid and its derivatives, which is used in cosmetics as one of the main components of anti-cellulite and fat burning creams. Additionally, chlorogenic acid has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, it protects the heart and the blood vessels and accelerates injury healing. A similar example are grape seeds and those of other stone fruits. These residues are a rich source of anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, phenolic acids and their derivatives, which are medically proven to protect the cardiovascular and nervous system, have an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect and prevent the formation of tumors. Nature is an inexhaustible source of bioactive components, but it is important to bear in mind that while it creates the most effective medicines, it can also be used to obtain the deadliest toxins. Each process must be carefully planned in order to obtain an active substance that will have a beneficial effect on our metabolism. 

Two green solvents that are often used for the extraction of bioactive substances from natural matrices are water and carbon dioxide.

More about highly efficient CO2 green extraction process 

MoSES system: SK-Skrlj always try to further develop and upgrade the supercritical extraction system and its equipment to better fit customers’ needs and facilitate its use. For this purpose they have developed the Skrlj MoSES system, which is used for the sub- and supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of natural and organic bioactive compounds.

For laboratory systems with two or three collection vessels (1, 2 or 5 liters), which can operate in parallel or sequential mode. Additionally, semi-industrial and industrial systems with two or three extraction vessels (10 or 25 liters) are available. Customer requests are always taken into consideration and, if possible, implemented and developed into unique technological solutions.

Conclusion: Pure CO2 extraction

The system enables a fairly selective extraction of terpenes, cannabinoids, and waxes, and requires less post-treatment and purification of the final products. “With these systems, the extraction process can be precisely controlled by regulating the pressure and temperature, which means that the extraction of unwanted components is reduced to a minimum,” explains Likon. 

More about Supercritical and subcritical Carbon dioxide extraction

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