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Molecules 2012, 17(9), 10550-10573; doi:10.3390/molecules170910550

Extraction of Volatile Oil from Aromatic Plants with Supercritical Carbon Dioxide: Experiments and Modeling

1,* , 2,3, 2, 3, 2,4, 4, 3, 5, 5, 2, 6 and 2
1 Centro de Investigação de Engenharia Química e Biotecnologia, Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa, Rua Conselheiro Emídio Navarro, 1, Lisboa 1959-007, Portugal 2 Centro de Química Estrutural, Instituto Superior Técnico, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1, Lisboa 1049-001, Portugal 3 UL, Faculdade de Ciências de Lisboa, CCMM, Centro de Ciências Moleculares e Materiais, C8, and CQB, Centro de Química e Bioquímica, C8, and DBV, Centro de Biotecnologia Vegetal, C2, Campo Grande, Lisboa 1749-016, Portugal 4 LNEG, Unidade de Bioengenharia (BE), Est. do Paço Lumiar 22, Lisboa 1649-033, Portugal 5 GATHERS, Departamiento de Química Fisica, Pedro Cerbuna 12, Zaragoza 50009, Spain 6 Institute of Chemical Process Fundamentals of the ASCR, v.v.i., Rozvojova 135, Prague 16502, Czech Republic
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 August 2012 / Revised: 20 August 2012 / Accepted: 28 August 2012 / Published: 5 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Terpenoids)
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An overview of the studies carried out in our laboratories on supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) of volatile oils from seven aromatic plants: pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium L.), fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.), coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.), savory (Satureja fruticosa Béguinot), winter savory (Satureja montana L.), cotton lavender (Santolina chamaecyparisus) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris), is presented. A flow apparatus with a 1 L extractor and two 0.27 L separators was built to perform studies at temperatures ranging from 298 to 353 K and pressures up to 30.0 MPa. The best compromise between yield and composition compared with hydrodistillation (HD) was achieved selecting the optimum experimental conditions of extraction and fractionation. The major differences between HD and SFE oils is the presence of a small percentage of cuticular waxes and the relative amount of thymoquinone, an oxygenated monoterpene with important biological properties, which is present in the oils from thyme and winter savory. On the other hand, the modeling of our data on supercritical extraction of volatile oil from pennyroyal is discussed using Sovová’s models. These models have been applied successfully to the other volatile oil extractions. Furthermore, other experimental studies involving supercritical CO2 carried out in our laboratories are also mentioned.
Keywords: essential oils; volatile oils; supercritical fluids; modeling; extraction essential oils; volatile oils; supercritical fluids; modeling; extraction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Coelho, J.P.; Cristino, A.F.; Matos, P.G.; Rauter, A.P.; Nobre, B.P.; Mendes, R.L.; Barroso, J.G.; Mainar, A.; Urieta, J.S.; Fareleira, J.M.N.A.; Sovová, H.; Palavra, A.F. Extraction of Volatile Oil from Aromatic Plants with Supercritical Carbon Dioxide: Experiments and Modeling. Molecules 2012, 17, 10550-10573.

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