New Separation Technology With Carbon Dioxide Is Cleaner And Cheaper
Researchers of Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands have developed a new clean, process to isolate valuable or undesired components from solids, such as components for food products. In contrast to other conventional processes, the new invention concerns a continuous process that can be controlled easily and secondly, leads to higher extraction yields.
Many odours and flavours are extracted from plant tissues by dissolving in organic solvents, such as hexane and alcohols. Subsequently, the solvent is evaporated after which the target components remain as pure product. From an environmental point of view and regarding food safety, the use of organic solvents is not always desired.
In the new process, which is developed in the framework of an European Union project C-REX, carbon dioxide is used as a solvent. In this process the carbon dioxide is compressed extensively, which gives it properties that are comparable to both solid and liquid, i.e. the so-called supercritical phase. The application of compressed carbon dioxide instead of organic solvents results in a cleaner extraction process. Carbon dioxide is a gas that is abundantly available in the atmosphere.
Some industries already apply compressed carbon dioxide to remove, for example, caffeine out of coffee or to extract flavours from hops for the production of beer. The Dutch researchers of Agrotechnology & Food Innovations, part of Wageningen UR, are the first to make this a continuous process. As a result, the separation process is strongly simplified. Besides that, in relation to other methods, the yields can be much higher, which leads to lower energy consumption and carbon dioxide loss and also, to reduction of processing costs.
In the new, continuous process an extruder is implemented. This machine, which can be roughly described as two rotating screws in a metal tube, is normally used for mixing and shaping of plastics and food products. The Dutch researchers have adapted the machine in such a way that it can be employed as a high-pressure vessel in which the continuous extraction can take place. The high pressure is maintained by creating two material plugs in the beginning and end of the extruder. In between, the compressed carbon dioxide is added, taking up the desired (or undesired) components. Next, the researchers separate the dissolved product from the carbon dioxide by decreasing the pressure after which the carbon dioxide is re-used and the pure product remains as solid or liquid.
The developed process can also be applied for the purification of materials, such as plastics. Next to that, the new technology can be utilised as a new production route for foams in the plastic and the food industry.
Jac Niessen | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...