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Over the years Separeco has created a supply technology chain that allowed to fully develop the technology applied to supercritical fluids starting from scientific knowledge to industrial plant construction, in particular through the use of supercritical CO2 in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, nutraceutical, food, healthy food. The name is “Super Critical Fluid Network”, (SCFN). These are the logo.
The supply chain is composed by four parts: engineering, scientific, industrial and market partners and Natural Medicine experts (SIMN). Separeco is the CO2 systems designer. Exenia Group comes from scientific world. Exenia Group is the first company in Italy who developed the technology making use of supercritical fluid state and has a very detailed knowledge about herbal drugs and natural substances extraction processes. Mancin and Coproget comes from the industrial world. Mancin has established over time a lot of experience in the field of automation and numerical control techniques, while Coproget works in the Stainless steel branch in the field of automatic machinery. SIMN is the Italian Society of Natural Medicine, created to give adequate answers to the demand of health and wellness that requires new rigor, more reassurance, especially a more authoritative scientific correctness.
The supercritical fluid commonly utilized is carbon dioxide (CO2). The state diagram of CO2 visualizes the various phases (solid, liquid, gas) depending on pressure and temperature. CO2, at 31,1°C and 73,8 bar, is in its supercritical state, in which there is no distinction between liquid and gaseous phases. Transiction frames from gas to supercrtical fluid.
Increasing the temperature and keeping the pressure constant (73,8 bar), CO2 remains in the supercritical state, and so happens when pressure is increased and temperature is constant (31,1°C): this individuates two rays – respectively parallel to to the pressure and temperature axes – defining the zone in which CO2 is in the supercritical state; in particular, within this state, the possible combinations of pressure and temperature are shownto variate CO2 solubilizing properties.
Last discoveries in the field of supercritical fluids technology allowed to enlarge the range of configurations for plants working with supercritical CO2. In addition to the traditional extraction and fractionation systems, nowadays there are also continuous cycle pasteurization systems and multipurpose systems, containing all the functions listed below. In the following schemes plants having PLC control systems are described. The functioning of the manual plants is similar, but it presupposes the presence of the operator handling the valves according the necessities, and setting the temperatures on chiller and boiler. In this case pressure and temperature for every section will be recorded instruments flanking the plant.
Here is the new plant SCF100 Series 2 lab-scale plant with 1.2 litres extractor, 400 bar pressure, SFE circuit for solid matrix extraction and SFF circuit for liquid matrix fractionation. We added also SFWE extraction with high pressure water or with polar cosolvent such as ethanol or water+ethanol. It'a super compact size plant, 140 cm x 160 cm, 160 cm ecluse the fractionation tower. The system is equipped with two high pressure 400 bar pumps , metal diaphragm type. It offer 6 large gauges and 6 digital instruments for temperature measuring .
The autoclave extraction has a volume of one liter and 200 ml and is equipped with three baskets 300/500/900 ml. The boiler, controlled by a microprocessor with calculation of PID and connected to the PLC, is installed directly on main skid. This particular model is equipped with high-performance PLC for the automatic control of the process. We provide a control software to be installed locally on a PC that displays all the variables, pressure, temperature, flow and liquid CO2 to be fractionated or co-solvent, either in tabular or chart form in Excel automated sheet format. The chiller is controlled by a microprocessor with PID calculation and connected to the PLC: it has a cooling power of 4 kW at 0 ° C and cools the CO2 inside the 2 liters storage tank and supplies necessary heat to ensure the condenser closed loop.
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