CO2 extraction is used to derive some of the most potent high-quality essential oils.
It involves using supercritical carbon dioxide to extract premium quality essential oils. In this process, CO2 is highly pressurized under ambient temperature to the extent that it turns into supercritical fluid. This fluid is then further utilized to dissolve the actives from source materials like flowers, stems, roots, buds, leaves etc. of various botanicals. This whole liquid is then sent back to its it natural state by removing the pressure and bringing it back to its initial, normal temperature. Post which, CO2 returns back to its original gaseous state and leaves behind the purest form of an aromatic CO2 extract of that particular herb or plant.
Features of CO2 Extraction of Essential Oils:
- It ensures that all actives of the respective botanicals remain intact and are present in the extracted oils. Hence, It results in very high quality and most premium essential oils out there.
- Various plant parts are utilized to obtain oils in this process.
- Carbon dioxide is utilized to obtain the essential oil, hence that becomes the main carrier.
- Oils obtained through this process are similar to those obtained through steam distillation and cane be used for aromatherapy and natural perfumery.
- CO2 extraction process works at temperatures between 95 to 100 degrees F.
- It also ensures that the chemical composition of the obtained fluid is similar to that of the source botanical.
- The extracted oils are denser and have more aroma. The aroma is very similar to their natural plant source.
The process diagram of supercritical CO2 extraction of essential oils
Note: Carbon dioxide is a colourless, odourless gas and is easily and completely removed by opening the chamber. It is inhaled by plants and exhaled by humans. The natural nature of this gas ensures that it is environmentally safe. It is safe for humans and there are no potential chemicals solvents involved.
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