Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering]]> http://www.scielo.br/rss.php?pid=0104-663220120003&lang=en vol. 29 num. 3 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.br/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.br <![CDATA[<b>C</b><b>omparison between continuous and batch processing to produce xylanase by penicillium canescens 10-10c</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Penicillium canescens 10-10c strain was cultivated on barley straw hydrolysate as a soluble nutrient source and as inducer for xylanase production. Barley straw hydrolysate was obtained by treatment of barley straw with NaOH or hot water. In shake flask cultures, NaOH treatment was found to increase the biomass production, but was not accompanied by an increase in xylanase production. The best xylanase production (54 U/ml) was observed on hydrolyzed extract from barley straw treated with hot water (100 ºC) for 3 hours. Enzyme production was further improved by scaling up the cultivation process to a 3-L stirred tank bioreactor. For batch cultivations in the bioreactor, the maximum xylanase productivity reached 1.31 and 0.46 U/ml/h, respectively, after 96 and 168 hours of cultivation. However, xylanase productivity reached 3.46 U/ml/h in the continuous culture. These results suggest that xylanase can be produced efficiently by Penicillium canescens 10-10c in continuous culture from an inexpensive source such as barley straw hydrolysate. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of process variables and additives on mustard oil hydrolysis by porcine pancreas lipase</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Selective hydrolysis of brown mustard oil (from Brassica juncea) with regioselective porcine pancreas lipase was studied in this work. Buffer and oil phase were considered as the continuous and dispersed phases, respectively. Effects of speed of agitation, pH of the buffer phase, temperature, buffer-oil ratio and enzyme concentration on hydrolysis were observed. The best combination of process variables was: 900 rpm, pH 9, 35 ºC, buffer-oil ratio of 1:1 and enzyme concentration of 10 mg/g oil. These standard conditions led to 50% hydrolysis and selective production of 55% erucic acid in 6 h. Cations like Mg2+ and Ca2+ increased hydrolysis, but Cu2+ strongly inhibited it. Organic solvents decreased hydrolysis, though the decrease was minimum for isooctane. A mixed surfactant comprising of Span 80 and Tween 80 increased erucic acid production by 57% at a buffer-oil ratio of 0.2:1. <![CDATA[<b>Study on fermentation conditions of palm juice vinegar by response surface methodology and development of a kinetic model</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Natural vinegar is one of the fermented products which has some potentiality with respect to a nutraceutical standpoint. The present study is an optimization of the fermentation conditions for palm juice vinegar production from palm juice (Borassus flabellifer) wine, this biochemical process being aided by Acetobacter aceti (NCIM 2251). The physical parameters of the fermentation conditions such as temperature, pH, and time were investigated by Response Surface Methodology (RSM) with 2³ factorial central composite designs (CCD). The optimum pH, temperature and time were 5.5, 30 °C and 72 hrs for the highest yield of acetic acid (68.12 g / L). The quadratic model equation had a R² value of 0.992. RSM played an important role in elucidating the basic mechanisms in a complex situation, thus providing better process control by maximizing acetic acid production with the respective physical parameters. At the optimized conditions of temperature, pH and time and with the help of mathematical kinetic equations, the Monod specific growth rate ( µ max= 0.021 h-1), maximum Logistic specific growth rate ( µ 'max = 0.027 h-1) and various other kinetic parameters were calculated, which helped in validation of the experimental data. Therefore, the established kinetic models may be applied for the production of natural vinegar by fermentation of low cost palm juice. <![CDATA[<b>Application of enzymes in leather processing</b>: <b>a comparison between chemical and coenzymatic processes</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The use of biotechnology by tanneries has increased in recent years. Enzymes can be applied during different steps of the leather production process: soaking, dehairing, bating, dyeing, degreasing or in effluent and solid waste treatment. This study evaluated the performance of five commercial enzymes in soaking and unhairing/liming by comparing the chemical and coenzymatic processes. Tests were conducted in bench drums to evaluate the action of enzymes during each stage. Concentration, processing time and type of enzyme were varied. Total organic carbon and soluble protein were used to measure the efficiency of the processes. Enzymatic activity assays on collagen, keratin and lipid and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) analyses of hides were used to complement the study. Coenzymatic processes generally showed better results in comparison to chemical processes. The enzymes showed activity on all substrates, and the SEM analyses of the hides showed a clear difference between the chemical and coenzymatic processes. <![CDATA[<b>Renewable resources for biosurfactant production by yarrowia lipolytica</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this work, the production of a biosurfactant synthesized by Yarrowia lipolytica using different renewable resources as carbon source was investigated. Crude glycerol, a biodiesel co-product, and clarified cashew apple juice (CCAJ), an agroindustrial residue, were applied as feedstocks for the microbial surfactant synthesis. The microorganism was able to grow and produce biosurfactant on CCAJ and crude glycerol, achieving maximum emulsification indexes of 68.0% and 70.2% and maximum variations in surface tension of 18.0 mN.m-1and 22.0 mN.m-1, respectively. Different organic solvents (acetone, ethyl acetate and chloroform - methanol) were tested for biosurfactant extraction. Maximum biosurfactant recovery was obtained with chloroform - methanol (1:1), reaching 6.9 g.L-1for experiments using CCAJ and 7.9 g.L-1for media containing crude glycerol as carbon source.The results herein obtained indicate that CCAJ and the co-product of biodiesel production are appropriate raw materials for biosurfactant production by Y. lipolytica. <![CDATA[<b>Improvement of the flocculation process in water treatment by using moringa oleifera seeds extract</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Water scarcity encourages researchers to keep working on natural coagulant agents such as Moringa oleifera seed extract, that could be used even in developing countries. With this scope, this investigation is focused on the optimization of certain parameters affecting the use of this coagulant product in the clarification of real surface water. Acidic pH levels seem to enhance the coagulation performance and the turbidity removal increases as the stirring period becomes longer (up to 95% with 40 min). The optimum stirring rate is identified as 80 rpm. Water clarified with this optimum coagulation and flocculation process is turbidity-competitive with other well known coagulants and flocculants and its quality is inside standard ranges for clarified water. No microbial growth is observed within the first 72 hours after the coagulant trials. <![CDATA[<b>Effect of quinoa and potato flours on the thermomechanical and breadmaking properties ofwheat flour</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The thermomechanical properties of dough and the physical characteristics of bread from quinoa-wheat and potato-wheat composite flours at 10 and 20% substitution level were evaluated. The functional properties of flours were measured by the water absorption index (WAI), water solubility index (WSI) and swelling power (SP). The thermomechanical properties of wheat and composite flours were assessed using a Mixolab and the baking quality characteristics of breads were weight, height, width, and specific volume. The results showed that the higher values of WAI (4.48), WSI (7.45%), and SP (4.84) were for potato flour. The quinoa-wheat composite flour presented lower setback and cooking stability data, which are a good indicator of shelf life of bread. On the other hand, the potato-wheat composite flour showed lower stability, minimum torque and peak torque, and higher water absorption. Weight, height, width, and specific volume of wheat bread were most similar to samples of potato-wheat composite flour at 10% substitution level. <![CDATA[<b>Second law analysis for free convection in non-newtonian fluids over a horizontal plate embedded in a porous medium</b>: <b>(prescribed heat flux)</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Second law characteristics of heat transfer and fluid flow due to free convection of non-Newtonian fluids over a horizontal plate with prescribed surface heat flux in a porous medium are analyzed. Velocity and temperature fields are obtained numerically using an implicit finite difference method under the similarity assumption and these results are used to compute the entropy generation rate Ns, irreversibility ratio φ and the Bejan number Be for both Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. The effects of power-law index n, heat flux variation parameter λ , and modified duty parameter, G on the dimensionless entropy generation rate Ns, and the Bejan number Be are investigated and presented graphically. <![CDATA[<b>Antiwear and antioxidant studies of cardanol phosphate ester additives</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In the search for new applications and products derived from Cashew Nut Shell Liquid (CNSL), we report herein the synthesis and characterization (GC/MS and ¹H, 13C, and 31P NMR) of four phosphate esters derived from hydrogenated cardanol, including their applications as antiwear additives for diesel (S500) and as antioxidant additives for mineral oils, evaluated through the HFRR test and oxidative stability analyses, respectively. The results obtained showed very good to excellent performances promoted by the bio-additives evaluated, especially for the thiophosphorylated derivative, which notably reduced the sludge residue and the acidity index of the oxidized oil (0.52 mg NaOH/g sample) and also improved the diesel lubricity, reducing the wear of metal parts by more than 50% (330 μm). <![CDATA[<b>Organophilic bentonites based on argentinean and Brazilian bentonites</b>: <b>Part 1: influence of intrinsic properties of sodium bentonites on the final properties of organophilic bentonites prepared by solid-liquid and semisolid reactions</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study describes the influence of the intrinsic properties of raw materials on the organophilization of bentonites from Argentinean raw sodium bentonites and Brazilian sodium activated bentonites. The organophilization was done with two methodologies: solid-liquid and semisolid reactions. Correlations between the properties of sodium and organophilic bentonites were established. The effectiveness of the treatments was verified by X-ray diffraction, swelling capacity in water and xylene and SEM to evaluate the morphology of the particles. The analysis was done before and after the modification process. The bentonites had organic cations intercalated, as shown by the increase of the basal spacings, and the organophilic character was confirmed because the bentonites showed xylene swelling capacity and particles with an expanded aspect in comparison to those of the sodium bentonites. Both methodologies were efficient to obtain organophilic clays. The organophilic bentonites obtained from raw sodium bentonites gave better results. <![CDATA[<b>Relationship of lambda and overshoot of step response for a direct synthesis PI controller</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The direct synthesis (DS) tuning method is a model-based method for a feedback controller. The main principle of this method is to obtain the controller settings based on a predetermined desired closed loop response. The main advantage is that there is only one parameter to be adjusted, which is lambda (λ), the speed of the desired closed loop response. There are several guidelines available for selecting λ in order to ensure that the closed loop step response matches the desired response. In this paper, a guideline that relates λ and overshoot is proposed and it worked well over a wide range of R varying from 0.05 to 2. For a fair comparison of DS-tuned controllers with different λ guidelines, both performance and robustness for a unit step change in the set point are considered. It was found that the DS-tuned controller with this proposed guideline performed better and the gain margin (GM) and phase margin (PM) lie between 2≤GM≤5 and 30º≤PM≤75º, respectively. Besides, its overshoot changed less with a ±25% process model mismatch, except for τ mismatch. <![CDATA[<b>Introducing a new formula based on an artificial neural network for prediction of droplet size in venturi scrubbers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Droplet size is a fundamental parameter for Venturi scrubber performance. For many years, the correlations proposed by Nukiyama and Tanasawa (1938) and Boll et al. (1974) were used for calculating mean droplet size in Venturi scrubbers with limited operating parameters. This study proposes an alternative approach on the basis of artificial neural networks (ANNs) to determine the mean droplet size in Venturi scrubbers, in a wide range of operating parameters. Experimental data were used to design the ANNs. A neural network was trained based on the liquid to gas ratio (L/G) and throat gas velocity (Vgth), as input parameters, and the Sauter mean diameter (D32) as the desired parameter. The back-propagation learning algorithms were used in the network and the best approach was found. A new formula for the prediction of D32 using the weights of the network was then generated. This formula predicts mean droplet size in Venturi scrubbers more accurately than the correlations of Boll et al. (1974) and Nukiyama and Tanasawa (1938). The Average Absolute Percent Deviation (AAPD) of our formula and the Boll et al. and Nukiyama and Tanasawa correlations for the full ranges of experimental data are 26.04%, 40.19% and 32.99%, respectively. <![CDATA[<b>CFD-optimization algorithm to optimize the energy transport in pultruded polymer composites</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Pultrusion is a composite manufacturing process in which fibers are pulled continuously through a resin bath for resin impregnation before entering into a heated die, where an exothermic cure reaction occurs. The energy needed to provide the cure reaction depends on many aspects such as cure kinetics and pulling speed. Generally, the pultrusion forming is divided in heat zones that can be heated at different temperature levels. The temperature distribution on the die surface can greatly affect material quality and energy cost. In the present work, through a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) algorithm, it was possible to verify that the energy requirements can be reduced by changing the heating configuration of the pultrusion die. For this, an alternative configuration with internal heaters inside the die body was simulated. The heating rate was considered as the objective function. For the optimization study, we used a stochastic algorithm, the so-called particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm. The results showed that the energy spent to cure the resin-fiber system can be reduced considerably. <![CDATA[<b>Mathematical modeling of a three-phase trickle bed reactor</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300014&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The transient behavior in a three-phase trickle bed reactor system (N2/H2O-KCl/activated carbon, 298 K, 1.01 bar) was evaluated using a dynamic tracer method. The system operated with liquid and gas phases flowing downward with constant gas flow Q G = 2.50 x 10-6 m³ s-1 and the liquid phase flow (Q L) varying in the range from 4.25x10-6 m³ s-1 to 0.50x10-6 m³ s-1. The evolution of the KCl concentration in the aqueous liquid phase was measured at the outlet of the reactor in response to the concentration increase at reactor inlet. A mathematical model was formulated and the solutions of the equations fitted to the measured tracer concentrations. The order of magnitude of the axial dispersion, liquid-solid mass transfer and partial wetting efficiency coefficients were estimated based on a numerical optimization procedure where the initial values of these coefficients, obtained by empirical correlations, were modified by comparing experimental and calculated tracer concentrations. The final optimized values of the coefficients were calculated by the minimization of a quadratic objective function. Three correlations were proposed to estimate the parameters values under the conditions employed. By comparing experimental and predicted tracer concentration step evolutions under different operating conditions the model was validated. <![CDATA[<b>Solvent recovery from soybean oil/n-hexane mixtures using hollow fiber membrane</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300015&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this work, the separation of refined soybean oil/n-hexane mixtures was investigated using a commercial hollow fiber ultrafiltration membrane 50 kDa. Three alcohols with different chain lengths were tested for the conditioning of the membrane; n-propyl alcohol showed the highest n-hexane permeate flux after conditioning. There was a decrease in the rejection and an increase in permeate flux over time. This behavior may be related to swelling and membrane plasticization by the oil. Rejections from 10.0 to 28.7% and total permeate fluxes from 12.2 to 65.3 kg/m²h were observed. An increase in the oil/n-hexane mass ratio and the pressure caused an increase in the rejection and permeate total flux for most assays. No degradation was observed in the membrane module. <![CDATA[<b>Extraction of oil and minor lipids from cold-press rapeseed cake with supercritical CO<sub>2</sub></b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300016&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study examines the extraction of oil from cold-press rapeseed cake using Supercritical CO2(SC-CO2). The effects of pressure (20, 30, and 40 MPa), temperature (40, 50, and 60 ºC), and extraction time (60, 90, and 120 min) on oil yield and composition (tocopherols and carotenoids) were studied using response surface design. The results indicated that pressure influenced the most the yield of oil, followed by temperature and extraction time. Extraction time had no effect on oil composition. Extraction pressure and temperature did not affect the tocopherol concentration of the oil to a great extent, whereas temperature had no affect in its carotenoid concentration. A comparison was made between the relative qualities of oil extracted with SC-CO2at 40 MPa and 60 ºC and with n-hexane. Neither solvent affected the unsaponifiable matter content or the composition of phytosterols (mainly β-sitosterol, campesterol and brassicasterol) of the oils, although there was a significant difference (p<0.05) in tocopherol. Extraction with SC-CO2at 40 MPa and 60 ºC is recommended to obtain rapeseed-oil enriched with tocopherols and carotenoids as important functional components. <![CDATA[<b>Effective transport properties for the pyridine-granular activated carbon adsorption system</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300017&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this work, the kinetics of pyridine adsorption onto granular activated carbon was studied from the point of view of an up-scaling process by using the method of volume averaging. The pore and surface effective diffusivities were estimated by supposing simple microscale geometries (ordered media of cylinders and spheres) and those of images processed from SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) micrographs. In addition, as a rough estimate, the point surface diffusivity is reported. The results revealed that the up-scaled diffusional model satisfactorily interpreted the concentration decay curves and the effective diffusivity was found to be an increasing function of the concentration, mainly due to the contribution of surface diffusion. In general, the diffusivity coefficients involved in the adsorption system are related through the expression molecular diffusivity = 22 ï‚' point surface diffusivity = 5/2 x‚' pore effective diffusivity = 1/12 x ‚' surface effective diffusivity. <![CDATA[<b>Experimental study of lactose hydrolysis and separation in cstr-uf membrane reactor</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300018&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en In this study, the effect of processing conditions on the performance of continuous stirred tank -ultrafiltration (CSTR-UF) in dead - end mode was investigated. An UF membrane with a molecular weight cutoff of 3 kDa made of regenerated cellulose material was used to separate enzyme from products. The effect of operating pressure ranging between 2 and 5 bar and time on the performance of the CSTR-UF system was studied. The experiments were performed with a 0.139 molar aqueous solution of lactose as feed. According to the experimental data, the lactose concentration in the permeate decreased with time due to concentration polarization and hydrolysis. It was found that the rejection factor of lactose increases from 33 to 77% with time from 5 to 85 min. Permeation flux of the membrane was evaluated in terms of pure water flux (PWF) and lactose aqueous solution. Results showed that a high operating pressure led to a high permeation flux for both mentioned cases. Also, adding lactose and enzyme to pure water caused a reduction of the permeation flux due to concentration polarization. <![CDATA[<b>Characterization and use of <i>in natura</i> and calcined rice husks for biosorption of heavy metals ions from aqueous effluents</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300019&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Heavy metal removal by adsorption using rice husks as a bioadsorbent was evaluated as an alternative for wastewater treatment. Batch equilibrium experiments and kinetic sorption studies were performed using monocomponent solutions of Ni(II), Cd(II), Zn(II), Pb(II) and Cu(II) in surface samples of in natura(RH) and calcined rice husks (RHA). RHA showed higher potential for removing lead and copper. Experimental data for adsorption isotherms of lead and copper were adjusted by Langmuir, Freundlich and Dubinin-Radushkevick (D-R) models, being better represented by the Langmuir model. The calcination of RH increased its surface area, improving its adsorption properties. From a morphological analysis obtained by SEM and diffraction patterns (XRD), a longitudinal fibrous and amorphous structure was observed for RH. TGA resultsindicated a total mass loss of around 60% for RH and 24.5% for RHA. <![CDATA[<b>Comparison of adsorption equilibrium and kinetic models for a case study of pharmaceutical active ingredient adsorption from fermentation broths</b>: <b>parameter determination, simulation, sensitivity analysis and optimization</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300020&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Mathematical models for a batch process were developed to predict concentration distributions for an active ingredient (vancomycin) adsorption on a representative hydrophobic-molecule adsorbent, using differently diluted crude fermentation broth with cells as the feedstock. The kinetic parameters were estimated using the maximization of the coefficient of determination by a heuristic algorithm. The parameters were estimated for each fermentation broth concentration using four concentration distributions at initial vancomycin concentrations of 4.96, 1.17, 2.78, and 5.54 g l−¹. In sequence, the models and their parameters were validated for fermentation broth concentrations of 0, 20, 50, and 100% (v/v) by calculating the coefficient of determination for each concentration distribution at the corresponding initial concentration. The applicability of the validated models for process optimization was investigated by using the models as process simulators to optimize the two process efficiencies. <![CDATA[<b>Viscosities and viscosity deviations of binary mixtures of biodiesel + petrodiesel (or n-hexadecane) at different temperatures</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300021&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Viscosities of four binaries mixtures [soybean biodiesel + diesel oil (or n-hexadecane) and coconut biodiesel + diesel oil (or n-hexadecane)] have been determined at T = (293.15, 313.15, 333.15, 353.15, 373.15) K and atmospheric pressure over the entire composition range. Experimental data were fitted to the Andrade equation and the adjustable parameters and the standard deviations between experimental and calculated values were estimated. From the experimental data, the viscosity deviations, <img src="/img/revistas/bjce/v29n3/21e02.jpg" alt="" align="absmiddle" />, were calculated by using the Redlich - Kister polynomial equation. The comparison between experimental data determined in this work and four predictive methods used for the estimation of viscosities of biodiesel fuels (based on their fatty acid composition) is discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Investigation of asphaltene precipitation in miscible gas injection processes</b>: <b>experimental study and modeling</b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300022&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en Asphaltene precipitation during natural depletion and miscible gas injection is a common problem in oilfields throughout the world. In this work, static precipitation tests are conducted to investigate the effects of pressure, temperature and gas type and concentration on asphaltene instability. Three different oil samples have been studied under reservoir conditions with/without nitrogen and methane injection. Besides applying common thermodynamic models, a new scaling equation is presented to predict asphaltene precipitation under HPHT gas injection. Extensive published data from the literature are also used in model development. The scaling approach is attractive because it is simple and complex asphaltene properties are not involved in the calculations. Moreover, the proposed model provides universal parameters for different fluid samples over a wide range of pressure and temperature that makes it novel for evaluation of future gas injection projects when simple PVT data are available. <![CDATA[<b>Safety study of an experimental apparatus for extraction with supercritical CO<sub>2</sub></b>]]> http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0104-66322012000300023&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en During the process of supercritical CO2 extraction it is necessary to use high pressures in the procedure. The explosion of a pressure vessel can be harmful to people and cause serious damage to the environment. The aim of this study is to investigate the probability of death and injury in a laboratory unit for supercritical fluid extraction in the case of an explosion of the extractor vessel. The procedure is explained via a case study involving fatty acid extraction from vegetable oils with carbon dioxide above its supercritical conditions and under optimum operating conditions. According to the results, more importance should be given to the use of a protective headset because the probability of eardrum injury is superior to the probability of death from lung injury.