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Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering

versão impressa ISSN 0104-6632versão On-line ISSN 1678-4383


SARMENTO, L.A.V. et al. Use of reverse osmosis membranes for the separation of lemongrass essential oil and supercritical CO2. Braz. J. Chem. Eng. [online]. 2004, vol.21, n.2, pp.285-291. ISSN 0104-6632.

Although it is still used very little by industry, the process of essential oil extraction from vegetable matrices with supercritical CO2 is regarded as a potentially viable technique. The operation of separating the extract from the solvent is carried out by reducing the pressure in the system. Separation by membranes is an alternative that offers lower energy consumption and easier operation than traditional methods of separation. Combining the processes essential oil extraction with supercritical CO2 and separation by membranes permits the separation of solvent and oil without the need for large variations in extraction conditions. This results in a large energy savings in the case of solvent repressurisation and reuse. In this study, the effectiveness of reverse osmosis membranes in separating lemongrass essential oil from mixtures with supercritical CO2 was tested. The effects of feed oil concentration and transmembrane pressure on CO2 permeate flux and oil retention were studied for three membrane models.

Palavras-chave : supercritical extraction; reverse osmosis membranes; essential oils.

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