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Brazilian Journal of Chemical Engineering

Print version ISSN 0104-6632On-line version ISSN 1678-4383


NOBRE, B. P. et al. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of pigments from Bixa orellana seeds (experiments and modeling). Braz. J. Chem. Eng. [online]. 2006, vol.23, n.2, pp.251-258. ISSN 0104-6632.

Supercritical CO2 extraction of the pigments from Bixa orellana seeds was carried out in a flow apparatus at a pressure of 200 bar and a temperature of 40 ºC at two fluid flow rates (0.67g/min and 1.12g/min). The efficiency of the extraction was low (only about 1% of the pigment was extracted). The increase in flow rate led to a decrease in pigment recovery. A large increase in recovery (from 1% to 45%) was achieved using supercritical carbon dioxide with 5 mol % ethanol as extraction fluid at pressures of 200 and 300 bar and temperatures of 40 and 60 ºC. Although the increase in temperature and pressure led to an increase in recovery, the changes in flow rate did not seem to affect it. Furthermore, two plug flow models were applied to describe the supercritical extraction of the pigments from annatto seeds. Mass transfer coefficients were determined and compared well with those obtained by other researchers with similar models for the supercritical extraction of solutes from plant materials.

Keywords : Supercritical carbon dioxide; Bixa orellana seeds.

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