The CO2 Lab


Information for Suprex Ltd

Company profile

CO2 as a solvent

Extraction and fractionation

Reactions in supercritical CO2

Pilot-scale CO2 extraction equipmentPilot-scale CO2 extraction equipment

Lab-scale CO2 extraction equipmentLab-scale CO2 extraction equipment

The CO2 Lab: Clean chemistry on a commercial scale

In October 2016, Suprex Ltd spun out from the BioComposites Centre's CO2 Lab and is a joint venture between Phytovation Ltd and Bangor University.

BC, with significant funding from Welsh Government, invested in the most versatile laboratory and pilot-scale CO2 equipment in the UK, to make this technology available to commercial companies and academic groups. This equipment can be used for extraction, fractionation or for carrying out reactions.

BC works closely with Suprex Ltd and is looking to form active collaboration with partners wishing to engage in research and development projects using supercritical extraction technology.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) has attracted a very negative image as a “Greenhouse gas” over the last few years, but it can be successfully used as a highly tuneable solvent to replace traditional petrochemical solvents.

Benefits of CO2 as a process solvent:

  • Non-toxic, non-flammable, recyclable, odourless and tasteless
  • More efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional organic solvents
  • Comparable or lower operating costs and energy requirements than conventional solventextraction processes
  • Extraction conditions can be optimised by varying the solvent polarity through adjustments to temperature and pressure
  • Low temperature and pressures generally used for processing ensure that neither the extracts or residual material are degraded during the procedure
  • Solvent free process with the potential to recycle the CO2 for continued reuse
  • Extraction using CO2 is a certified process and extracts can be used in organic products

Commercial applications using CO2 as a solvent:

  • Extraction of bioactive molecules from herbs and spices for food and beverage use
  • Extraction of waxes and oils for cosmetic, personal care products and neutraceuticals
  • Extraction and fractionation of pharmaceutical molecules
  • Biocatalytic and conventional chemical reactions
  • Recovery of valuable molecules from end-of-life electronics
  • Cleaning of polymers and precious metals

For further information contact Rob Elias or Ray Marriott