CO2 Extraction of Essential Oils

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an odorless inert gas, a naturally occurring trace component of the atmosphere and a natural metabolite of living organisms. Like water, it is a safe solvent that does not leave any residues behind. CO2 under supercritical conditions is well established as a modern solvent replacing traditional organic solvents such as hexane.

Selective and gentle technology
High purity natural carbon dioxide is used under pressure and above the critical temperature of 31C (88F) to extract the essential oil. With this gentle process, active substances or sensitive flavors and fragrances are extracted under exclusion of oxygen often giving a wider and more authentic scent profile.

Flexible method for extraordinary excellent quality
CO2 extraction results in improved quality because it preserves sensitive components that are lost due to the heat of stem or water distillation. Compared with products extracted with other methods such as hexane, CO2 extracts offer a more natural, fresher and authentic odor profile as well as superior activity.

Depending on the pressure used, a “select” or “total” extract will result. Select extracts are created at lower pressures and are more similar to essential oils, being fully mobile liquids with mostly volatile constituents making up the vast majority of the extract. Total extracts are created using higher pressures and contain more higher molecular weight, lipophilic constituents of the plant, can be thicker or waxier, and more closely resemble the whole plant rather than just the essential oil fraction of the plant.