Supercritical carbon dioxide fractionation of the model mixture squalene/oleic acid in a membrane contactor

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Six different membranes were tested at 18.0 MPa and 313 K for their performance to fractionate a model mixture of squalene/oleic acid with supercritical carbon dioxide. A significant enrichment of squalene in the permeate side was achieved with a 10 mu m-coating layer polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) membrane at the tested conditions although with the drawback of a lower total permeate flux. Additional fractionation experiments of the same model mixture were carried out in a countercurrent packed column at 18.0 MPa of pressure and 313 and 323 K of temperature. At a solvent-to-feed mass flow ratio of ca. 40 an extraction efficiency of 88% of the total mass of squalene fed to the column was obtained at 18.0 MPa/313 K. The raffinate and extract streams obtained at these conditions had a squalene content of 10 and 63.5 wt%, respectively. An optimized combination of supercritical extraction and membrane separation could be used to increase the purity of the extract stream in squalene. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)231-237
JournalSeparation and Purification Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

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