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Scion’s core funded experiments on scCO2 wood extracts (proof of concept)

By Laura Raymond and Stefan Hill, August 2016.

Download SWP-T013 (pdf)

Executive summary

Initial experiments to carry out scCO2 (supercritical fluid) extractions were undertaken on two species of interest: Douglas fir and Eucalyptus nitens and four tissue types: leaves/needles, bark, sapwood and heartwood.

The focus of this project is to extract and identify high value chemicals found naturally in trees using green technologies at a proof of concept level.

A recent demonstration of such an approach was carried out by supercritical fluid extraction of phenolic and flavanone compounds found in Eucalyptus [1]. An example of a compound that was extracted in high selectivity is Eriodictyol which is listed on Sigma-Aldrich at a cost of $491 per 10mg [2].

There is an increasing market for phytochemicals to be extracted, concentrated and sold to the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets. ENZO Nutraceuticals Ltd is a New Zealand company that is selling an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant product from the extraction of bark fromPinus radiata trees. Plant compounds found in Enzogenol contain polyphenols, proyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids [3]. 

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