Prep SFE Systems

Faster, safer, cleaner. Realize the benefits of switching to SFE technology for the extraction, fractionation, and isolation of chemical compounds:

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Low operating costs
  • Safe, with little to no residual solvent
  • Processes thermally labile compounds
  • Scalable

Waters Prep SFE systems
Increasing concern about the quality, safety, usage, and disposal of hydrocarbon based solvents as well as stricter regulations on the residual levels of solvents have all contributed to many industries switching to SFE technology for the extraction, fractionation, and isolation of chemical compounds.


Using carbon dioxide
Waters Prep Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) systems extract chemical compounds using CO2 in its supercritical state in place of organic solvents. The result is an extract with little or no residual solvent, superior purity, selectivity, yield, and lower operating costs when compared to solvent-based systems. SFE provides a faster, safer, and cleaner technology for applications such as:

  • Extractions of oils from hemp and related plants
  • Dietary supplements, such as St. John’s Wort, saw palmetto, kava-kava, ginger, garlic, and ginseng
  • Extraction and fractionation of edible fats and oils
  • Purification of solid matrices
  • Cleanup of herbal medicines and food products from pesticides and herbicides
  • Concentration of fermentation broth, fruit juices, etc.
  • Extraction of metabolites from biological samples
  • Flavors, fragrances, and natural food colors
  • Hydrocarbons from source rock
  • Soil contaminants
  • Precision parts cleaning
  • Polymer additives from various polymer compounds
  • zoom SFE 500 System

    Advantages of SFE
    The biggest advantage of SFE is that it leaves no traces in the product. After extraction, the carbon dioxide is either depressurized and vented, or recycled for further extraction use. Any residual trace of carbon dioxide in the product dissipates into the atmosphere within a few hours. As a tunable solvent, CO2 is nontoxic, nonflammable, and physiologically compatible
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Lower operating costs
  • Little to no residual solvent
  • Processes thermally labile compounds
  • Safe
  • Scalable

    Scalability
    Waters preparative SFE systems come in a variety of sizes to meet your needs. The size of the main extraction vessel can be 100mL, 500mL, 1000mL, 2000mL, or 5000mL. The systems also offer many options.

System options include:

  • Co-solvent pump, for extracting polar samples.
  • CO2 flow meter, to measure the amount of CO2 being supplied to the system
  • Multiple extraction vessels, to extract different sample sizes or to increase the throughput of the system
  • Multiple fraction collectors, to fractionate the extract
  • Recycle system, allowing the reuse of CO2
  • Rapid Expansion of Supercritical Solutions (RESS), for particle formation

    How it works
    Waters SFE systems extract chemical compounds using supercritical CO2 instead of an organic solvent. The supercritical fluid state occurs when a fluid is above its critical temperature and critical pressure. This supercritical state allows CO2 to take on properties of a gas (high diffusivity, low surface tension) as well as maintaining the solvating power of a liquid.

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