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SUPERCRITICAL FLUID EXTRACTION OF CANNABIS: EXPERIMENTS AND MODELING OF THE PROCESS DESIGN
H. Perrotin-Brunel1*, M.J.E. van Roosmalen2, J. van Spronsen1, R. Verpoorte3, C.J. Peters4 and G.J. Witkamp1
1 Process & Energy Laboratory, Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, Delft University of Technology - Leeghwaterstraat 44 – NL-2628 CA Delft 2FeyeCon D&I B.V. – Rijnkade 17A – NL-1382 GS Weesp
3Division of Pharmacognosy – Section Metabolomics, Institute of Biology Leiden, Leiden University – P.O. Box 9502 - NL -2300 RA Leiden
4The Petroleum Institute, P.O. Box 2533, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Cannabis is one of the oldest medicinal plants known. At present, there is significant interest in cannabis and its medicinal uses. Cannabis contains more than 400 different ingredients, including 66 cannabinoids. The poor availability of the various cannabinoids as pure compounds is an obstacle for the development of cannabinoid based drugs and for pharmacological and toxicological studies.
Supercritical CO2 is an excellent medium for the isolation and separation of cannabinoids from cannabis. However, to be able to design such processes, data concerning the solubility of the cannabinoids in supercritical CO2 are required.
The solubility data for the 4 main cannabinoids - i.e. tetrahydrocannabinol, canabigerol, cannabidiol and cannabinol - in CO2 were determined in the pressure range from 12 to 20 MPa and temperature range 315 – 334 K. Furthermore, the results were modelled using the Peng Robinson Equation of State.
Based on these data, the pressure and temperature ranges to selectively extract each cannabinoid were determined. These experimental conditions were applied to perform supercritical fluid extraction of cannabis.
Authors thank the scientific foundation STW for their financial support (project No LFA 7426).
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