Increasing public awareness about healthy, natural and non-toxic products, and strict environmental regulations have acted as an impetus for the supercritical fluid industry. Moreover, the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and food industries have also promoted developments in this area of research (Schneider et al., 1980; Stahl et al., 1988; McHugh and Krukonis, 1994; Rizvi, 1994; Clifford, 1999; Kiran et al., 2000; Mukhopadhyay, 2000).
Interest in SFE for health and environmental reasons has resulted in several detailed contributions on this subject. Chester et al. (1998) and Williams (1981) reviewed developments in SFE. Paulaitis et al. (1983) summarized chemical engineering and thermodynamic aspects of supercritical fluids. Clifford (1999) and Kiran et al. (2000) dealt with the fundamentals of supercritical fluids. Williams and Clifford (2000) described process development using supercritical fluids.
SFE from food, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and other natural and biological products has received significant attention in recent years. Rozzi and Singh (2002), Mohamed and Mansoori (2002) and Raventos et al. (2002) reviewed applications of supercritical fluids in the food industry. Rizvi (1994), Awasthi and Trivedi (1997), as well as Mukhopadhyay (2000), enumerated extraction techniques from natural materials. King and List (1996) dealt with applications for SFE for lipids and oils. Chen and Ling (2000), as well as Lang and Wai (2001) and Catchpole et al., (2004), described applications of SFE technologies for herbal medicine. Apart from these detailed reviews and books, there are several other research publications on supercritical fluids for the extraction of various biological materials (Froning et al., 1990; Peker et al., 1992; Bhaskar et al., 1993; List et al., 1993; Tsuda et al., 1995; Chester et al., 1998; Cheung et al., 1998; Nguyen et al., 1998; Ambrosino et al., 1999; Cheng et al., 1999; Galan et al., 1999; Ibanez et al., 1999; King, 2000; Senorans et al., 2001; Wong et al., 2001; Canela et al., 2002; Rozzi et al., 2002; Prieto et al., 2003). Tehrani (1993) suggested successful SFE strategies. DeCastro and Carmona (2000), after reviewing the advantages and limitations of SFEs, talked about future directions of the process.
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