Modeling of solubility and mass transfer

Mathematical expression of the kinetics of supercritical extraction phenomena can be of great significance for further studies, as well as in understanding general behavior of extraction phenomena for given components.

Knowledge of phase equilibrium behavior and generation of phase equilibrium data - such as solubility, distribution coefficients and selectivity of separation of extractables - in supercritical fluids is of great importance for improved understanding of the process. All applications of SFE for food, flavor, fragrances and pharmaceuticals involve a basic understanding of high-pressure, fluid-phase and equilibrium behavior. Most SFE applications involve multi-component systems. The common approaches for modeli ng have been to treat the supercritical fluid phase as a dense gas and may be represented using equations of state to calculate fugacity coefficients, or to treat the supercritical fluid phase as an expanded liquid apart from other approaches involving semi-empirical correlations or molecular models based on computer simulations. Although supercritical fluid phase behavior indicates some interesting trends, the practical tasks of modeling and predicting such behavior for qualitative and quantitative understanding pose serious challenges due to the molecular complexities of solutes and uncertainties in specific interactions in dilute supercritical solutions at higher pressure and high compressibility of the supercritical fluid solvents. Agricultural and biological materials add to these challenges by their complex biological structures, which present many undefined variables for the technologist attempting to use supercritical fluids in their processing (Clifford, 1999; King, 2000; Mukhopadhyay, 2000).

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