Date of Award

12-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Committee Chair

Kevin West, Ph.D.

Abstract

Supercritical fluids (SCFs) are substances in a state above their critical temperature and pressure ranges where they exhibit some properties of both liquids and gases. This peculiar state generates high transport rates when applied in various chemical processes, in particular, extraction processes. The main limiting factor in using SCFs for extraction is the fact that their moderate solubility leaves room for improvement as most extraction processes are heavily based on relative solubility. The SCF’s performance can be enhanced by employing ionic liquids (ILs) – non-volatile liquids composed almost entirely of cations and anions – allowing for the solubility limitation to be circumvented. By taking advantage of SCFs’ high transport rate along with ILs’ stability, extraction processes will become more efficient and precise. This will lead to developments wherever extraction precision is in demand such as pharmaceutical applications, flavor and fragrance manipulation, or analytical methods. This work explores some of the modeling of solute solubility in the supercritical fluid, screen which ionic liquids as well as presents preliminary experiments.

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