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Natural raw materials as plants contain a wide range and type of valuable and biologically active compounds and also various extraction methods are applied in industry and are studied at research and development ranging from steam distillation through solvent extractions to pressurized liquid extraction and supercritical fluid extraction. Selection between the methods is in principle based on the technological feasibility, among the suitable methods selection is made upon economics and availability. While simulation based economical calculations are well established is certain cases like distillation or heat exchanger networks, similar simulation methodology is not readily available for plant extractions. There is a significant lack on phase equilibrium data and/or assumption methodology of a complex and very heterogeneous mixture like soluble plant constituent, and furthermore, the mass transfer limitations must be also taken into account. The PhD fellow will develop a suitable method to simulate the various plant extraction methods in ASPEN Hysis, and will perform necessary measurements (e.g. phase equilibrium measurements, characterisation of the solid plant material) and he/she will compare the simulation results with experimental extraction data.

© BME, Research Group on Supercritical Fluids, 2015