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Supercritical Extraction of Essential Oils from Dry Clove: a Technical and Economic Viability Study of a Simulated Industrial Plant
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1  University of Campinas
Academic Editor: Miha Humar


The supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) is a green methodology that allows the solvent to be easily removed by simply reducing the system’s pressure or temperature. An interesting compound to be separated through SFE is the clove’s essential oil, which contains 75.5% (m/m) of eugenol and shows many food and biomedical applications, like antibacterial and antifungal activities, and use as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and for asthma and allergy relief. Herein, we simulated the operation of a SFE plant with two 400 L-extractors using CO2, and performed the economic analysis based on real purchase costs from large scale exportation suppliers. Our results show that this is not only a process that results in minimum harmless emissions, consuming low amounts of utilities; but it is also an investment with excellent economic indicators, which is viable even if there are increases of 56% on clove’s purchase costs. A fixed capital expenditure (CAPEX) of 347,000 USD is required, leading to a high net present value (NPV) of 8,600,000 USD after the project’s lifetime (40 years), with a payback of 18.67 years and internal rate of return (IRR) of 7.29%.

Keywords: Clove essential oil; supercritical fluid extraction; industrial plant simulation; technical-economic analysis.