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Mathematical modeling of supercritical fluid extraction of biomaterials

Çetin, Halil İbrahim
Supercritical fluid extraction has been used to recover biomaterials from natural matrices. Mathematical modeling of the extraction is required for process design and scale up. Existing models in literature are correlative and dependent upon the experimental data. Construction of predictive models giving reliable results in the lack of experimental data is precious. The long term objective of this study was to construct a predictive mass transfer model, representing supercritical fluid extraction of biomaterials in packed beds by the method of volume averaging. In order to develop mass transfer equations in terms of volume averaged variables, velocity and velocity deviation fields, closure variables were solved for a specific case and the coefficients of volume averaged mass transfer equation for the specific case were computed using one and two-dimensional geometries via analytical and numerical solutions, respectively. Spectral Element method with Domain Decomposition technique, Preconditioned Conjugate Gradient algorithm and Uzawa method were used for the numerical solution. The coefficients of convective term with additional terms of volume averaged mass transfer equation were similar to superficial velocity. The coefficients of dispersion term were close to diffusivity of oil in supercritical carbon dioxide. The coefficients of interphase mass transfer term were overestimated in both geometries. Modifications in boundary conditions, change in geometry of particles and use of three-dimensional computations would improve the value of the coefficient of interphase mass transfer term.