Saturday, December 31, 2011
Caffeine extraction from green coffee with supercritical CO2
I finally succeeded in extracting caffeine from green coffee beans by using supercritical CO2. I built a high pressure chamber from 2" steel pipe fittings, and poured in 200mL of water. There is an aluminum screen above the water line, which held 0.75 lbs of moisturized green coffee beans in the upper part of the chamber. I added liquid CO2 to the chamber, then closed all valves and raised the temperature, making the CO2 pass into the supercritical phase. I left the system overnight at about 60*C, 3000 psi, then drained the water. It was very black due to impurities and some bean burning that occurred where my electric strip heater caused localized overheated zones in the chamber. The water was highly caffeinated, and tasted somewhat like coffee. I used a typical hydrocarbon extraction process to isolate the caffeine from the water (will show this in a later video).