Supercritical fluids technology in bioprocess industries: A review


This article reviews the fundamentals of supercritical fluid (SCF) science and moves on to the biotechnological applications of them e.g. removal of biostatic agents from fermentation broths, SCF disruption of microorganisms, destruction of industrial waste, the gas-antisolvent crystallization and micron-size particle formation. Also gaining ground is enzymatic catalysis in supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2), which offers the possibility of integrated synthesis product recovery processes. The paper is structured as follows: first, the effects of dense SC-CO2 on the extraction of biomaterials and disruption of cells are thoroughly reported and discussed. Then the application of SC-CO2 in particle formation and modifications of biopolymers and enzymes are described. In general, the article is focused on potential bio-industrial applications and future research needs of the SCF technology. Keywords: Biotechnology, Supercritical Fluids (SCF), disruption, inactivation, extraction, downstream, particle formation Received: 10 October 2009 / Received in revised form: 30 January 2010, Accepted: 30 January 2010, Published online: 10 March 2010

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