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January 31, 2013
The new laboratory is dedicated to using green technology and working with carbon dioxide as the solvent to extract oils, flavorings and other compounds in food, cosmetics and medicine. By using carbon dioxide as the solvent and low temperatures, thermal damage or additional harmful chemicals is guaranteed to be excluded.
Located in the Bio-Beneficiation Systems Laboratory at NWU's Potchefstroom Campus, the pilot plant will serve as a guide for companies throughout South Africa to localize and commercialize the use of green technology.
Companies have an opportunity to perform pilot plant tests and trials right in the facility instead of overseas and for a smaller price as well. There are numerous opportunities for the extraction of various compounds from indigenous plants, said LJ Grobler, dean of the faculty of engineering at NWU.
Many different oils and fragrances have successfully been extracted already at the pilot plant by Natasa Taseski, the R&D chemist in the Bio-Beneficiation Systems Laboratory.
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