An Environmental Friendly Process for Extraction of Active Constituents from Herbal Plants

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Rasht, Iran.

2 School of Environment, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Conventional methods for extraction of the active constituents from herbal plants, in addition to their high processing costs, are harmful to the environment owing to their time and energy consumption, uncontrollable parameters, use of toxic and dangerous solvents, loss of the extract, thermal instability, the contamination of the product with organic solvents and the loss of water-soluble compounds, and venting Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). The use of supercritical fluids, especially supercritical carbon dioxide, is the most suitable option for extracting active constituents from the herbal plants. In this study, Due to the abundance of "Urtica dioica" (nettle) and "Sambucus ebulus" (elderberry) in Guilan province and the presence of valuable substances in them, the active constituents of these two plants and their application, the method of planting and extracting their valuable substances have been studied. Various methods were applied to extract active constituents from these two plants. Supercritical CO2 is an attractive alternative process for traditional solvent extraction CO2 was used in a process, and then recovered to use again. There have been an increasing number of commercialized production plants utilizing supercritical fluids extraction process. This article summarized and presented this environmentally friendly process for the extraction of active constituents from herbal plants to replace traditional techniques to reduce the environmental impact of the extraction process.


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