Date of Award

Spring 4-23-2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis




Sub- and supercritical carbon dioxide has been utilized as an extraction solvent for a variety of natural compounds. This requires the use of specialized high-pressure vessels. It was reported recently that common laboratory apparatus (centrifuge tubes) could be utilized in liquid carbon dioxide extractions obviating the need for specialized equipment. Various herbs and spices (including orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit zest, oregano, rosemary, sage, spearmint, nutmeg, black peppercorns, cloves, caraway seeds, and vanilla beans) were used as substrates for liquid carbon dioxide extractions by this straightforward technique. The extracted oils, containing terpenes and terpenoids, were then analyzed through GC/MS. Liquid carbon dioxide extraction by this procedure was evaluated utilizing an internal standard and GC analysis for orange zest and caraway seeds. The terpenes and terpenoids of interest were limonene for orange zest, and limonene and carvone for caraway seeds.