Supercritical Fluid Technology

A number of research projects dealing with supercritical fluid technology applied to various chemical processes have been carried out. The chemical processes and unit operations of interest include low temperature polymer processing, polymerization in a supercritical fluid medium, copolymerization, infusion, elastomerization, foaming, encapsulation, diffusive drying, catalyst defouling, VOC removal, selective and destructive extraction, solvent-free processing, redox reaction, supercritical water oxidation, extraction of biologically active substances from plant matters, controlled partial oxidation, hazardous waste destruction, and soil decontamination.

Sponsors include Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., BFGoodrich Co., PPG Industries, Kimberly-Clark, Zeon Chemicals, Dow Chemical, Elf Atochem, Atofina, Ohio Coal Development Office, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Geon Co., Radian, DRS-TSI, U.S. Army, U.S. DOT, AirForce Research Lab (AFRL), NIH, and others. In June 1996, the State of Ohio awarded a major research funding of $1,647,000 for the Ohio Consortium for Supercritical Fluid Technology, for which Dr. Lee served as the Principal Investigator and Project Director. For 2004-2010, the U.S. Department of Defense sponsored Dr. Lee's R&D with more than $4.7 million dollars for the development of novel supercritical water reformation technology and its fuel cell applications.

Specific technologies from the aforementioned list of supercritical fluid research expertise that are available for licensing through the Ohio University Technology Transfer Office include:

Specific technologies in the supercritical fluid technology that are available for licensing from Ohio University include:

  • Polymerization of Fluoropolymers
  • Supercritical Graft Copolymerization
  • Supercritical Water Reformation
  • Devulcanization of Spent Rubber
  • Supercritical Extraction of Biologically and Medicinally Active Ingredients

Supercritical fluid technology is a versatile technology that can handle a variety of difficult problems in separation, reaction, polymerization, depolymerization, devuleanization, material processing, nanomaterial processing, blending, cleansing, leaching & extraction, drying, distillation, and crystallization. Our team has done pioneering work in many of these processes that are commercially exploited. Some of the work has been published in the open literature. A number of U. S. and international patents have been obtained for several of these technologies. Some of the most difficult processing methods using the conventional means may be rather easily handled in an environmentally friendly manner using a custom-designed supercritical fluid technology.