Innovation toward the Reinvigoration of the Plant Extracts Industry in Developing Countries

Rosemarie Skeene, Sharad Maharaj, David R. McGaw, Dara M. Farrell


Smaller countries with economies that are fossil fuel based face the challenge of diversifying their economies, with an ideal emphasis on clean technologies. In this case study approach, we undertook a techno-feasibility study to evaluate the potential for constructing and operating a supercritical fluid extraction plant in Trinidad and Tobago to produce the oils and oleoresins of turmeric. This approach was based on the premise of the importance of data derived from laboratory-scale analysis for informing commercialization decisions. In our case, the laboratory study identified that the optimal extraction approach was an innovative two-stage extraction technique (25 °C and 65 bar for 60 minutes, followed by 50 °C and 350 bar for a further 120 minutes). This optimal method had a conservatively projected extraction yield of 7%. We then evaluated a commercial operation guided by the laboratory study. Our calculations showed an internal rate of return of 19% with a net present value of US$1.878 million over a period of 10 years at a discount rate of 10%. Based on our results, we conclude that this project may be a viable avenue for the sustainable development of Trinidad and Tobago and could be further explored.


Doi: 10.28991/HEF-2021-02-03-02

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Supercritical Fluid Extraction; Diversification; Turmeric; Techno-Economic Study.


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DOI: 10.28991/HEF-2021-02-03-02


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