Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Dana E. Knox

Second Advisor

Robert Benedict Barat

Third Advisor

James M. Grow


A Senior level Undergraduate Unit Operations Laboratory experiment was developed for the extraction of Naphthalene with supercritical Carbon Dioxide. A Supercritical Extraction Screening System purchased from Autoclave Engineers of Erie, Pennsylvania was modified slightly for use as the laboratory equipment. The experiment consists of extracting solid naphthalene from a sand bed in a fixed bed extractor and determining the mass transfer coefficient for the unit.

The lab has been designed to allow the students to develop their own experimental plan without much direct input. The experimental outline provided for the students primarily focuses on information needed for safe and proper operation of the equipment. The discussion questions the students are asked to consider, however, have been developed to provide some guidance on how the experimental plan should be developed. Additionally, these questions focus the students onto some of the other concerns of Supercritical Fluid Extraction like heat transfer and material handling.

Finally, the experiment allows the student to apply basic thermodynamic principles to real world problems like the prediction of unavailable physical properties near the critical point. These predictions are necessary to do calculations related to scale-up and equipment performance on Supercritical Fluid Extraction processes. A computer program written in BASIC that utilizes the Peng-Robinson equation of state with mixing rules that use a single binary interaction parameter is also included.



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