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Supercritical Controlled Espansion Atomization (SCEA).

SCEA (Supercritical Controlled Espansion Atomization) is a technique for the production of microparticles of different materials of relatively low melting temperatures, controlling expansion parameters for a better particle dispersion. The process is based on the capacity of those materials to dissolve large amounts of CO2 at moderate pressures. Upon depressurization down to ambient conditions, the dissolved CO2 is rapidly released and expanded, producing an intense cooling effect that promotes the formation of microparticles.

The SCEA process is quite similar to the PGSS process with one important difference: in SCEA process, the material is solubilized in supercritical CO2 and than depressurized through a nozzle with the formation of droplets or solid particles.

Unlike to RESS technique, the principle governing SCEA process involves both the pressure and temperature and solvent-induced phase separation.

Advantages of PGSS process are:

  • simplicity of this process, leading to low processing cost and wide range of application
  • can be applied to process inorganic powders to pharmaceutical compounds
  • low solvent gas usage and pressure than RESS process as operational condition.