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Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2008 Feb 14;60(3):351-72. Epub 2007 Oct 5.

Separation processes for organic molecules using SCF Technologies.

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  • 1ParticlesCIC, University of Leeds, Houldsworth Building, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.


Supercritical fluids have been applied for many years for the separation of solutes from solids or solute mixtures in both exploratory and industrial applications. In the pharmaceutical industry the generation of pure solid states without impurities is important as the presence of impurities can result in a change in chemical properties or lead to physical instability. The literature on the separation and purification of solutes from solid matrices and solute mixtures using supercritical fluids, with the main emphasis on pharmaceutically important molecules, is reviewed in this article. Also discussed is the application of supercritical fluids in the control of process impurities such as chemical intermediates and residual solvent and in polymorphic control and chiral resolution. As the generation of organic molecules of pharmaceutical interest with high purity is important in pharmaceuticals this review additionally provides a brief overview of highly selective chemical reactions in supercritical fluids.

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