Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Chemical and Paper Engineering


Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging

First Advisor

Dr. Dewei Qi

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul D. Fleming III

Third Advisor

Dr. Said AbuBakr

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The main purpose of this project is to study how the supercritical carbon dioxide (ScCO2) fluid can be used to extract sticky compounds and commercial printing inks. This study will focus on the upscale unit operation that Western Michigan University had recently installed supercritical fluid extraction system. This also includes determination of extraction efficiency, optimizing operating condition, the effect of ScCO2 on the fiber tensile strength for recycling paper after the sticky compounds are removed and the effect of ScCO2 to the fiber physical strength property at different temperatures.

The investigation of supercritical fluid extraction equipment on sticky compounds demonstrated that the equipment is able to extract sticky compounds; such as paraffin wax, hot-melt adhesive and PVAc. The equipment delivered high extraction efficiency on paraffin wax by utilizing a continuous process. The results show that extraction efficiency is dependent on the temperature and pressure. For printing inks, the extraction is not able to extract and remove ink particles from inside the reactor. ScCO2 fluid has no effect to fiber physical strength at temperature ≤80° C, 5000 psia. At 105°C, the fibers showed a reduction in fiber strength from the zero-span breaking strength test. Tensile index and internal bond strength tests showed no significant reduction in fiber bonding strength.