Decaffeination Process CO2 Process

This process is carried out by a company called CR3 Kaffeeveredelung Hermsen in Bremen, Germany.

This process is called CO2 Method, or Liquid Carbon Dioxide Method or Supercritical Carbon Dioxide method but it is technically known as supercritical fluid extraction. Some even call it C3R.

In basic terms - the supercritical CO2 acts selectively on the caffeine, releasing the alkaloid and nothing else. Water-soaked coffee beans are placed in an extraction vessel. The extractor is then sealed and supercritical CO2 is forced into the coffee at pressures of 1,000 pounds per square inch to extract the caffeine.

The CO2 acts as the solvent to dissolve and draw the caffeine from the coffee beans, leaving the larger-molecule flavor components behind. The caffeine-laden CO2 is then transferred to another container called the absorption chamber where the pressure is released and the CO2 returns to its gaseous state and evaporates, leaving the caffeine behind.

The caffeine is removed from the CO2 using charcoal filters, and the caffeine free CO2 is pumped back into a pressurized container for reuse on another batch of beans.