Supercritical Back Pressure Regulator

Non-Clogging Supercritical Fluid Back Pressure Regulator

Equilibar is pleased to introduce our new blockage resistant back pressure regulator. This unit is ideal for specialty applications, particularly supercritical back pressure CO2 extraction applications, but it will also work great for any process in which clogging, blocking, or freezing could be an issue.

This unit integrates proprietary design features to help customers achieve precision control by reducing the Joule-Thomson effect of supercritical process fluids passing through the unit. A primary design feature of this regulator is a downstream expansion cavity that provides a continuously increasing cross-sectional area that eliminates convergence points for ice buildup. Additionally, this large thermal mass provides increased heat transfer area to heat the outlet fluid through several different means. Lastly, this unit has specially designed O-ring grooves to reduce stress during rapid decompression to increase O-ring lifetimes. This unit has several different fitting options, including an outlet flange, tube stub, or NPT fittings.

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 Below you’ll find a video of this unit in action. Check out that steady pressure control even while the unit spits out chunks of ice and oil!

Built Tough to Withstand the Supercritical Back Pressure Extraction Environment

The BR1 series is not a standard back pressure regulator being pressed into service for supercritical back pressure let down in a supercritical extraction system. The BR1 (patent pending) is designed from a clean sheet to specifically address the demands encountered when rapid cooling occurs as a supercritical gas expands during decompression. The body is CNC machined from premium stainless steel 316/316L dual cert alloy bar stock. The diaphragm material choices include polyimide, PTFE, and PEEK depending on the co-solvents used and the maximum temperatures. O-ring cavities are designed to limit the explosive decompression that occurs when the SCO2 permeates the o-ring material. O-ring choices include Buna-N, Viton, PTFE, and DuPont Kalrez as determined by your application. The flexible diaphragm membrane is the only moving part. This membrane directly seals against field of multiple parallel orifices. The shape of the internal passages prevents the accumulation of ice or viscous oils so that the BR1 remains free to keep the pressure regulated at your target set point.

How the Supercritical Back Pressure BR1 Works

The BR1 supercritical back pressure regulator controls the pressure on its inlet port. The flow is from inlet to outlet. The BR1 uses a pilot pressure to determine the target set point pressure. This pilot pressure is applied to the top side of the flexible membrane diaphragm. The pilot pressure holds the diaphragm against a field of multiple parallel orifices to effect a seal and place the BR1 regulator in a closed position. Any media added to the system that would act to make the pressure rise above the pilot set point pressure will act to lift the diaphragm and break the seal. This allows the excess media to escape and keeps the pressure at the target set point. The diaphragm responds in a precise 1 to 1 relationship between the pilot set point pressure and the controlled pressure on he inlet port. The pilot pressure may be applied with a traditional manually adjusted regulator or with an electronic pressure regulator to allow the system pressure to be automatically or remotely controlled. An inert compressed gas is used on the pilot side of the diaphragm.

2 set point options


Blockage Resistant non-clogging supercritical back pressure

BR2 Blockage Resistant Supercritical Back Pressure with flange interface

Supercritical Back Pressure Regulator for Fluid Extraction

BR1 Supercritical Back Pressure Extraction Regulator with tube stub ports

ice resistant blockage resistant back pressure regulator

Ice being ejected from blockage resistant BR1 BPR while maintaining full precision (Note: Bottom plate removed for visibility. Multiple orifices would typically be used)