Comparative Assessment of Technologies for Extraction of Artemisinin

Alexei A Lapkin, Pawel K Plucinski, Malcolm Cutler

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147 Citations (SciVal)


This paper describes results of a multiobjective comparative assessment of several established and emerging technologies for extn. of a natural antimalarial substance, artemisinin. Extns. by hexane, supercrit. carbon dioxide, hydrofluorocarbon HFC-134a, ionic liqs., and ethanol were considered. Hexane extn. is an established technol. and appears to be the most cost-effective. However, it is characterized by lower rates and efficiency of extn. than all other considered techniques and is also worse in terms of safety and environmental impact. Similarly, EtOH extn. was found to be worse than hexane in all assessment parameters. The new technologies (scCO2, HFC, and ILs) are based on nonflammable solvents and are characterized by faster extn. cycles and more complete extn. of the useful substances and enable continuous extn. processes with reduced solvent inventory. Ionic liq. and HFC-134a technologies show considerable promise and should be able to compete with hexane extn. in terms of cost-effectiveness following due process optimization. New technologies are also considerably safer (no risk of explosions, low toxicity) and greener (having a lower environmental impact in use, potential for biodegradability after use). The methodol. of comparative assessment of established and emerging technologies is discussed. [on SciFinder (R)]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1653-1664
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • artemisinin extn
  • Extraction (comparative assessment of technol. for extn. of artemisinin)


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