How Condensers Work to Recirculate CO2
The condenser is essential in CO2 recirculation. The condenser is a piece of apparatus or equipment that can be used to condense, or change the physical state of a substance, from its gaseous to its liquid state. We use a double-pipe configuration in small systems (up to 48-liter) and a shell and pipe configuration for industrial systems. We do not use plate exchangers as they clog easily and cannot resist standard CO2 pressures.
The condenser is an important part of the extraction system — without it, it is not possible to recirculate the CO2. In fact, throughout the process, CO2 continuously changes its status: first liquid, then supercritical, then gaseous and finally back to liquid again. In this diagram you can see all the changes, step by step. Colors: Blue = Liquid CO2, Green = Supercritical CO2, Yellow = Gaseous CO2.
When the gaseous CO2 comes out from the separators, the CO2 is completely clean and can travel to the condenser and, after that, to the reservoir, where the Liquid CO2 is stored, waiting to be pumped again in the circuit.