Environmentally benign supercritical CO2 extraction of galanthamine from floricultural crop waste of Narcissus pseudonarcissus

Orchidea Rachmaniah*, Young Hae Choi, Inaki Arruabarrena, Bas Vermeulen, Jaap Van Spronsen, Robert Verpoorte, Geert Jan Witkamp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of diverse factors on the supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) with supercritical CO2 (scCO2) of galanthamine from bulbs of Narcissus pseudonarcissus cv. Carlton was investigated. The parameters that were studied were CO2 density (temperature and pressure), flow rate and plant material particle size and pre-treatment. The highest yield (303 μg/g) was achieved by extracting 53-1000 μm particle-size powdered dried bulb material moistened with NH4OH (25%, v/v) at 70 °C, 220 bar (690 kg/m3) for 3 h. Other N. pseudonarcissus alkaloids such as O-methyllycorenine and haemanthamine were also obtained. N. pseudonarcissus alkaloids as free bases are highly soluble in CO2 at a high pH as opposed to the slightly soluble salt form in which they are generally found in plants. Therefore, plant material pre-treatment with a base is an essential step for galanthamine extraction. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) results also revealed that the desorption of N. pseudonarcissus alkaloids from the plant material rather than the solubility of the alkaloids in the scCO2 plays a major role in this scCO2 extraction. This extraction method has a good potential for industrial application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-19
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Supercritical Fluids
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Alkaloid
  • Daffodil
  • Narcissus and flower bulb
  • Supercritical fluid extraction


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