SCF have intermediate properties between gases and liquids (high difusivity and low viscosity but high solvent power) and this unique feature makes them an optimum media for solute transport. Supercritical CO_2 (SC-CO_2) has been extensively used in industrial extraction processes because of its solvent power, its accessible critical conditions (31°C and 78 bar), its chemical inertness and because is cheap and non toxic. Nevertheless there exist many other novel techniques and new processes using SCF, which improve current ones in simplicity, energy saving, recovering and recycling and in the quality of obtained products, constituting clean processes in the frame of environmentally respectful technologies. This novel techniques includes industrial crystallisation of organic and inorganic particles with tailored size and shape, drug impregnation on porous media, industrial cleaning, and waste treatment, which are fairly good introduced in USA, and in lesser extent in Europe. The main objective of present Euro-school is to contribute to the knowledge of the application of industrial processes using the supercritical fluids (SCF) technology.
Even though SC-CO2 is currently used in important industrial fields like extraction processes, there is relatively little information regarding other industrial activities: food, pharmaceutical, leather and other industries. The proposed Euro-school will contribute to the formation on SC technology of engineers from the industry and young researchers from the entire EC. Emphasis will be put on practical techniques and field experiences for the participants. A first edition of this School was a Practical Training Course which took place at the ICMAB in Bellaterra, Spain, in February 1999 and was partially financed by the TMR programme of the IV FP. The proposed Euro-school will last for five days, from Monday to Friday. Resident participants will arrive on Saturday in order to reduce expenses related to air transport. The school will use the facilities of the Institut de Ciencia de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB) of the National Council of Spanish Research (CSIC) at the campus of the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), the High Temperatures and High Pressures Laboratory (owned by both the company Carburos Metalicos and the ICMAB), the students residence and the hotel at the UAB campus, and the CSIC students residence in Barcelona.