Sterilization of Microorganisms with Supercritical Carbon Dioxide

Masamichi Kamihira, Masayuki Taniguchi, Takeshi Kobayashi

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12 Citations (Scopus)


The sterilizing effect of supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) is described as compared with gaseous CO2(G-CO2) and liquid CO2(L-CO2). Baker's yeast, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and conidia of Aspergillus niger were sterilized by treating with SC-CO2 at 200 atm and 35°C when the water content of each microorganism was 70~90%. However, dry cells with a water content of 2 ~ 10% could not be sterilized under the same conditions. No sterilizing effect from SC-CO2 on endospores of Bacillus subtilis and B. stearothermophilus was observed. G-CO2 and L-CO2 produced no sterilizing effect against both wet and dry baker's yeast cells, while wet E. coli cells were sterilized with G-CO2. Although dry conidia of A. niger could not be sterilized with SC-CO2 alone, the addition of ethanol or acetic acid to SC-CO2 made it possible to sterilize these. Without any decrease in their enzymatic activities, E. coli and baker's yeast in a-amylase and lipase preparations were sterilized with SC-CO2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
JournalAgricultural and Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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