Superheated Water - Effect of Pressure

Effect of Pressure

At temperatures below 300 °C water is fairly incompressible, which means that pressure has little effect on the physical properties of water, provided it is sufficient to maintain liquid state. This pressure is given by the saturated vapour pressure, and can be looked up in steam tables, or calculated. As a guide, the saturated vapour pressure at 121 °C is 200 kPa, 150 °C is 470 kPa, and 200 °C is 1,550 kPa. The critical point is 21.7 MPa at a temperature of 374 °C, above which water is supercritical rather than superheated. Above about 300 °C, water starts to behave as a near-critical liquid, and physical properties such as density start to change more significantly with pressure. However, higher pressures increase the rate of extractions using superheated water below 300 °C. This could be due to effects on the substrate, particularly plant materials, rather than affecting water properties.

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