Phasex History

Brief Phasex History

Founded in 1981, Phasex has grown from a small R&D service company to an internationally recognized, problem-solving organization utilizing supercritical fluid technology.

With a forward-thinking president and an innovative staff of chemists, chemical engineers, and mechanical specialists, Phasex has evolved from the one-person operation of 1981 (when it was housed in an 1800s-era textile mill in Nashua, NH) to today’s pre-eminent full-service company providing R&D, Toll Processing, and Technology Licensing to industry and government. BusinessWeek and Chemical & Engineering News articles from '81 adequately described the company’s vision: to become a Toll Processor of specialty materials, especially those that cannot be separated or purified by industry’s conventional technologies.

Solving difficult separations problems encountered in all segments of industry - nutraceuticals, polymers, specialty lubricants, pharmaceuticals - this is one hallmark of Phasex Corporation. Another: We’re honest to a fault, and if your proposed application is not a good fit for supercritical fluids, we’ll tell you. We’re confident that you will remember us for that honesty and for our ability to evaluate your future potential opportunities.

In the early ‘80s other companies in the US were directing technical and business development attention to the application of supercritical fluids for remediating hazardous wastes and separating ethanol/water. Phasex founder, Val Krukonis, recognized the advantages of employing their unique dissolving properties in a broader spectrum of applications. As a result, the company’s successes in the polymers, fine and specialty chemicals, and nutraceuticals industries have established the technology as a technically and economically viable unit operation.

During the first eight years of business, revenues were generated from industrial and government-funded R&D programs. Phasex grew by developing its technological expertise and by capitalizing on its successes in a wide range of applications. Continued growth has occurred by teaming with companies having opportunities for supercritical fluids, which enable us jointly to think outside the box to develop solutions. In addition to the expertise derived from government programs, participation in unique projects with universities has also expanded the knowledge base we offer to industry.

In 1985, the company moved from Nashua to larger quarters in another textile mill located in Lawrence, MA, where it occupies 12,000 sq. ft. of renovated space. Phasex installed a small pilot plant in 1989 for carrying out process optimization studies in order to extend R&D developments to larger scale. A few years later (1993) the plant was expanded to Toll Processing scale by retrofitting larger vessels, compressors, and ancillary equipment.

The research laboratories have also been expanded; currently R&D is carried out on a half dozen extraction/recrystallization modules and analysis is carried out using optical particle size measurement equipment and HPLC. Other required analysis is outsourced or is carried out by companies directly involved in individual projects.

A 2x320L extraction plant was constructed in 2008 and positions Phasex as the largest specialty materials Toll Processor using supercritical fluids in the US.