This study compares conventional Soxhlet extraction and analytical scale supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) for their yields in extracting of hydrocarbons from arid-land plant Euphorbia macroclada. The plant material was firstly sequentially extracted with supercritical carbon dioxide, modified with 10% methanol (v/v) in the optimum conditions that is a pressure of 400 atm and a temperature of 50degreesC and then it was sonicated in methylene chloride for an additional 4 h. E. macroclada was secondly extracted by using a Soxhlet apparatus at 30degreesC for 8 h in methylene chloride. The validated SFE was then compared to the extraction yield of E. macroclada with a Soxhlet extraction by using the Student's t-test at the 95% confidence level. All of extracts were fractionated with silica-gel in a glass column to get better hydrocarbon yields. Thus, the highest hydrocarbons yield from E. macroclada was achieved with SFE (5.8%) when it compared with Soxhlet extractions (1.1%). Gas chromatography (GC) analysis was performed to determine the quantitative hydrocarbons from plant material. The greatest quantitative hydrocarbon recovery from GC was obtained by supercritical carbon dioxide extract (0.6 mg g(-1)). (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.