A rotary evaporator (or rotavap/rotovap) is actually a device used in chemical laboratories for the efficient and gentle removing of solvents from samples by evaporation. When referenced in the chemistry research literature, description of the use of this method and equipment can include the phrase “rotary evaporator”, though use is frequently rather signaled by other language (e.g., “the sample was evaporated under reduced pressure”).
Rotary evaporators are also found in molecular cooking for your preparation of distillates and extracts. A rotary evaporator was invented by Lyman C. Craig. It was first commercialized by the Swiss company Büchi in 1957. Other common evaporator brands are EYELA, Heidolph, IKA, KNF, LabFirst, LabTech, Hydrion Scientific, SENCO, Shanghai HJ Lab Instruments, and Stuart Equipment. In research the most typical form is definitely the 1L bench-top unit, whereas large (e.g., 20L-50L) versions are utilized in pilot plants in commercial chemical operations.
A motor unit that rotates the evaporation flask or vial containing the user’s sample.
A vapor duct this is the axis for sample rotation, and is also a vacuum-tight conduit for your vapor being drawn off the sample.
A vacuum system, to substantially decrease the pressure in the evaporator system.
A heated fluid bath (generally water) to heat the sample.
A condenser with either a coil passing coolant, or perhaps a “cold finger” into which coolant mixtures such as dry ice and acetone are placed.
A condensate-collecting flask towards the bottom in the condenser, to trap the distilling solvent after it re-condenses.
A mechanical or motorized mechanism to quickly lift the evaporation flask from your heating bath.
The rotovap parts combined with rotary evaporators may be as simple being a water aspirator having a trap immersed in a cold bath (for non-toxic solvents), or as complex as being a regulated mechanical vacuum pump with refrigerated trap. Glassware utilized in the vapor stream and condenser may be simple or complex, based on the goals in the evaporation, as well as any propensities the dissolved compounds might share with the mix (e.g., to foam or “bump”). Commercial instruments can be purchased which include the basic features, and other traps are made to insert in between the evaporation flask and the vapor duct. Modern equipment often adds features like digital control over vacuum, digital display of temperature and rotational speed, and vapor temperature sensing.
Vacuum evaporators being a class function because reducing the pressure above a bulk liquid lowers the boiling points from the component liquids in it. Generally, the component liquids of interest in uses of rotary evaporation are research solvents that a person desires to eliminate from the sample after an extraction, such as after a natural product isolation or a element of an organic synthesis. Liquid solvents are easy to remove without excessive heating of what are often complex and sensitive solvent-solute combinations.
Rotary evaporation is frequently and conveniently put on separate “low boiling” solvents this kind of n-hexane or ethyl acetate from compounds that are solid at room temperature and pressure. However, careful application also allows elimination of a solvent coming from a sample containing a liquid compound if there is minimal co-evaporation (azeotropic behavior), as well as a sufficient difference in boiling points at the chosen temperature and reduced pressure.
Solvents with higher boiling points including water (100 °C at standard atmospheric pressure, 760 torr or 1 bar), dimethylformamide (DMF, 153 °C on the same), or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO, 189 °C at the same), can also be evaporated if the unit’s vacuum system can do sufficiently low pressure. (For example, both DMF and DMSO will boil below 50 °C if the vacuum is reduced from 760 torr to 5 torr [from 1 bar to 6.6 mbar]) However, more recent developments are frequently applied in these cases (e.g., evaporation while centrifuging or vortexing at high speeds). Rotary evaporation for top boiling hydrogen bond-forming solvents such as water is often a last recourse, as other evaporation methods or freeze-drying (lyophilization) are available. This really is partly simply because that in these solvents, the tendency to “bump” is accentuated. The modern centrifugal evaporation technologies are particularly useful when one has several samples to perform in parallel, as with medium- to high-throughput synthesis now expanding in industry and academia.
Evaporation under vacuum may also, in principle, be practiced using standard organic distillation glassware – i.e., without rotation of the sample. The key advantages in use of a rotary evaporator are
the centrifugal force and the frictional force between the wall of the rotating flask and also the liquid sample result in the formation of a thin film of warm solvent being spread over a large surface.
the forces created by the rotation suppress bumping. A combination of these characteristics and the conveniences included in modern rotary evaporators enable quick, gentle evaporation of solvents from most samples, even in the hands of relatively inexperienced users. Solvent remaining after rotary evaporation are easy to remove by exposing the sample to even deeper vacuum, on how to use rotary evaporator, at ambient or higher temperature (e.g., on the Schlenk line or in a vacuum oven).
A vital disadvantage in rotary evaporations, besides its single sample nature, is the potential of some sample types to bump, e.g. ethanol and water, which can lead to lack of a part of the material intended to be retained. Even professionals experience periodic mishaps during evaporation, especially bumping, though experienced users start seeing the propensity of some mixtures to bump or foam, and apply precautions that assist to prevent most such events. Particularly, bumping can often be prevented if you take homogeneous phases in to the evaporation, by carefully regulating the strength of the vacuum (or perhaps the bath temperature) to offer to have an even rate of evaporation, or, in rare cases, through use of added agents like boiling chips (to help make the nucleation step of evaporation more uniform). Rotary evaporators can also be built with further special traps and condenser arrays which can be suitable to particular difficult sample types, including those that have the tendency to foam or bump.
You can find hazards associated even with simple operations such as evaporation. These include implosions caused by utilization of glassware which contains flaws, such as star-cracks. Explosions may occur from concentrating unstable impurities during evaporation, for example when rotavapping an ethereal solution containing peroxides. This could also occur when taking tlpgsj unstable compounds, like organic azides and acetylides, nitro-containing compounds, molecules with strain energy, etc. to dryness.
Users of rotary evaporation equipment must take precautions to avoid contact with rotating parts, particularly entanglement of loose clothing, hair, or necklaces. In these situations, the winding action from the rotating parts can draw the users in to the apparatus resulting in breakage of glassware, burns, and chemical exposure. Extra caution should also be used to operations with air reactive materials, specially when under vacuum. A leak can draw air to the apparatus along with a violent reaction can occur.