Industrial rotary evaporators (also known as rotovaps) are devices which are used to gently and efficiently remove solvents from samples via evaporation. They are typically used to remove solvents from a sample of a mixture of chemical compounds.
Industrial rotary evaporators use a vacuum to lower a compounds boiling point whilst the sample is heated. This allows the solvent to be vaporized at a lower temperature than the standard boiling point.
Industrial rotary evaporators have many uses and this article will outline a selection of the most common uses.
Molecular gastronomy is the scientific discipline which focuses on physical and chemical transitions which take place during cooking. Industrial rotary evaporators are used in gastronomy for the preparation of distillates and extracts. Industrial rotary evaporators are used for concentrating non-volatile components in a mixture, to create the strongest and purest flavor.
Industrial rotary evaporators are also finding increasing use in biofuel extractions as it becomes more and more popular as a sustainable energy source. Most biofuels are complex combinations of volatile components including a natural substance combined with a highly reactive reagent and an acidic catalyst.
Industrial rotary evaporators are used for extractions in biofuel research and development, isolating and purifying biomass components which are considered practical for energy generation.
Cannabis and Hemp
Decarboxylation is well-known across the globe as the most reliable and efficient way of extracting high level substance samples with strong potency. Industrial rotary evaporators are used for decarboxylation of cannabis on a wide scale.
Industrial rotary evaporators meet the requirements of high purity ethanol and rotary evaporators for cannabinoid and terpene extraction. When used alongside advanced solvent extraction and distillation processes, raw cannabis and crude cannabis yield shatter, THCA crystals or THCA-rich oral formulations.
Overall, rotary evaporators lead to one of the most efficient and environmentally friendly manners of removing a volatile solvent from a non-volatile sample. As the solvent is recoverable and reusable, it decreases waste and overhead expenditure.
Working with Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)
Industrial rotary evaporators are often used for synthesizing and purifying organic molecules when hydrochloric acid is used as the reagent. HCl is preferential over other acids, however the removal of excess acid from samples can be problematic, causing adverse effects to equipment and to the outcome of the experiment.
Using industrial rotary evaporators to remove excess acid can be beneficial as it does not require the acid to be heated.
Alcohol Industry and Mixology
Industrial rotary evaporators find use in the alcohol industry to create and distill flavors for infusing in alcoholic drinks. Volatile flavors are extracted from mixtures gently at low temperatures such as herbs and fruit without needing to heat the mixture up. This creates a more concentrated flavor to add to cocktails and other alcoholic beverages.