Enhanced Sustainability at the University of Oxford with the Ecodyst Hydrogen Rotary Evaporator

Rotary evaporators are found in many chemistry laboratories across the world. They have a range of uses and applications in both research and industry. They are an essential piece of lab equipment that allows for the fast and efficient removal of solvents from samples. This article presents an investigation into the differences between the Hydrogen and standard rotovaps used at The University of Oxford.

Traditional Rotary Evaporators

The condenser in standard rotary evaporators has traditionally been cooled using single-pass water, dry ice, or a recirculating chiller. Using water can result in the use of up to 4.0L per minute and can lead to flooding. Recirculating chillers waste far less water, however, the condenser still needs to be cooled and dry ice is often used for this.

However, dry ice can also be expensive and unsustainable when used in the quantities required for a rotary evaporator system.

 Figure 1

 Ecodyst Patented Technology

Ecodyst has developed its own patented chiller technology that bypasses cooling systems that are less energy-efficient and sustainable. The Hydrogen uses a metal condenser coil that is coated in a chemical resistance polymer, offering many advantages over standard glass condensers. The Ecodyst Hydorgen’s chiller can reach temperatures of less than -34°C.

Figure 2

Comparisons with Existing Set-Ups

Dr. Katrherine England from the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford compared the Ecodyst Hydrogen to the department’s existing evaporator setup. This setup consisted of a Heidolph MX07R-20-HD2E recirculating chiller filled with an ethylene glycol solution, an R-200 Buchi Rotavapor, and Buchi B-490 heating bath.

Figure 3 

The Logicall Wireless Solutions energy monitors and online platform were then employed to monitor the equipment. The vacuum controllers were used at the same set points and were not part of the energy calculations.

The two systems carried out the distillation of 100ml of cyclohexane and compared. The operations were carried out separately to compare the overall performance and running costs.

Figure 4

Results of the Comparison

When comparing the two pieces of equipment we can see that the set Ecodyst Hydrogen was ten times faster than the department’s existing rotovap setup.  All of the components were ready within seven minutes whereas the department’s original rotovap took seventy minutes to achieve the -10C set point.

The Hydrogen saved significant amounts of energy, using 49.8% less than the original instrument when carrying out the 100ml cyclohexane distillation. The chiller component used 80.8% less energy to reach this setpoint than the recirculating chiller and once it had reached this point it used 64% less energy overall.

Another benefit of the Hydrogen is that it only takes 5 minutes to reach the point of the chiller being ready. This means that it can be switched off when inactive.

Find Out More

This investigation shows that the Hydrogen rotary evaporator from Ecodyst uses far less energy than its more traditional counterparts. If you would like to learn more about how Ecodyst can help you streamline your vapor condensing practices, get in touch with the team today.