Key Principles of Rotary Evaporation

Rotary evaporation is one of the most widely used techniques of evaporation offering excellent distillation and extraction performance. Rotary evaporation is most often used to remove a volatile substance from a liquid mixture and is carried out using a rotary evaporator. This article will outline how rotary evaporation works, some key principles, and its applications.

Rotary Evaporation Working Principles

Rotary evaporation works on the principle that reducing the pressure on the solvent results in the analytes within have a lower evaporation point than at atmospheric pressure. Rotary evaporation is used in both preparative and analytical organic chemistry and can assist users in fractionating liquid-phase mixtures to illustrate their composition or to purify particular compounds of interest. Rotary evaporation application is varied and it is a process that is used by chemists in consumer good manufacturing, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and more.

Rotary evaporation allows for a faster rate of extraction, collection, and analysis of remnant or solvent substances than other evaporation techniques. Rotary evaporation using a traditional rotovap is extremely beneficial but highly inefficient, leading to high usages costs and laboratory space needed.

The size of a sample or solvent can have a substantial impact on the specifics of rotary evaporation. However, the general principles and methods using Ecodyst’s revolutionary model remain the same.

Step 1 – The solvent is placed into a glass flask and placed on top of an energy-saving heater. The size of the flask container varies with loads up to 200 liters being serviced.

Step 2 – The solvent is heated and stirred constantly to ensure that it arrives at the necessary temperature which is below its boiling point at room temperature.

Step 3 –  a chemical reaction takes place and manipulates the substance to begin the evaporation of the liquid. The vital solvent parts are separated from the waste and the waste is then drained through a tap fitted below the flask.

Step 4 – the evaporated substance is held in a glass tube, using a power suction mechanism that moves it to a self-cooling unit.

Step 5 – when the substance is cooled to the required level, the remnants drop into another flask. The flask size depends on the size of the original solvent sample.

Benefits of Rotary Evaporation

Traditional rotary evaporation setups involve the use of many interconnected instruments and accessories, such as a water bath, condenser tube, and rotating container flask. This setup is specifically designed for rotary evaporation, meaning it is purpose-built and will not be used for any other experiments.

Conversely, the downside of using a traditional rotovap for rotary evaporation is that it has a relatively large footprint. This means that from a space-saving and lab flexibility perspective, traditional rotovaps are inefficient.

To combat this problem, Ecodyst designed a range of rotovaps that compound the elements of rotary evaporation into a smaller, more flexible footprint.

What is Rotary Evaporation Used For?

Rotary evaporation is used for evaporation, crystallization, separation, drying, concentration, solvent recovery and is particularly used for the continuous distillation of solvents under decreased pressure. As there are so many varied application purposes, there are many industries that can benefit from the use of rotary evaporation such as pharmaceuticals, biological and food production.

To find out more about rotary evaporation and the many ways it can be used, take a look at further resources here.