MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: How to extract and measure caffeine?

Area: Chemistry
Posted By: Jerry Franzen, Faculty Chemistry
Date: Thu Sep 18 13:14:35 1997
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 874008265.Ch
I can't here give you the whole procedure for several reasons, but 
hopefully I can give you some direction in finding it.

The original procedure for extracting caffeine as a laboratory experiment 
was published in the Journal of Chemical Education, probably in the 
sixties.  I am fairly sure that tea (bags) was used.  Various modifications 
have been published there since.  If you want to check this source, you can
probably find it at the library of the nearest college which offers 
a bachelor's degree in chemistry.

Many college level laboratory manuals have included this type of 
experiment.  You might check with the organic chemist(s) at the nearest 
college.  They probably can provide you with a reference or a procedure.  I 
am not sure that I have seen a procedure that begins with the beans.  Most 
begin with tea or ground coffee.

As for the measurement of the content, I am not as familiar with this area 
although I seem to remember that such a procedure may have been published 
also in the Journal of Chemical Education.  You might even be able to go to 
the Web site of the Journal of Chemical Education (at the American Chemical 
Society) and search there.

You should be aware of the fatc that most of these extraction procedures 
will require the use of special solvents which are volatile and which 
should be used only in a good fume hood.
I hope that this has been of some help.

Jerry Franzen
Thomas More College
333 Thomas More PArkway
Crestview Hills, KY 41017]

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