MadSci Network: Engineering

Re: How do you make a vacuum distilation setup?

Date: Mon Apr 28 20:27:45 2003
Posted By: Jerry McCormick, Staff, Chemistry, Independent Consultant
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 1049679403.Eg

A vacuum distilation setup consists of five parts:

1) A heat source to supply the energy neccessary to evaporate the distilland.
2) An evaporator vessel
3) A condenser to cool the vapor and condense it back to liquid (or solid).
4) A receiver for the distillate.
5) A vacuum pump to enable the low pressure in the system to achieve the desired evaporation temperature.

In a typical organic chemistry laboratory setup, the heat might be supplied by direct flame (careful), by an air bath, or by an oil bath around the evaporator vessel. The evaporator vessel itself would usually be a round bottom flask, the vapor conducted to the condenser which is attached by a goose- neck adaptor, cooling supplied to the condenser by cold air, cold water or a cooling bath and the vacuum pump attached to the receiver. The entire system must be airtight as otherwise no vacuum can be achieved. The vacuum pump usually is a water aspirator or a mechanical (vane) pump as required to reach the desired vacuum.

The entire operation must be conducted behind a safety shield and safety glasses are a must. The operation is hazardous!

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