Rotary evaporator

A common term in the chemistry literature is ‘rotary evaporator’, also known as ‘rotavap’. This is a device oftenly used in chemical laboratories for its efficient and gentle way of removing solvents from samples by evaporation. Every time it is referenced in specialized literature, the description of the use of this technique and equipment may include the phrase “rotary evaporator. Rotary evaporators can be also used in molecular cooking for the preparation of distillates and extracts.

A simple rotary evaporator system was invented by Lyman C. Craig and it was first commercialized by the Swiss company Büchi in 1957. Other common evaporator brands are Heidolph, LabTech, Stuart, SENCO, IKA and EYELA. The most common rotavap is the 1L, whereas large scale (e.g., 20L-50L) versions are used in pilot plants in commercial chemical operations.

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