Rotary evaporators have for decades been staples in labs and industries performing chemistry, including labs in the chemical, environmental, materials, life science and forensics industries. Key applications include sample concentration, solvent recycling, extractions, and separation of solvent mixtures.

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying an Evaporator or Evaporation System

1. What are your sample sizes? Microtiter plates and micro centrifuge tubes work best in a centrifugal vacuum concentrator. For large samples up to 450mls, a vortex evaporator is recommended.

2. What are your samples? Acids require an acid resistant system. Solvents damage plastic and rubber components, an appropriate system to prevent damage is recommended. A -50C cold trap is ideal for aqueous based samples, a -85C cold trap traps most solvents and a -105C cold trap is recommended for alcohols.

3. Are your samples heat sensitive? Even at ambient set point, vacuum concentrators add heat through friction. A concentrator that has refrigeration built into it will give you the temperature control recommended to maintain the viability of heat liable samples.

4. Do you have limited space? A floor model with casters or small all-inone benchtop model can be moved out of the way when not in use

5. Do you prefer vacuum evaporation or nitrogen blow down? Some samples require evaporation under nitrogen, which is more gentle, for volatile solvents.

The applications our readers are using their rotary evaporators for, based on data from our latest evaporators survey:

Distilling of low-boiling solvents 20%
Distilling of temperature-sensitive substances under vacuum 10%
Recycling of solvent waste 7%
Extractions 11%
Concentration of substances 29%
Drying of powders 6%
Separation of material mixtures 6%
Chemical synthesis under reflux 5%
Other 5%

The rotary evaporator components our readers use in their labs include:

Diaphragm pump 15%
Chiller 13%
Digital bath 13%
Recirculating cooler 13%
Dry ice condenser 5%
Condensate trap 8%
Vertical condenser 12%
Diagonal condenser 9%
Cold finger condenser 6%
Reflux condenser 6%
Other 1%

Here are the factors our respondents found most important in a rotary evaporator:

  Important Not Important Don't Know
Low maintenance/easy to clean 84% 1% 14%
Price 82% 4% 14%
Reliability 82% 4% 14%
Safety 81% 4% 14%
Ease of use 79% 8% 13%
Low operating cost of ownership 78% 7% 14%
Ease of installation 74% 13% 13%
Warranty 70% 14% 16%
Service and support 69% 13% 19%
Versatility 62% 15% 24%

Recently Released Evaporators & Evaporation Systems

RevElution™ Bio-Concentrator
• Allows samples as large as two liters to be concentrated at a rate up to 100 ml/minute
• Recovers as many as 90 percent or more microbes
• Operates with the press of one button
• Measures only 6.0” wide x 14.0” deep and 11.2” tall


• Especially designed for gentle evaporation of samples such as fruits and vegetables
• Provides excellent pesticide recovery and reproducibility
• System is fully automated, can concentrate a number of samples at the same time and provides protection from cross contamination and bumping


N-1200 Series
• Effortless manual lift jack and motorized jack types offered; three types of baths available
• Designed to minimize solvent retention while the condenser is being inclined
• Equipped with newly-developed Teflon® vacuum seal
• Includes a hose holder to bundle hoses and keep lab table neat
• Features speed rotation range of 5 to 280 rpm


Centrifan PE Evaporator/Condenser
• Uses no vacuum and no blow-down gas to evaporate solvents
• Now has an optional coiled tubing insert available to implement a flowing coolant arrangement from hood plumbing or a lab circulator
• Modular SFC now provides the Polyscience IP-60 Immersion Cooler to implement unattended chilling of the Centrifan’s cold trap

Modular SFC

Evaporators & Evaporation Systems Manufacturers

Thermo Fisher Scientific
Heidolph USA
IKA Works
Modular SFC
Organomation Associates
Pope Scientific
Porvair Sciences
Yamato Scientific America