As part of our Lab Products Survey series, Lab Manager has compiled the responses of more than 120 lab professionals regarding the use of rotary evaporators in the lab. The first rotary evaporator was manufactured and sold by Walter Büchi of Basel, Switzerland in 1957, and by the early 1960s, the device had become a standard fixture of the organic and biochemical laboratory. Today, more than 50 years later, evaporation and distillation are still the most frequently used separation methods.
Rotary evaporators are commonly used by synthetic and purification chemists to dry solutions prior to redissolution in another solvent or prior to long-term storage of the finished product.
A typical rotary evaporator has a water bath that can be heated in either a metal container or crystallization dish. This keeps the solvent from freezing during the evaporation process. The solvent is trapped by a condenser and is collected by a vacuum for easy reuse or disposal. Most labs use a simple water aspirator vacuum on their rotary evaporators, so a rotary evaporator cannot be used for air and water-sensitive materials unless special precautions are taken, i.e. additional traps are used. In the lab, the house vacuum line, a circulation bath or a membrane pump is used as the source for the vacuum.
In purchasing a new rotary evaporator, respondents identified a number of factors and features that influence the decisionmaking process—the top five of which are reliability, low maintenance (easy to clean), price, ease of use and safety.
Number of rotary evaporators being used in respondents’ labs:
Primary purpose for rotary evaporators in the lab:
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Types of rotary evaporators respondents use in their labs:
Size of rotary evaporator heating bath respondents use in their labs:
Rotary evaporator components respondents use in their labs:
Respondents’ budget for purchasing a new rotary evaporator:
Respondents’ annual budgets for related equipment, parts, maintenance, service and repairs:
Respondents’ purchasing plans for a new rotary evaporator:
Respondents’ reasons for purchasing a new rotary evaporator:
Factors/features that influence the decision-making process when buying a rotary evaporator:
Respondents’ fields of work:
If you would like to participate in our laboratory equipment purchasing surveys, please visit www.labmanager.com/surveys