2013 Evaporator Survey Results

A rotary evaporator, found in every chemistry lab, allows users to perform chemical separation or purification using heat and agitation—or stirring—under vacuum. 

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By Lab Manager

A rotary evaporator, found in every chemistry lab, allows users to perform chemical separation or purification using heat and agitation—or stirring—under vacuum. Key applications for evaporators 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-in-one bench top 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.


Top ten features/factors survery respondents look for when buying a rotary evaporator:

Ease of use 100%
Safety 98%
Low maintenance/easy to clean 98%
Low operating cost of ownership 96%
Reliability 95%
Ease of installation 91%
Service and support 89%
Price 85%
Warranty 77%
Built-in vacuum controller 72%


Rotary evaporators are used for the following primary application(s) in respondents' labs:

Concentrating substances 58%
Distilling low-boiling solvents 40%
Extractions 28%
Drying powders 22%
Distilling temperature-sensitive substances under vacuum 20%
Separating material mixtures 15%
Recycling solvent waste 14%
Distilling oxygen-sensitive substances under inert gas 5%
Other 5%


The type(s) of rotary evaporator(s) used in our readers' labs:

Hand lift 58%
Motor lift 43%
Other 6%


The size of rotary evaporator heating bath used in respondents' labs:

Less than 1 liter 12%
1 liter 21%
2 liters 20%
3 liters 11%
4 liters 15%
5 liters 14%
10 liters 2%
More than 10 liters 4%


The rotary evaporator components being used by survey respondents:

Condensate tap 45%
Digital bath 42%
Diagonal condenser 39%
Re-circulating cooler 34%
Vertical condenser 32%
Diaphragm pump 30%
Chiller 28%
Dry ice condenser 20%
Reflux condenser 18%
Cold finger condenser 9%
Other 2%
For more useful information on rotary evaporators, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/evaporators

See the most recent survey results

Categories: Surveys

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Published: January 24, 2013

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