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Lab Manager General Lab Product Survey

2018 Evaporator Survey Results

Find out respondents' purchasing plans, and more from our latest survey results

by Jason Kerkhof

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

  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 -50°C cold trap is ideal for aqueous based samples, a -85°C cold trap traps most solvents, and a -105°C 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 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.

Types of laboratory evaporators used by survey respondents:

Rotary evaporator60%
Vacuum system evaporator37%
Nitrogen blowndown evaporator23%
Vortex evaporator15%

Primary purpose of evaporator as reported by survey respondents:

Concentration of substances54%
Sample preparation43%
Distilling of low-boiling solvents29%
Distilling of temperature-sensitive substances under vacuum23%
Separation of material mixtures14%
Chemical synthesis under reflux10%
Recycling of solvent waste9%
Distilling of oxygen-sensitive substances under inert gas9%

Nearly 40% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new evaporator. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of aging system
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
First time purchase
Setting up a new lab
Changing evaporator type

Top 10 Features/Factors Respondents Look for When Purchasing Evaporator:

Low maintenance / easy to clean66%
Ease of use65%
Low operating cost of ownership58%
Service and support55%
Ease of installation46%

Need more information on evaporators? Download the free Lab Manager Evaporator Resource Guide