Maintenance Tip: Evaporators
To keep your evaporator happy, you’ll want to look after the seals, glass joints, and tubing, inspecting these parts regularly and replacing when necessary. This will help your system maintain the proper level of vacuum during evaporations. You’ll also want to keep the needles clean so they don’t become plugged or corroded.
How will sample type affect which evaporator is ideal?
The sample in question will play a key role in the evaporator setup. For example, if acids are being used, the system must be properly coated to prevent corrosion (especially on the pump), and will need proper ventilation. Solvents can damage rubber and plastic components, and should be protected against as well. Another important consideration is that different samples are condensed at different temperatures, and may require different cold traps: typically 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.
How are safety concerns addressed for evaporators?
Due to the nature of heating up aqueous samples, acids, and solvents, a variety of safety accessories can be used to ensure the safety of the operators. As glassware is under extreme pressure due to the vacuum pump as well as being heated, coated glassware can be used to ensure flasks don’t shatter during operation. Shields and protective hoods with ventilation can also help ensure operator safety. Some manufacturers offer advanced options, such as motorized lifts and shutoff procedures for power outages or if the heating bath goes dry.
What environmentally friendly options are available for evaporator usage?
For the condensing and collection of samples, many options exist. Condenser coils or cold fingers are generally paired with circulating tap water or dry ice. While these methods are adequate for the purpose, constant changing of water to prevent algae buildup can get wasteful, along with a constant need for dry ice. Many manufacturers now offer circulating chillers which can be attached to evaporators, allowing for highly efficient condensation without the waste associated with using tap water or dry ice.
For more buying tips related to rotary evaporators in particular, see our video at LabManager.com/Evaporators-Video
Need more information on evaporators? Download the free Lab Manager Evaporator Resource Guide