General Rules for Using A Rotary Evaporator

1. The collecting flask should always be emptied before use to prevent accidentally mixing of incompatible chemicals. SAFETY FIRST! 

2. The flask should be lowered into the water bath (or the water bath should be raised to immerse the flask in the warm water. (On most models, a convenient handle (with height locking mechanism) moves the entire condenser/motor/flask assembly up and down. Often the tilt of the condenser assembly can also be adjusted.

3. The water bath temperature should not exceed the boiling point of the solvent!! For small amounts of common solvents the bath heater is not needed.

4. The solvent should start collecting on the condenser and drip into the receiving flask. Some solvents (such as diethyl ether or dichloromethane) are so volatile that they will also evaporate from the receiving flask and be discharged down the drain. To prevent this, a cooling bath on the receiver or a dry-ice condenser can be used. In addition, an additional trap (with dry-ice or liquid nitrogen) can be placed between the vacuum source and the condenser unit. This is particularly important of a diaphragm pump is used as vacuum source. 5. Once all the solvent has been evaporated (or whatever is desired at this point), the vacuum should be released. The flask should be raised out of the water bath and all power supply should be disconnected. 

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