Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Soxhlet Extractor: The Well Known Apparatus For Extraction

There are many processes required in the field of chemistry. For different processes,  different sorts of instruments are also used. Not only that, there are many special apparatuses which are made for specific purposes and these apparatuses have special reasons for which they are made. Not only that they are made in a specific way which can be understood by the people of the chemical sector only. For a layman, neither these things are enough understandable nor known to him also. So a layman has no concern with it at all. However, since the evolution of chemistry as a separate branch of science, different instruments are invented by different scientists. The soxhlet apparatus is also one of such apparatuses.  This apparatus was invented by A scientist namely Franz von Soxhlet in the year 1879, and from his name only, the apparatus is given the name as Soxhlet Apparatus.  This apparatus is basically invented for extraction of different lipids. However, with the passage of the time its use is no more limited to the extraction of lipids only. As per the use of this apparatus, it is basically used to extract lipids in such cases where the desired compound possesses  limited scope of solubility in a solvent and  the derived impurities are also insoluble in the same. However, if the compound has high solubility, one can derive the typical results with simple filtration also.
The Usage and Process:
In this typical process of extracting the desired solid, compound is held in a typical container which is usually porous and with required concentrated solvent. While the compound changes into vapors, it keeps the dissolved compound with it and accordingly it is condensed separately. Usually this is a common process, which is done into the condenser. The porous container which held the solid compound sample will also hold solid samples, which are not soluble in the solvent. So now the distill pot keeps the required, desired concentrated material only. Thus, these are the three parts of the extractor, which basically form the extractor.
The result:
Now as a part of the process, mild heat is provided to the extractor by direct flames below which in turn heats the container and the solvent starts to change into vapors. The process of condensation of these liquids converts the collected sample, and this is the process how the two materials in solid forms are separated. For various sorts of materials, various solvents are used.
The condenser is provided cooling through the ice so that the temperature is lower enough to condense the liquid, which is evaporated.
This extractor is commonly used for extraction of fat and oil from different things. In this process of extraction of fat from a solid compound, commonly an organic solvent is used. Then, this solvent is provided heat to change it into vapor form. As the vapor goes up and then its condensation changes it again into liquid form. It creates in small droplets, which takes away the fat content of the compound. This process is constantly repeated for almost 15 to 20 minutes.

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