Q:

How does Soxhlet extraction work?

A:

Quick Answer

A Soxhlet extractor works by boiling a solution that has a solute of limited solubility in a percolator, then cooling and collecting the condensate in a reservoir from which the concentrated solute can be extracted. A siphon connecting the percolator to the reservoir flushes excess solvent back into the reservoir.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The Soxhlet extractor was invented in 1879 by Franz von Soxhlet to extract lipids from solid materials. The extractor only works when the solute being extracted has limited solubility in the solvent in which it is dissolved. This means that the Soxhlet extractor cannot be used to extract ionic salts from polar solvents such as water, because the solubility limit of such salts in water is extremely high.

The material containing the compound to be extracted is loaded in a thimble and placed inside the percolator. An extraction solvent is added to the material if the material is not already dissolved. The percolator is placed on top of a heating element, and a chilled condenser is placed at the top of the extractor. As the extraction solvent heats up, it dissolves some of the solute. The pressure in the percolator continues to build up until the heated solvent refluxes into a reservoir. The excess solvent is flushed back into the percolator, leaving the solute behind in the reservoir.

Learn more about Chem Lab

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How does a hydrostatic drive work?

    A:

    A hydrostatic drive works by either mounting the standard hydraulic system hardware onto a reservoir with an attached hydraulic motor or by bolting a housed hydraulic pump and motor to a mechanical axle. These different types of hydrostatic drives are installed in vehicles depending on the specific speed and industrial needs of the vehicle. They can be found in a variety of different industrial equipment.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the advantages of liquid-liquid extraction?

    A:

    Liquid-liquid extraction offers many analytical benefits to scientists and chemists. It is used to extract a solute from another solution, often a binary one. This is completed through exposure to a second solvent that is immiscible to the solution, according to Thermopedia. In more complex cases, liquid-liquid extraction is used on solutions with many different components and separates them from one another individually.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is Supercritical Fluid Extraction?

    A:

    Supercritical fluid extraction is a process that separates one component from another using supercritical fluids. A supercritical fluid is a substance that is at a pressure and temperature above its critical state.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does water extraction involve?

    A:

    Water extraction involves using equipment to physically remove water. When extracting water from a home, high-pressured vacuums are used to remove water from carpet, padding and upholstery, and drying and dehumidifying equipment with condensate pumps is used to remove moisture under sub-floors or behind walls.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore