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Rotary evaporators are typically used to remove solvents following chemical reactions. Combined with gentle heat from the evaporator bath, controlled vacuum is used to bring solvents to boiling or near-boiling. Efficient solvent distillation requires vacuum balanced to achieve sufficient pressure reduction and molecular flow without losing sample or overrunning the condensing capabilities of your rotovap. When selecting a vacuum pump for rotary evaporation:
1. Select a chemical resistant dry diaphragm vacuum pump for routine evaporations.
2. Buy a vacuum pump capable of quickly evaporating your least volatile solvent. Fast stripping of DMF requires a 2 torr diaphragm pump.
3. The ability to adjust vacuum level and react quickly to bumping / foaming conditions are keys to preserving your sample and using your time efficiently.
4. Automated diaphragm vacuum systems can help you save both sample and time.