A rotary evaporator (or rotovap) is a device used in chemical laboratories for the efficient and gentle removal of solvents from samples by evaporation.
Rotary evaporators are also used in molecular cooking for the preparation of distillates and extracts.
The main components of a rotary evaporator are :
- A vacuum system, to substantially reduce the pressure within the evaporator system.
- A condenser
- A condensate-collecting flask at the bottom of the condenser, to catch the distilling solvent after it re-condenses.
- A motorized mechanism to quickly lift the evaporation flask from the heating bath.
- A heated fluid bath to heat the sample.
Other common evaporator brands are Heidolph, LabTech, Stuart, Hydrion Scientific, SENCO, IKA and EYELA. In research the most common form is the IL bench-top unit, whereas large scale (e.g., 20L~50L) versions are used in pilot plants in commercial chemical operations.