How to Use Organic Solvents for Extraction

How to Use Organic Solvents for Extraction

What are Organic Solvents?

Organic solvents are solutions that contain carbon atoms and have the ability to dissolve other substances. They are also classified as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). This means that they can evaporate at room temperature.

Organic solvents are utilized in the manufacturing of a wide variety of products, such as pharmaceuticals, adhesives, dyes, plastics, and more. Specifically, they aid in the liquid-liquid extraction process, which isolates one particular compound from a solution.

What Are Some Examples of Organic Solvents for Extraction?

There exists a multitude of common organic solvents for extraction, such as:

  • Amines
  • Aromatics (especially benzene and toluene)
  • Esters
  • Ketones
  • And many more!

The enormous range of organic solvents for extraction can be overwhelming, so take the time to research which solvent will be best for your specific needs. Additionally, most organic solvents for extraction are toxic to some degree, which is an important factor to take into consideration.

How Do I Use Organic Solvents for Extraction?

Liquid-liquid extraction is the process in which an organic compound in an aqueous solution is transferred to an organic solvent. This process is comprised of several steps:

  1. The aqueous solution and organic solvent are poured into a separatory funnel.
  2. The funnel is shaken, which transfers the organic compound from the aqueous liquid to the organic solvent due to the compound’s higher solubility in the organic solvent.
  3. The contents of the funnel, which are now separated into two layers based on density, are allowed to flow out one at a time. Typically, the organic solvent will have a lower density than the aqueous solution and will therefore be the top layer.
  4. The organic compound will now be present in the organic solvent. It may also exist as a thin layer between the two solvents.

Another reason why it is vital to research organic solvents for extraction before choosing one is because the desired compound needs to be more soluble in the solvent than in the aqueous solution. Otherwise, the extraction will not be very productive.

Where to Purchase Organic Solvents for Extraction

Wondering where to buy organic solvents for extraction? At Extraction Grade Solvents, we offer several organic solvents such as acetone, methanol, and 1-butanol. In addition, our team of chemists is available to answer any questions you may have about organic solvents for extraction and help you find the best one for your needs. Please contact us here– we look forward to hearing from you!