Introducing the new BUCHI Rotavapor® R-300 platform
The new Rotavapor® R-300 from BÜCHI Labortechnik AG, the global leader in rotary evaporators, introduces ground-breaking innovations for laboratory rotary evaporation. Asked about the main benefit to users of the new rotary evaporation system, Dr Rudolf Hartmann, Evaporation Group Manager at BUCHI, says,
“In many laboratories, the evaporation of solvents takes up a lot of time that they would prefer to spend on more complex tasks. So we looked for a way to relieve users of the routine work while keeping them up to date with the status of the process.”
BUCHI also wanted to design the new Rotavapor® so that clients did not have to choose between different models but instead could individually configure a versatile product that suits their own specific requirements while also being adaptable to changing circumstances at any time, Hartmann expands.
Modular platform concept
BUCHI’s innovative solution is based on a flexible, modular platform that can be easily adapted to individual needs ranging from a simple manually operated rotary evaporator to a fully automated system.
- The lift for raising and lowering the evaporating flask is available in electronic and manual versions.
- The heating bath is available in versions designed for a 1or 5 liter flask. While the smaller heating bath impresses with its rapid heating time (4 min to 50°C), the larger version is distinguished by its higher achievable temperatures (up to 220°C).
- The rotary evaporator features an integral display on the heating bath base that shows rotation speed, bath temperature and lift position. The device can, however, be operated with either of two control panels, the Interface I-300 or I-300 Pro, which act as central control units.
Integrated unit: centralized control
“By ‘centralized control’ we mean the control of all process parameters such as heating bath, vapor and coolant temperature, rotation speed and system pressure,” explains Dr Daniel Meier, head of the development lab at BUCHI. “For users it is decisively important to have all parameter data available in one place rather than having to check three different displays to make sure everything is working properly.” Depending on the user’s preference, the display can be mounted either on the rotary evaporator or on the vacuum pump, or even on the laboratory wall using a special mount. It is also possible to operate a rotary evaporator with two interface units. So, for example, one interface unit could be mounted on the rotary evaporator inside a fume hood and another outside the fume hood. With the benefit of bidirectional communication, an operation can be carried out from either interface unit at any time. In addition, quick manual adjustments of rotation speed, heating bath temperature and coolant temperature can be made at any time by means of the control knobs.
Methods and BUCHI Cloud: ways to automate and monitor processes
“So for the first time, completely unattended operation is possible”
Probably the most important innovation is what lies behind the “Methods” functionality. A new feature of the Interface I-300 Pro is the facility to automate routine processes. “For customers who follow standard operating procedures (SOPs), this represents significant added value,” says Bernie Hertz, rotary evaporation product manager at BUCHI. “A method typically consists of four stages: evaporation, draining off distillate, drying the substance and venting the system. The sequence can be precisely defined and the interface unit controls every step automatically,” continues Hertz. If manual intervention is necessary, the user can be notified by push message on a smartphone.
Push-message notification is made possible by the new BUCHI Cloud Solution. That involves connecting the Interface I-300 or I-300 Pro via LAN to the company network. The connection to a smartphone or tablet is established via the BUCHI Cloud. The BUCHI Rotavapor® mobile app shows the current specified settings and actual readings – as they would be displayed on the interface unit. If the mobile device is connected to an I-300 Pro, even progression graphs can be displayed. What is more, any number of Rotavapor® R-300 units can be connected via the Rotavapor® app.
Automatic distillation – even of foaming samples
Unattended operation can be achieved not only with the aid of definable methods but also by means of the AutoDest function, as the automatic distillation mode is known. AutoDest is based on a new method of operation. The vacuum is automatically regulated on the basis of the difference between the inlet and outlet temperature on the condenser and the change in the vapor temperature. That enables uncomplicated automatic distillation even of complex formulations.
Simplicity of operation the prime consideration
“User-friendliness was given prime importance in the development process,”
“Countless user trials have meant that not only is the interface intuitive but also key mechanical components such as the handle for adjusting lift position or the Combi-clip for easy attachment of evaporating flasks are perfectly adapted to users’ needs” reports Matthias Wagner, Project Manager.
Like the preceding Rotavapor® R-210 and R-215 models, the R-300 is available with a choice of seven different condensers. As well as coil condensers or dry-ice condensers, there are glass apparatuses specially suited to reflux reactions, Soxhlet extraction or highly foaming samples.
V-300: the noiseless vacuum source
Along with the Rotavapor® R-300, the new Vacuum Pump V-300 has also been introduced. As well as integrating perfectly into the rotary evaporator system with central control via the Interface I-300 or I-300 Pro, the pump impresses with its super-silent operation. Benefiting from modified speed-controlled operation compared with its predecessor, the unit’s noise output in normal operation is a hardly audible 32 dB.
With a flow rate of 1.8 m3/h and a terminal vacuum of 5 mbar, the V-300 is ideally suited to distillation in combination with a rotary evaporator. And with its transparent front, potential particle contamination can be immediately detected.
The Rotavapor® R-300 system is completed by the recirculating chiller F-305, F-308 or F-314, depending on the cooling capacity required. Just like the vacuum pump, the recirculating chiller fits perfectly into the overall system and can be easily operated from the I-300 or I-300 Pro central interface unit. And here too, rapid intervention using the navigation control on the chiller display is possible at any time. The optional temperature lock makes sure that the temperature is not inadvertently changed. Thus bidirectional communication features throughout the evaporation system.
The optional ECO mode guarantees economical operation by switching the chiller to an energy-saving standby mode after a defined period but also enables the desired temperature to be reached again in a short time.