A PROCESS FOR THE CONTINUOUS FLOW, IN-LINE FRACTIONATION AND EXCHANGE OF VOLATILE SOLVENTS IN AUTOMATED CHEMISTRY.
Progress rept. 9 Mar-27 May 66,
SCHOOL OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE BROOKS AFB TEX
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A process for the continuous flow, in-line fractionation, and exchange of volatile solvents is described. The approach is applicable to solvent systems containing no azeotropes, as well as to those possessing a minimum boiling azeotrope. The solvent mixtures are introduced to a heated, inclined, perforated conduit constructed from nonwettable material which is inert to the solvents of interest. As the fluid descends the heated conduit, a countercurrent stream of heated inert gas, saturated with the substance to be retained in the conduit, is passed over the perforations. The preferential evaporation of the more volatile fluid occurs, resulting in near complete removal of this component by the time the system exits at the bottom of the tube. The method is shown to be specifically applicable to the exchange of ethanolic potassium hydroxide for diethyl ether in the automated assay of serum glycerides and cholesterol. By manipulation of system parameters, the process can be applied to a wide variety of other solvent systems. Author