While I have three different posts in various states of drafts, I bring you a video of a seldom-used piece of laboratory equipment in action! The Continuous Extractor is for those stubborn molecules that don’t want to come out of the water layer. Why use liters of ether when you can simply run the extraction infinitely with a fixed volume?!
The extractor works with a pot of organic phase (right) that is heated to reflux. This solvent goes up the arm into the main part of the extractor, where it hits the condenser (similar to a Dean-Starke) and drips into a funnel. This funnel brings it to the bottom of the aqueous phase, where it then bubbles up to the top layer. As more organic layer refluxes over, the level of the organic phase increases, and eventually spills back over to the refluxing pot, where it starts all over again, but deposits your desired material before becoming vapor again! Tl;dr the liquid refluxes over to the aqueous phase before spilling back over to the first pot with your product in hand.
Stay tuned for more posts, too!