- A Condensers is a piece of Laboratory Glassware used to cool hot Vapours or liquids.
- A condenser Usually consists of a large glass tube containing a smaller glass tube running its entire length, within which the hot fluids pass.
- The ends of the inner glass tube are usually fitted with ground glass joints, which are easily fitted with other glassware.
- During Reflux, the upper end is usually left open to the atmosphere or vented through a rubber or a drying tube to prevent the ingress of water or oxygen.
- The outer glass tube usually has two hose connections, and a coolant (usually tap water or chilled water/anti-freeze mixture) is passed through it.
- For maximum efficiency, and to maintain a smooth and correctly directed thermal gradient so as to minimize the risk of thermal shock to adjacent glassware, the coolant usually (though not necessarily: see ‘Allihn condenser – refluxing below) enters through the lower fitting, and exits through the higher fitting.
- Maintaining a correct thermal gradient (i.e. entering coolant at the cooler point) is the critical factor.
- Multiple condensers may be connected in series.
- Normally a high flow rate is not necessary to maintain a cooling surface.
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