Ultrasonic Assisted Solvent Removal?!


I’ve been looking into more efficient ways to pull off my ethanol 100% and I thought I had read somewhere along the way that some people had used an ultrasonic probe in their solvent evaporation. Something about mixing and loosening the solvent out at a molecular level or something like that.

I can’t find where I read it and haven’t been able to replicate the google search that led me there.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Did I just make this up in my head or something? lol

I’ve never heard of any technique using ultrasonic probes for solvent recovery but I’m not sure the physics of it would make sense. An ultrasonic probe is a point source of both heat and agitation. Most high throughput recovery methods rely on lots of surface area for the heated solution to have maximum exposure to atmosphere or vacuum (think FFE or a rotovap for instance). While an ultrasonic probe or even an array of probes could provide the heat source I’m not sure that it would be anymore efficient or cost effective than other low tech methods of heating. You would probably need a bunch of probes in an array of some sort to heat a surface that the solution could pass over for evaporation. It sounds expensive though.


Not ultrasonic related but I’ve recently been using an ammo case tumbler to vibrate my vacuum chamber. It helps for sure speed up the recovery. My next experiment will be to use a medical laboratory platform rocker/mixer where my vacuum chamber will sit on top of. This will keep the extract moving and in a thin film for quicker purging.

I should note the ammo case tumbler was too fierce for a hotplate use but those silicone mat heaters that stick to the bottom of the vac Chambers would probably work better.

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ultrasonic agitation can help increase extraction efficency, never heard of it for evaporation.

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I could see it maybe theoretically helping a little… but I don’t think it would be worth the time/effort/energy/money involved for the little extra you would get from a well-tuned process. And if you’re not at least in the 90+% range there are almost certainly easier places to get extra recovery from.

Of course, it’s entirely possible I’m wrong.


In other industries, ultrasonics have been used to increase yields in a simple extraction. Problem is, they were attempting to pull everything out of the bio mass they are extracting from. you’ll find that introducing ultrasonics into your biomass will rupture cell membrane walls and pull a lot of the unwanted’s out of the plant. specifically chlorophyll.


Damn, I wish I could find the forum post I had read!

The person said in short, that the last 5% of ethanol tends to bind well to the oleoresin. The ultrasonic vibrations really loosen up the ethanol. I was thinking of essentially having it in a tube of sorts that was immersed in a hot water bath. With maybe a stir plate underneath? I’ll keep at it though :slight_smile: thanks for the replies!