Diethyl ether assists lipid extractions
Inert Gas Purge
The Inert Gas Purge (IGP) system, available for use with most Genevac evaporators, enables safe evaporation when working with highly explosive solvents
These solvents include those with a low flash point, very low auto-ignition temperature and a wide explosive vapour saturation range.
An application that has benefited particularly from the IGP system is lipid extraction from food and plant materials using the highly flammable solvent diethyl ether.
The aim of a typical diethyl ether extraction procedure is to separate cellular or fluid lipids from other constituents including proteins, polysaccharides, small molecules (API's, amino acids, sugars) and to preserve the lipids for further analyses.
To eliminate the risk of forming explosive diethyl ether/air mixtures, the IGP system purges the air from the evaporator using an inert gas prior to commencing the evaporation process.
The IGP system controls gases entering the evaporator, therefore at the end of the evaporation process, instead of releasing the vacuum by letting air into the chamber, inert gas is introduced.
The inert gas atmosphere is then maintained until the user opens the system to retrieve their samples.
As a result, not only can diethyl ether be safely removed using the Genevac evaporator/IGP system but the inert atmosphere also protects lipids from oxidative degradation.