Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

Technique D Vacuum Filtration_1_1_2

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    Technique D:  Setup of Vacuum Filtration 


    Section 1:  Purpose of Technique 


    Vacuum filtration is a technique for separating a solid product from a reaction mixture. The mixture is passed through filter paper in a Buchner funnel. The solid is trapped by the filter and the liquid is drawn through the funnel into the flask below. A vacuum system is used to make the filtration faster.   


    Only a moderate vacuum is typically needed. Fluid is NOT to enter the vacuum system. Care should be taken to avoid liquid getting into the vacuum system. After vacuum filtration, the solid may not be completely dry. Filtered solid material is damp or wet on the surface and might still have to be air-dried or oven-dried. 


    Buchner funnels are typically used for stable solids and liquids (i.e., air and water unreactive material).  Special techniques for dealing with air and water reactive materials are beyond the scope of this technique.    


    Section 2: Components of Vacuum Filtration 


    Filter flask 

    Buchner funnel 

    Vacuum adapter 

    Vacuum tubing (thick tubing that resists compression) 

    Vacuum system (provided by the building services or a vacuum pump) 

    Filter paper 

    Stand and clamp 


    Set up the vacuum equipment similar to as the photo below.  Your setup may not exactly look like the photo due to available equipment, but it should be functional. 



    Setup of Vacuum Equipment 


    Section 3: Setup of Vacuum Filtration 


    Part 1: Inspect the equipment  

    1. Check the equipment (filter flask, Buchner funnel, and vacuum tubing) for broken parts or cracks before use.  


    1. Make sure the filter paper fits in the Buchner funnel. (Folding of the filter paper is fine if it is bigger than the Buchner funnel; do not use filter paper if it is smaller than the Buchner funnel). 


    1. Make sure the Buchner funnel fits snugly on the filter flask.  


    Part 2: Putting everything together 

    1. Attach the filter flask to the stand using a utility clamp. 


    1. Place the Buchner funnel on the filter flask.  Add a filter paper inside the Buchner funnel.  


    1. Secure the tubing to the arm of the filter flask on the side and to the vacuum system. The tubing should be long enough to attach to the vacuum located in the fume hood.  


    Part 3: Carrying Out the filtration 

    1. For each filtration, use only one filter and one filter funnel. Make sure the system is set up.  


    1. Turn the vacuum on slowly and gradually pour in your solution to the Buchner funnel. The solution you are filtering should consist of both a solid and liquid, not just a solid. 

    Section 4Important Things to Remember 


    Requirements for Vacuum Filtration 


    Use filter paper that is the appropriate size for the funnel. It should lie flat on the inside of the Buchner funnel and cover all of the small holes of the funnel.   


    You may use deionized water to wet the filter paper enough so that it sticks to the Buchner funnel better and prevents solid substances from getting under the filter paper. 




    Use a utility clamp and stand to hold the filter flask down. Because you are using thick vacuum tubing for the filter flask, the tubing may cause the flask to be top-heavy. Not properly securing the filter flask can cause the filter flask to fall.   


    Some examples of how to set the vacuum filtration system are provided below:  




    When you are ready to filter, turn the vacuum on slowly and gradually pour in your solution.  


    In special circumstances, a liquid trap may be connected between the system and the vacuum with vacuum tubing to prevent liquid from being suctioned into the vacuum system. Remember, fluid is NOT to enter the vacuum system. Using this technique serves as a precaution to prevent fluid from entering the vacuum system. Use of a secondary liquid trap is unlikely needed for this class. 



    Technique D Vacuum Filtration_1_1_2 is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

    • Was this article helpful?