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I'm looking to reflux a 250 mL of ethylene glycol solution. Would an Allihn condenser be suitable; if so what length?

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  • $\begingroup$ My guess is that entirety of the glycol would condense in the first sphere, so you may safely take the shortest one. Using an air-cooled condenser (a glass tube of a proper length) is also an option and is preferable to just simplify the things, though I'm less sure that everything will condence in the first one or two spheres of the condenser in the case. $\endgroup$ – permeakra Jul 4 '16 at 5:22
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Ethylene glycol was a boiling point of 193 °C using any water cooled condenser will crack. Use a air cooled condenser. It is just a glass rod. The length of tube depends on how much you want to condense and how quickly you want it to come over. Remember visible condensation should always take place in the condenser. If it goes further down the tube then some hot vapours will be lost to atmosphere if your system is open. If under vacuume the ethylene glycol will boil at a lower temperature but you should use a cold trap at minus 40 °C or below to catch vapours which come over. Remember liquid ethylene glycol is toxic and the vapours are more dangerous check the MSDS. I suggest that you should work with a closed system in a fume cupboard for this job or you might never see your grandchildren. Good luck.

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  • $\begingroup$ I refluxed propylene glycol with water condenser. It worked just fine. $\endgroup$ – permeakra Jul 4 '16 at 5:17

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