I can only think that a small sample can be sublimed while a bigger sample size can be recrystallized. Are there more?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thermal stability of the material $\endgroup$ – Klaus-Dieter Warzecha Nov 17 '16 at 15:22
  • $\begingroup$ Sublimation requires specialist equipment $\endgroup$ – Waylander Nov 6 '17 at 16:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Most chemicals don't sublime under reasonable conditions... $\endgroup$ – matt_black Nov 6 '17 at 17:46
  • $\begingroup$ If the resublimation goes wrong, you can find yourself dismantling the vacuum pump and its exhaust pipe in order to scavenge the rest of your material. $\endgroup$ – Karl Dec 6 '17 at 18:44

The most notable difference is that sublimation requires a volatile solid, whereas most solid can be recrystallized from a solvent system that is not too exotic. Recrystallizations tend to recover more pure product. In regards to green chemistry, sublimations are preferred as they generate no solvent waste.


I think a possible limitation might be that the compound to be purified should be volatile. And also, you don't really know when the sublimation is completely over. That's why we usually wait approximately 5 min after detecting the first crystals and turn over the heater... I mean, it's not a very accurate procedure.


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