Recrystallization Experiment: A Detailed Process Guide for Chemistry Students

Marketing Dept., | 10 min read
Marketing Dept., | 10 min read

What is the recrystallization process in Chemistry?

Recrystallization is a technique used in chemistry to purify solid compounds. It involves dissolving the compound in a solvent at high temperature and then allowing it to slowly crystallize as the solution cools. This process helps in removing impurities and achieving high-purity crystals.This technique is widely employed in various fields of chemistry, including organic synthesis, pharmaceuticals, and materials science, where the purity of compounds is crucial for accurate analysis and reliable results.

Is there a difference between crystallization and recrystallization?

Crystallization is the process of formation of solid crystals from a homogeneous solution. It is the primary method used to obtain a solid from a solution. Recrystallization, on the other hand, is a specific type of crystallization used to purify an already crystallized substance by dissolving both impurities and crystals in a hot solvent and then allowing the pure crystals to reform during cooling.

Recrystallization Proccess Techniques: Examples

There are various types of recrystallization techniques depending on the solvent used, the rate of cooling, and the nature of the compound being purified. Common methods include slow cooling, solvent vapor diffusion, and temperature gradient techniques, each suitable for different types of compounds.

  • 1.Slow Cooling: Dissolve the compound at high temperature and allow it to slowly cool to form larger, purer crystals.
  • 2.Solvent Vapor Diffusion: Introduce a less favorable solvent via vapor to a solution of the compound to induce crystallization through reduced solubility.
  • 3.Temperature Gradient Techniques: Use a temperature gradient within the solvent to dissolve and recrystallize the compound selectively, fostering large crystal growth.


Practical Recrystallization experiments 

Recrystallization can be demonstrated with practical examples such as, purifying a sample of benzoic acid. The compound is dissolved in a hot solvent like water or ethanol. As the solution cools, the solubility of benzoic acid decreases, leading to the formation of pure crystals that can be collected by filtration.

A recrystallization experiment typically involves selecting an appropriate solvent, dissolving the impure compound at an elevated temperature, and then allowing the solution to cool so that the pure substance crystallizes out. The impurities remain dissolved in the solvent or are trapped within the crystal lattice and can be removed by filtration.

Ensuring accurate results in recrystallization experiments requires careful attention to the purity of solvents and reagents, precise temperature control, and consistent technique in the formation of crystals. JoVE.com provides detailed video protocols that demonstrate effective methods for setting up and conducting recrystallization experiments to maximize the recovery of pure compounds.

What is Washing in Recrystallization?

Washing in recrystallization involves using a small amount of cold solvent to remove impurities from the surfaces of isolated crystals. The solvent chosen should dissolve the impurities without significantly dissolving the product itself. This step is crucial for enhancing the purity of the final product, as it removes residual soluble impurities effectively, ensuring higher quality in synthetic chemistry applications.

How to learn more about Recrystallization with JoVE

To delve deeper into the topic of Recrystallization, JoVE.com offers a comprehensive resource. JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, provides video-based protocols and demonstrations that can enhance your understanding of Recrystallization techniques. By accessing JoVE's database, you gain access to step-by-step visual guides, detailed explanations, and real-world examples, facilitating a deeper comprehension of Recrystallization principles and applications. Whether you're a student, researcher, or educator, JoVE.com serves as an invaluable platform for expanding your knowledge and expertise in Recrystallization.

  1. Purifying Compounds by Recrystallization
  2. Recrystallization of Acetanilide and Trans Cinnamic Acid Concept
  3. Recrystalliztion Solid Solution Equilibria 


Mastery of recrystallization techniques is essential for chemists and students working in laboratories to purify solid compounds. By following expert demonstrations and guidelines available on JoVE.com, learners can enhance their understanding and application of this fundamental chemical process, leading to better outcomes in both educational and research settings.

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