Workup Notes

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See also: Workup Formulas for Specific Reagents

Solvents and Workup

Easy Reaction Solvents:

Ether, ethyl acetate, hexane and dichloromethane. You can simply dilute your reaction with more solvent and then wash with water. Ether is not as polar as the others, so look out for polar compounds that may choose to remain in the aqueous layer. Dichloromethane should be avoided for environmental reasons, but for small scale extractions it may be preferred.

Tricky Reaction Solvents:

When you have to mix solvents for an aqueous workup, complications can occur.

Aqueous Solutions for Workup

Mildly Acidic

Mildly Basic

Brine: Removes residual water from the organic layer. The last wash in every workup

For Special Purposes:

Drying Methods

Miscellaneous Tricks and Advice


If you think your product may be volatile (possible if MW is below 250), see How to Handle Difficult Compounds. If solvent is slow to evaporate, consider heating the bath- but be careful, some compounds decompose upon heating.