Extraction of Caffeine from Black Tea
Junior, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design and College of Engineering
This artwork is a scientific illustration meant to be used in a textbook or laboratory manual. It depicts a slightly simplified scientific experiment where caffeine is extracted from a sample of black tea. When I did this experiment as a freshman in Chemistry 130, I found the written instructions confusing and hard to follow. Later, I decided to illustrate the basic steps to serve as a visual guide through the lab procedure.
This artwork is a scientific illustration meant to be used in a textbook or a laboratory manual. It depicts a slightly simplified chemistry experiment, where caffeine is extracted from a sample of black tea. When I did this experiment as a freshman in Chemistry 130, I found the written instructions to be confusing and hard to follow, Later, I decided to illustrate the basic steps, to serve as a visual guide through the lab procedure. Artistic components of this work include arrows to guide the viewer in the correct order, as well as patterns to indicate different substances, or experimental processes. The usage of the appropriate perspective to clearly illustrate each step is also an artistic component. The scientific procedure being illustrated is the extraction of a pure sample caffeine through the process of solid-liquid distillation. The experiment is broken down into three main steps, each illustrated by a row. The first step, extraction, requires an erlenmeyer flask, 2 grams black tea, 15 mL Diochloromethane (DCM) , and 5 mL 0.2 M NaOH. The tea, DCM, and NaOH are added to the flask which is then swirled gently by hand for 10 minutes. The second step, vacuum filtration, requires a Buchner flask, a Buchner funnel, a rubber bung, rubber tubing, and laboratory vacuum capabilities. The bung is inserted into the flask, and the funnel is inserted through the bung. The filter paper is cut into a circle of corresponding size to the funnel, moistened with water, and placed into the funnel. For this step, I only illustrate the setup, not the procedure, as that is fairly straight forward and I did not feel that it required a visual aid. The third step, distillation, requires a 50 mL round bottom flask. The round bottom flask is connected to a short path distillation head which is also connected to a water source. The solution is then distilled.