First Day

Today, we extracted caffeine from tea. There are 2 parts to this activity; to extract the caffeine and to have an IR reading of our extraction. We had to split ourselves into groups of 2 and choose to extract caffeine for green tea or black tea. Our group chose black tea. We first added 2 grams of tea leaves into 8 tea bags, we then submerged the tea bags into a beaker of boiling water. After 15mins, we added 10grams of calcium carbonate to the beaker. We filtered the mixture using a vacuum, and collected the filtrate. Next we added 50ml of dichloromethane with the filtrate in a separating funnel and shake it a few times.We repeated this step 3 times. We opened the tap and let the organic layer flow down into a  conical flask. We added magnesium sulphate to the conical flask to get rid of excess water. We filtered the solution and attached it to a rotatory evaporator.


  • Today I learnt that magnesium sulphate is used to get rid of excess water in a solution
  • Caffeine is found in everyday beverages such as coffee and tea
  • Caffeine can be addictive, and raise your blood pressure
  • A rotatory evaporator evaporates using pressure
  • The organic layer is the lower layer (in a separating funnel) and the aqueous layer is the top layer 
I felt that today's activities were more fun than I expected. We used lab equipment we never saw in  SST before. I was surprised that pressure could evaporate, not only heat. I thought that this activity was beneficial as it helped us learn the different reactions by the different chemicals and substances.

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