Isolation of Caffeine

The problem that Danielowicz and Kansa faced was to determine and compare the amounts of trimethylxanthine found in different brands of drip method coffee, including Maxwell House, Folgers, and whole bean. After brewing the coffee and removing the grounds by filtration, the team neutralized the solution with sodium hydroxide. Upon addition of five portions of methylene chloride, the coffee was removed from the system with only caffeine and methylene chloride remaining. Through the use of a separatory funnel, the solution was to form two distinct layers for easy separation. When magnesium sulfate was added to the solution, the excess water was absorbed to provide for pure caffeine and methylene chloride. By using a vacuum, ice bath, and indirect boiler, the methylene chloride was evaporated into the fume hood. This provided the team with pure caffeine.

Research Done By:

Erin Danielowicz
Warren Mott

Stephanie Kansa
Warren Mott