Erlenmeyer Flask: Functions, Types, and How to Use It

One of the laboratory equipment that is often used is the Erlenmeyer flask. Erlenmeyer which is also known as a conical flask consisting of a wide base with a flat bottom and an inverted cylindrical neck. The name Erlenmeyer is taken from the name of the inventor, Emil Erlenmeyer.

Emil Erlenmeyer was a German chemist who initially specialized in pharmacy, but was eventually drawn back into the world of chemistry.

During his career, Emil synthesized or isolated many organic compounds for the first time, and also made several significant contributions to our understanding of the structure of organic molecules.

The Erlenmeyer is usually used in chemical experiments to mix different chemicals or contain titration solutions. Erlenmeyer is one tool that is quite important in an experiment in the laboratory. It has many uses, making it a must-have tool in a laboratory.

Usually this Erlenmeyer is made of glass or plastic, and is equipped with ground glass on the neck. And there are flecks of enamel and ground glass where they need to be labeled with a pencil.

For more details, you can see a discussion about the functions, types, how to use this Erlenmeyer.

Erlenmeyer Flask Function

The Erlenmeyer or Erlenmeyer flask has a broad flat bottom, a conical body, and a high cylindrical neck. Erlenmeyer flasks are used to contain liquids and for mixing, heating, cooling, incubation, filtration, storage, and other liquid handling processes.

The slanted sides of the erlenmeyer and the narrow neck allow the contents in the flask to be mixed and swirled without risk of spilling, which is useful for titrating and boiling liquids.

Erlenmeyer neck can also support my filter funnel to transfer contents. Erlenmeyer flasks can be marked by passing the test and there are areas where Erlenmeyer flasks can be marked or labeled.

This Erlenmeyer is made of glass or plastic resin, and is available in various volumes/capacities. The inside of the mouth of the Erlenmeyer flask can be frozen to accommodate the ground glass stopper.

Alternatively, a lid or rubber stopper can be used to contain the contents. Some Erlenmeyer flasks also come with a side arm (removable) for use as a filter.

Erlenmeyer flasks can also be used to prepare a microbe. Some Erlenmeyer are equipped with baffles that help maximize gas transfer so that it can be mixed more optimally when the contents of the Erlenmeyer are shaken.

As previously mentioned, it can be concluded that the Erlenmeyer has several important functions in the laboratory. Here are some other functions of Erlenmeyer:

  • Used for measuring the dose of chemical analysis of substances or can also be used to mix a substance with other substances.
  • Used for containers so that they can hold solutions or liquids.
  • Serves as a place of cultivation in microbes with liquid cultures.
  • Used to mix and homogenize the solution material against other materials.
  • Used to titrate a chemical compound so that a strong match can be made.

Types of Erlenmeyer Flask

Erlenmeyer is divided into two types that have the same function and also have the same use.

  • Erlenmeyer with Sharpening Cap
erlenmeyer with sharpening cap

For an Erlenmeyer with a sharpening lid, it is usually used for the titration process with strong shaking. Then connected to other tools such as distillation tools, extraction tools, and so on.

  • Erlenmeyer Without Lid Sharpening
erlenmyer without sharpening

While the Erlenmeyer without a sharpening lid has a function for titration with weak to moderate tests. So this is what causes the Erlenmeyer without the sharpening lid to still be used in the shaking process.

Erlenmeyer flasks have several volume sizes. Erlenmeyer volume sizes commonly used are 250 ml and 500 ml. But there are other sizes of this Erlenmeyer, namely 50 ml, 250 ml, 500 ml, 1,000 ml to the largest 2,000 ml.

How to Use Erlenmeyer Flask

Of course, to use Erlenmeyer is not arbitrary. You must use the Erlenmeyer properly and correctly to avoid fatal errors.

Here’s how to use Erlenmeyer properly and correctly:

  • Add the solute to the Erlenmeyer flask.
  • Add enough solvent to dissolve the solute.
  • Continue adding solvent until it approaches the line marked on the volumetric flask.
  • Use the dropper to fill the flask.
  • Use the meniscus of the solution and the graduation line on the flask to determine the end point.
  • Place the stopper of the volumetric flask into the volumetric flask to seal it.
  • Turn the flask over to mix the solution thoroughly.