Organic Chemistry Lab

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Isolating caffeine from tea leafs is an experiment in our lab. The manual asks us to determine the percent yield of caffeine by comparing the pure product of caffeine versus the original mass of the tea leafs. My question is, how valid is this method for finding percent yield? I do not understand how the mass of tea leaves could even be close to the maximum amount of caffeine in it. This makes me think that the tea leafs are just empty space! pls help. thanks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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It's not a very good measure of chemical yield, but it will give you some idea of the percent composition of caffeine in the tea leaves (by mass), which is somewhat useful. For example, suppose you needed to isolate some amount of caffeine for further experiments; you could calculate what mass of tea leaves you would need to get that much caffeine.
 

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