Recently, the lab next door was having a clean-up and they were discarding some of their old equipment. One particular discard caught the eye of my lab mate and he saved it from the scrap heap and brought into our lab for our use.
I must confess that I had no idea what it was or what it did. But once it was set up it became a little clearer.
It is a (possibly antique) rotary evaporator – just the body with an attachment on the side for a hose to a pump and a place to put your flask. The discarders maintained that it was leaking, but the addition of a teflon sleeve seems to have mostly gotten rid of that problem.
It is handy for those viscous oils that you want to dry but solvent gets trapped in the thick oil and no amount of pumping on it will remove that residual ethyl acetate. As this can rotate, you can get the benefit of both higher vacuum and the rotary evaporator too.
I’ll also note it it not a good idea to leave it on there too long, as it is old and there is a potential for a motor overheat. Still, it is neat to have something old school in the lab.