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green chemistry initiative

Microwave Solvent extraction

Historically, liquid/solid solvent extraction has involved rows of solvent-hungry Soxhlet systems or slow, sequentially pressurized units that process 1 sample every 20 minutes. This all changed with the introduction of microwave assisted solvent extraction, a proven method and technique accepted by government agencies and professional organizations world wide. Microwave solvent extraction decreases extraction times, reduces solvent consumption, improves extraction efficiency, and assists in the increase in productivity of your laboratory.

Closed-vessel microwave solvent extraction helps reduce solvent usage, aiding in the green chemistry initiatives that most international laboratories have adopted. The CEM MARS 6 Microwave System can perform over 500 microwave extractions using the same amount of solvent normally consumed for only 32 Soxhlet extractions.

Methods that involve non-polar solvents, which are microwave transparent, can be performed easily with CEM’s Carboflon® stir bars without any change to a laboratory’s current solvent techniques.


The government of Canada has granted a license to CEM Corporation allowing MARS users to perform microwave-assisted processes (MAP) for extraction. The MAP technology and trademark are the property of the Canadian government. CEM is the only licensed manufacturer of technology for the process


The US Environmental Protection Agency has approved microwave extraction methodology for extraction of PCB’s and PAH’s in soils and sediments. The tremendous reduction in solvent usage associated with the use of this methodology is leading to its rapid and widespread adoption.

Consumer Product Testing/Safety

The Consumer Products Safety Commission published several test methods for children’s products that either mandate or allow the use of microwave sample preparation as part of the method.

Related Products


Microwave Reaction System

With a variety of vessels and accessories, the MARS 6 System offers high throughput and may be configured for extraction, acid digestion, or both. The system can process up to 40 vessels simultaneously, accurately measuring the temperature in each. The system is perfect for high-throughput laboratories and comes with a library of pre-programmed methods.


Automated Microwave Sample Preparation System 

The fast, easy alternative to Soxhlet, sonication, and other techniques. Significantly reduce solvent usage and decrease extraction times from hours to minutes with the new Discover SP-X, a remarkable, sequential platform for automated microwave extraction, hydrolysis, or derivitizations.

  • Reduce solvent usage by up to 95%
  • Typical extractions in 10 minutes or less, including cool down
  • Full temperature & pressure control of each vessel
  • Easy-to-use vessels with snap-on caps
  • Works with all solvents, including polar & non-polar
  • Accommodates a wide range of sample sizes
  • Documentation of every sample
  • Stirring provides uniformity of sample mixture
  • Compact
  • Optional automation deck – load it and leave it
  • Ideal for a wide variety of matrices including foods, plastics & polymers, environmental samples, textiles, & more

The cavity of the Discover SP-X is specifically designed to maintain the optimum amount of energy for the programmed reaction. Microwave energy raises the solvent temperature above the boiling point, allowing for higher extraction efficiencies. Samples are processed using programmed methods, ensuring uniformity of extraction times and conditions. Method programming is intuitive and the system features a library of pre-set methods.

The compact system features simple set-up and operation. Vessels are available in 35- and 80-mL sizes with simple snap-on caps. The optional automation deck allows technicians to work on other tasks while the Discover SP-X runs unattended, even overnight.


Polymers & Petrochemical Analysis

  • Extractions of additives such as antioxidants,elastomers, stabilizers, slip and anti-static agents, etc.
  • Plasticizers from PVR
  • Extraction of oils from SBR

Food & Feed Analysis

  • Total fat/oil analysis
  • FAME determinations
  • Pesticide residues
  • Hydrolxyproline analysis

Pharmaceutical Analysis

  • Extractables & leachables in packaging
  • Extraction of active ingredients