I isolated eugenol from cloves in the lab using extraction and steam distillation but we did not do infrared.

The lab report question is: Description of Method.

I'm not sure what to put. We prepared the spice, did steam distillation, extracted the essential oil, dried it using methylene chloride, and evaporated the methylene chloride. Is a short discussion of this what is being asked for? Do I just need to discuss steam distillation and extraction?

Thanks for your assistance,


I don't know what your prof wants here since I am not in the course; however, I would write this up as I would under what I call procedure. I would also include all of what I did; i.e.,, " washed with two 5-mL portions of water and dried using methylene chloride. After evaporating the methylene chloride, the product was steam distilled using standard apparatus.....etc. In other words, I would put in all of the steps and add how much of each reagent was used. I would continue in that vein until the product was recovered. If you performed a final distillation I would include the fraction recovered and its boiling point.

All of my comments above are based on you not having a separate section in the report called procedure.

There's only space for about a paragraph.


The next question I'm also trying to figure out and it seems related to the first if that is any help. It is:

Uses of method: (Include principle of operation, and special cases of use.)

That question allows about 2/3 of a page. These lab reports are usually that vague and I"m always trying to figure out what is wanted.


My best guess is that the prof wants a quick summary of steam distillation, why it is used, other instances in which it might be used, why it worked in this experiment. A succinct paragraph should do this.

Thank you. I'll give that a try and ask the lab guy to make sure next week.


You're welcome, Sheryl! Asking the lab instructor for clarification is always a good idea to ensure you are meeting the specific requirements of the assignment. Good luck with your lab report! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask.