Question Video: Identifying a Type of Flask by Its Shape Chemistry • 10th Grade

Which item of glassware is illustrated?


Video Transcript

Which item of glassware is illustrated below? (A) Erlenmeyer flask, (B) Büchner flask, (C) round-bottom flask, (D) distillation flask, or (E) volumetric flask.

We can identify which type of flask is shown in the illustration by its shape. Many flasks either have a flat or a round bottom and may or may not have a side arm. Both Erlenmeyer flasks and volumetric flasks have flat bottoms and do not have side arms. Erlenmeyer flasks can be used to store chemicals and are often used as a common reaction vessel, particularly for reactions which need to be swirled or stirred. Volumetric flasks are easily identified by their tall necks. This type of glassware is used to prepare a solution with a specific volume. Round-bottom flasks, as the name implies, have a round bottom and no side arm. Round-bottom flasks are often used as a reaction vessel for apparatus setups that involve multiple glassware connections or when the reaction needs to be more uniformly heated.

Büchner flasks look similar to Erlenmeyer flasks, except this piece of glassware has a side arm. This side arm can be attached via tubing to a vacuum line or aspirator, making this piece of glassware useful for a vacuum filtration. A distillation flask looks similar to a round-bottom flask, except the neck is taller and this piece of glassware has a side arm. As the name implies, distillation flasks are used for distillation, the separation of a mixture of liquids with different boiling points.

Looking at the piece of glassware in the illustration, we can see that this piece of glassware has a flat bottom and a side arm. So we can identify this piece of glassware as a Büchner flask, answer choice (B).

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