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Comparison between Single and Multiple Extraction of Caffeine from Dried Tea Leaves


2A-Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Santo Tomas

Extraction is a process or separating two immiscible liquids. With the use of dried tea leaves, caffeine was
separated with the use of extraction. Anhydrous sodium carbonate yielded to a purer caffeine during the
extraction. In separating the organic and the aqueous layer, dichloromethane was introduced and mixed
slowly with the extract. After the two layers were separated, anhydrous sodium sulphate was added to
remove the impurities and was left to decant and evaporate to dryness. The caffeine was weighed after
and the percentage caffeine was calculated. The single and multiple extraction was compared and showed
that multiple extraction has an advantage over single extraction.
I. Introduction
Extraction is the process of separating two immiscible liquids consisting of the organic
and the aqueous layer. Immiscible liquids meaning they will separate or they cannot be mixed. There are
two types of extraction, the single and multiple extraction. [1] Extraction has always been very helpful to
humankind especially to everyday living. Also, extraction is primarily essential in the field of science and
pharmacy. Though extraction has disadvantages like inconsistency in the composition of the extract, by
the time of Serturner, it has flourished and been very useful. Just like the extraction of morphine from
opium which is now very useful to the field of medicine. After Serturner’s experiment, many other
experiment about extraction followed and prospered the field of chemistry as well as pharmaceutical
chemistry. Now, several studies are still conducted finding sources of potential drugs and compounds. [2]
Teas and coffees have been a popular drink even decades before probably because of a
stimulant called caffeine.[3] Caffeine is naturally occurring and can be found in tea leaves and coffee
beans. Several energy drinks also use caffeine. It is classified as an alkaloid, a nitrogen-containing basic
compound. Caffeine is used as a stimulant and can be addictive. [4]
In this experiment, single and multiple extraction of caffeine from dried tea leaves will be
performed and compared and the percentage yield of caffeine in both extractions will be calculated.

II. Materials and Method

In order to extract caffeine, dried tea leaves were needed and Lipton Yellow Tea was
specifically used. For the extraction, hot plate, beaker, tea leaves and the anhydrous sodium carbonate
were used. Dichloromethane was introduced to separate the organic layer from the aqueous layer. With
the use of a iron stand, iron ring, iron clamp and a separatory funnel, the organic layer was able to be
separated from the aqueous layer. Lastly, in a Erlenmayer flask, sodium sulphate was added to the organic
In a small Erlenmayer flask, 4.4 g of anhydrous sodium carbonate was placed together with
100mL of distilled water. The solution was heated using a water bath until the solid dissolves. 10 g of tea
leaves in a teabag was placed into the mixture. The mixture was covered and boiled for 10 minutes on a
low flame. After the tea extract was fully removed from the teabags by squeezing using a glass rod, the
teabags were discarded.
For single extraction, 60 mL of dichloromethane was placed in a separatory funnel and mixed
slowly with the tea extract. The mixture was left to stand for two minutes or until there is a clear
separation between the two liquids. If there was a bubbling it was removed using a glass rod. The organic
layer was drained into a clean Erlenmayer flask and the aqueous layer was discarded. For multiple
extraction, the aqueous solution was slowly mixed with 20 mL dichloromethane for three times in each
separation. It was left to stand for two minutes until there is a clear separation between the liquids.
Figure No. 1. Extraction Setup and the Proper way of Mixing Dichloromethane and Tea

The aqueous layer was discarded and the organic layer extracts were combine. Half a spatula
of anhydrous sodium sulphate was added to the extract then decanted into a tared evaporating dish. The
mixture was evaporated to dryness for two days. After the residue was weighed, percentage yield was

Figure No. 2. Extracted Caffeine from Dried Tea Leaves

weight of caffeine
% caffeine= ×100
weight of tea leves
Figure No. 3. Percentage Yield Formula

III. Results and Discussion

Group No. % Caffeine

1 9
3 3
5 10
7 4
9 2
Average 5.6
Table No. 1. Percent Caffeine for each Single Extraction the Average Percent Caffeine

Group No. % Caffeine

2 5
4 10
6 3
8 6.8
Average 6.2
Table No. 2. Percent Caffeine for each Multiple Extraction and the Average Percent Caffeine

Extraction is only possible with two immiscible liquids meaning not forming a homogenous
mixture when added together. In the experiment, a pre-weighed evaporating dish was prepared in order to
weigh the caffeine. Also, it was required in the experiment to add anhydrous sodium carbonate. The
purpose of the anhydrous sodium carbonate is to ensure that the acidic substance remains water soluble
and the caffeine will be present as a free base. [3] For the extraction, in a separatory funnel,
dichloromethane was added and mixed slowly. This is to ensure that the two layers will be properly
separated. In the end, after the aqueous layer was discarded, anhydrous sodium sulphate was added to the
organic layer to remove the water and any water soluble salts that are retained in the organic layer.
In Table 1 are the percentage recovery of the caffeine for single extraction and on average it
only has 5.6 % caffeine which is relatively low compared to the multiple extraction which has an average
percent recovery of 6.2%. Based on this, multiple extraction is more advantageous over single extraction.
Multiple extraction is more efficient over single extraction. This is because the compounds to
be extracted will be reside in the one-phase over the other. Moreover, partition coefficient also known as
distribution constant, the relationship between the solubility ratios of the two different compounds is

IV. References
1. University of Colorado at Boulder, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. (2014).
Organic Chemistry at CU Boulder. Retrieved from University of Colorado Web site:
2. Weizman, H.. Extraction and isolation of Caffeine from tea leaves. Retrieved from
University of California, San Diego, Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Web site:
3. Cengage Learning. (2012). Techniques labs for macroscale and microscale organic
experiments 6th ed. Brooks/Cole 10 Davis Drive, CA, USA: Williamson, K. and Masters,
M.. Retrieved from http://books.google.com.ph/books?
4. Indiana State University, Department of Chemistry and Physics. (2014). Extraction of
caffeine. Retrieved from Indiana State University Web site:
5. Bunnelle, W. H., Meyer, L. A., Glaser, R. E.. (2014). Extraction. Retrieved from
University of Missouri Department of Chemistry Web site:
6. University of Santo Tomas Department of Chemistry. (2014). Laboratory manual in
organic chemistry revised edition. Manila. Author