I’m working on a organic chemistry lab on the extraction and purification of caffeine from tea leaves, and one of my hw questions is:
You wish to extract an organic compound from an aqueous phase into an organic layer (three to six extractions on a macroscale). With regard to minimizing the number of transfer steps, would it be better to use an organic solvent that is heavier or lighter than water? Explain.
I understand that the best solvents to use are immiscible solvents and when it comes to looking at dielectric constants, my cutoff mark is at around 18, but I can’t seem to understand where one being heavier would come in.