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In contrast to traditional Bunsen burners, heated baths use liquids to transfer heat to the reaction vessel. This is achieved using a high-boiling point liquid inside a thermally conducting bath (usually made of metal). Water and silicone oil are the most commonly used fluids. A water bath is used for temperatures up to 100 °C. An oil bath is employed for temperatures over up to and above 100 °C.
The heated bath is heated on an electric hot plate, or with a Bunsen burner. The reaction vessel (Florence flask, Erlenmeyer flask, or beaker) is immersed in the heated bath. A thermometer is usually kept in the fluid to monitor the temperature.
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