Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2010 13:41:40 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Pickel, Joseph M." <pickeljm**At_Symbol_Here**ORNL.GOV>
Subject: Re: Glove box inspection checklist?
In-Reply-To: <OF66987927.F548EC04-ON852577D1.0063F0EE-852577D1.006440A0**At_Symbol_Here**>

Because glove boxes can be used to protect the items inside or the people o
utside (or both), there are several possible tests to do as you have seen f
rom the various posts. However, for the work you describe (handling lithium
 in an argon atmosphere)- the concern is mostly for keeping oxygen and wate
r out to preserve the quality and stability of the materials inside the box
.   Pressure tests will get you so far and tiny leaks in the gloves or seal
s can be ignored if the glove box is kept positive with respect to the labo
ratory.  Testing the quality of the atmosphere inside the box is another ma
tter-   We use the a combination of the following tests to determine if our
 atmosphere is dry and oxygen free:

 *   Gauges: our glove box has a built in oxygen, water and pressure sensor
.  When they are all working correctly, it provides a very good and quick c
 *   Light Bulb test:  **I will not even start to discuss the safety issues
 of this method=85 Just want you to know that it is out there (and works pr
etty well if you ask me) ** if you take an incandescent light bulb into an 
inert atmosphere, expose the filament to the internal inert atmosphere (whi
ch is easier to say than to do) and plug it in-  the light bulb should stay
 lit for a several days.  If there is oxygen or water present, the light bu
lb will fail.
 *   Chemical test for Oxygen: Colorimetric test using zinc/titanium comple
x (see first reference below)-   we make the solution up on a schlenk line 
outside of the glove box, seal it and bring it into the glove box.  Since y
ou only need a few drops for each test- the original solution can be used f
or several tests as long as it is kept sealed.
 *   Chemical test for Water:  Cut a piece of sodium in the glove box and w
atch for decomposition (or lack thereof) on the fresh surface

Other tests that can be used include Titanium tetrachloride (will smoke in 
presence of  water) and Diethylzinc (will react with oxygen)

A good reference for all of these is Dennis G. Sekutowski and Galen D. Stuc
ky, J. Chem. Educ., 1976, 53 (2), p 110 "A simple oxygen test to use in dry
 boxes containing a solvent vapor atmosphere"
The previous reference and a lot more information about working with glove 
boxes can be found in D. F. Shriver's "Manipulation of Air Sensitive Compou
nds" (Wiley, 1986)

Joseph M. Pickel, Ph.D., CCHO
Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
1 Bethel Valley Road, MS 6494
Oak Ridge, TN 37934-6494

From: Kim Auletta >
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List >
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2010 14:15:00 -0400
To: "DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU" >
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Glove box inspection checklist?

I have a lab that is using a glove box to maintain an inert atmosphere with
 argon while working with lithium ribbon. While the operation looks ok on t
he surface, they can't document or prove that they haven't had any failures
 (research labs are not production & no one ever thinks of these things!). 
Does anyone have a glove box inspection checklist or other info they can sh

Thanks in advance for your help!

Kim Auletta
Lab Safety Specialist
EH&S    Z=6200
Stony Brook University
FAX: 631-632-9683
EH&S Web site:

Remember to wash your hands!

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