My colleague is seeking advice as to whether the following procedure was a safe way to deal with a fume hood failure.
Here is his d escription of what occurred. I have a picture (96 kb) of the initial setup if needed and the list server can handle.
A 48 hour reflux to extract 1 9 g of powdered rocky material in 68 g of 95% formic acid was needed. A 250 mL single neck (14/20 joint) round bottom flask on an el ectric heating mantle with a Liebig Condenser in a fume hood. When he at was applied, a glass beaker was inverted and placed over the top of the condenser to prevent any particulates from contaminating the system (withou t risking a pressurization). One day into the extraction the building fume hood fans stopped. The lab manager decided that terminating the procedure would compromise the rare meteorite sample and elected to procee d as follows. He added a second identical water cooled Liebig Condens er above the first, closed the hood sash, and evacuated the 17,600 ft^3 lab (with proper warning signs on all the doors) until the completion of the e xperiment on the following day.
Was this an unsafe action?
Thank you for your comments.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771
Email address: regina.cody**At_Symbol_Here**nasa.gov
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