As the replies to this post indicate, yes, some still use water aspirators. With traps, which vacuum pumps also need, they can work very well. Some schools have no house vacuums and in today’s economy do not have funds for the pumps needed for multiple set-ups. You did not mention what solvents, etc., were being used, so we have no idea of the actual hazards involved. What struck me immediately about your post was the tone. Perhaps you were angry, but if you approached the “older than the hills” PI with the same attitude you expressed in your post, it is no wonder you met with resistance. Such rudeness is unprofessional. Hopefully, your boss doesn’t read this list.
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Kim Auletta
Sent: Tuesday, December 04, 2012 8:27 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] water aspirator - vacuum question
I need the expert opinion of chemists working with 21st century ideas!
I was in a lab yesterday in Chemistry that is run by a PI older than the hills. His lab is filtering powders and solvents using the sink aspirator. All of the tygon tubing (both sides of vacuum & flasks) is discolored and shows signs of deterioration. They say this tubing is only looking that way because its really old. There was a flask for trap set up between the sample & the sink. I tried to explain that this set up may be allowing solvents to go into the water & down the drain. They tried in their best "I'm the seasoned PhD Chemist and you're not" voices to tell me it was ok and that there was no other way to do this and that everyone, including in industry, does it this way. Really?
So - my questions to all of you enlightened chemists:
1. Do you still use the sink aspirator/vacuum?
2. If so, what kind of trap do you use to prevent solvent or other hazardous material (liquid & vapor) from going down the drain?
3. If you no longer use this filter/vacuum set up, what do you use?
thanks for your help!
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