Vacuum pumps are regularly used for chemical manipulations in laboratory and they require proper maintenance and care to enhance their life. If the vacuum pump is used for the Schlenk line manipulations, sufficient liquid nitrogen is essential in the Dewar to trap the residual solvents or reagents from the reactions and properly cooled traps will inhibit vapors from entering the pump. Organic solvents damage pump oil and ultimately reduce the efficiency of the pump. Solvent traps should be watched periodically for overfilling/ blockage while excess solvents and reagents are removed from reaction mixtures. Traps should be emptied regularly to avoid the overloading and blockage of the line.
Tilak Chandra, Ph.D.
Chemical Safety Specialist
EH&S; Chemical Safety
30 East Campus Mall
Madison, WI 53715
The 2011 Ed. of Prudent Practices suggests that:
General-purpose laboratory vacuum pumps should have a record of use to prevent cross-contamination or reactive chemical incompatibility problems.
Q1: Are you requiring this in your academic, governmental or private laboratories?
Q2: If no, why not?
Q3: If yes, how are you handling this.
Steve Rupkey, CIH
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