From: Brandon S. Chance <bchance**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Natural Gas in Science Buildings
Date: Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:24:39 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: D03E21A3.2EB86%bchance**At_Symbol_Here**


Thinking back to my time in synthetic organic labs (1999-2008), the only thing I remember ever using gas for was a continuous flame on a bunsen burner.  And the only thing we ever used the burner for was making TLC spotters from pipettes.  You needed both hands to quickly stretch the pipette.  It was much cheaper than buying actual spotters.  When people were sealing ampules, they tended to use kitchen-style handheld torches.

I should also note that as a safety professional, I would not condone the manufacture of spotters from pipettes today.  :)


From: <Kohler>, Christopher E <cekohler**At_Symbol_Here**IU.EDU>
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 2:22 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Natural Gas in Science Buildings

Thank you all. Your comments are, as always, very helpful.


While reading them I have come up with a theory. See if this has any merit and feel free to send comments (even if you think it's crazy!) J


Thinking back to my early days in chemistry I remembered that benches had plumbed natural gas so they could provide a "continuous" supply of gas. That "continuous" supply would be the only advantage over a source of heat say from a propane torch or an alcohol lamp.


These temporary devices can be used for sealing an ampule or bending an occasional piece of glass or even sterilizing an inoculating loop.


Then I asked myself why was there a need for a "continuous" gas supply? Other than an instrument flame, or bending or polishing glass it was used so we could heat or boil chemical solutions on the lab bench (before we students had instructional fume hoods of course).


Certainly, heating solutions today would be performed in fume hoods so the need for a "continuous" supply of gas at the benches diminished.


Today, bench installations with these gas taps now should probably be restricted to non-chemical use and monitored, otherwise the temptation still exists to put a beaker on a Bunsen burner and perform operations that should really be performed in a fume hood.


Make sense? Your thoughts?




Christopher E. Kohler

Laboratory Safety Manager

University Environmental Health and Safety

Indiana University

1514 E Third Street

Bloomington, IN 47405

(812) 855-5454



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