One of the most tedious tasks in a Polymer Separation laboratory, where techniques such as GPC/SEC, TREF, CEF or similar ones are used, is transferring large volumes of fresh solvent to the instruments in order to maintain a continuous flow through the columns; and to dispose of used solvent to a waste container. Solvent transfer is typically done with 2L or 1 gallon bottles, which are usually heavy, especially when handling chlorinated solvents. In addition to the heavy lifting involved, it is also necessary to take several protective measures to carry out the operation without incurring personal safety risks. Wearing a mask is required to avoid inhalation of vapors.
Specifically, in a Polyolefin Characterization laboratory, where the typically used solvents have densities around 1.4 Kg/L, as in the case of TCB and o-DCB, solvent manipulation with bottles becomes increasingly inconvenient and dangerous. It is also a task needed to be done very frequently because the separation techniques require continuous solvent refilling and waste disposal.
The Solvent Handling Trolley has been designed to address all these difficulties, and minimize the risks prone to happen when manipulating solvents in the laboratory. Its operation is very easy, thought to make the process faster and simpler.
The entire process can be summed up in four main stages:
1. Filling the bottles of the trolley at the Solvent Station
Connect the trolleyâs solvent bottle and vent lines to the reservoir station and press the start button to fill the trolleyâs bottle. During the filling, the vapors generated will return to the solvent reservoir station, avoiding any contamination of the air. When the transfer is complete, press the stop button.
2. Refilling the instrumentâs solvent bottles
Take the trolley close to the analytical instrument, connect the trolleyâs solvent bottle and vent lines to the ones of the bottle in the instrument, and press start. When the instrumentâs bottle has been filled, stop the process.
3. Emptying the instrumentâs waste bottle
Connect the instrumentâs waste and vent lines to the ones in the trolleyâs waste bottle to empty it. Press start to initiate the transfer and once the bottle is empty, stop the process.
4. Emptying the trolleyâs waste bottle
Take the trolley to the waste station, connect the trolleyâs waste bottle and vent lines to the ones in the waste barrel, and start the transfer. When the waste bottle in the trolley is empty, stop the process.
This method allows the repeated transfer of fresh solvent and waste between instruments, and reservoir and waste station in a much more efficient way, without the risks of inhaling vapors, intoxication by contact, lifting heavy bottles, or avoiding an accidental breakage if dropped. There is also no need to wear neither a mask nor gloves during the process.