Happy birthday to me: The blog turns three and it’s all about the accessories!

It’s the blog’s birthday today and we are turning three. I can’t believe so much time has so quickly gone by! It’s been really rewarding digging into chromatography, freeze drying and rotary evaporation topics with you throughout the years. And even though I had initially planned to keep the post light, I decided you would prefer to get a load of useful information instead. You’d be pleased to know that I’ve packed your goodie bag from this birthday celebration with free resources on rotary evaporation and chromatography accessories. Why accessories you may ask? Read on to find out.

It’s my third birthday post this year and I must admit that I was really feeling the pressure of coming up with something new. I turned to my old photo albums for some inspiration. What does one typically do when one turns three? I mean, besides stuffing yourself with cake, playing with friends, popping balloons? (Coincidentally, I did all these things today already.)

Well, I did find some pictures from my daughter’s third birthday. She had a beautifully decorated Minnie Mouse cake, she had Minnie Mouse balloons, Minnie Mouse napkins and Minnie Mouse ears and a Minnie Mouse T-shirt and a necklace with Minnie Mouse on it. I’m sure there were many other Minnie Mouse items hidden in the photos, but by then, I knew what I wanted to write about. The importance of accessories!

From birthday parties to weddings to a casual Sunday brunch, there is just no soul without accessories. But accessories are also important in the lab, especially for your workhorse instruments.

So to try to bring in some tradition besides something new to the birthday posts, I want to talk to you about accessories in chromatography and rotary evaporation. And I’ve packed your goodie bags with fantastic free sources on the topic.

Let us first see how accessories for your rotary evaporation system can help you work with challenging samples. Here, I want to draw your attention to three options to help you achieve success in these trivial, but daunting tasks:

Foam sensor – Use this feature if you work with foaming samples. The foam sensor operates by automatically releasing vacuum anytime the sample foams. This prevents sample loss and contamination of your glassware. Want to see how this works in action, then pull out the following video from your goodie bag: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCQPHJS_YRU

Dewar accessory – If you want to prepare samples for freeze drying, use the Dewar accessory instead of the heating bath. Fill the container with dried ice and get an evenly distributed frozen sample on your flask to achieve faster freeze drying. Let’s look at another free video so you can see exactly how this is done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW8uAqBoD1U

Dry mode on your interface – If the system allows centralized control via an interface, check for presence of useful method runs, such as the dry mode for sticky, powdery compounds. When selected, the dry mode changes the direction of rotation of the flask at regular intervals to prevent the compounds from sticking to the walls of the evaporating flask.

Would you like to explore these and more accessories visually? Then check out another free resource from the birthday goodie bag, a concise video on the topic:

Now let us separate from rotary evaporation and give our pure attention to your chromatography system.

Here, perhaps more technically correct than calling them accessories, I’d rather discuss system parts with you. Maybe it is not the most exciting topic in the world, but it is incredibly important. The parts I am referring to include fittings, ports, tubes and hoses.

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Ferrule – The ferrule can be flat bottomed or coned. Flat bottoms are preferred for low pressure applications, such as flash chromatography, whereas coned ferrules are better suited to high pressure applications, such as preparative high-pressure liquid chromatography (prep HPLC).

Nut – The nut head can be either a knurl head or a hex head. Bigger diameters support applications with higher flow rates to reduce the back pressure, for example as is the case in flash chromatography. The nut heads can be tightened by hand, rather than with special tools to leave the flow rates unaffected.

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Ports – Similarly to ferrules, these parts can be either flat bottomed or coned. Flat bottomed ports are better suited to low pressure applications, such as flash chromatography, whereas coned ports are suitable for prep HPLC.

Hoses and Tubes – the internal diameter and lengths of these parts influence back pressure and peak shape. Typically, there is a trade-off between lower back pressure and higher dead volume.

I could blab on forever about parts and accessories, but I think I’d rather have a second slice of cake. And if you are still hungry for me, then reach for the last freebie in your goodie bag:
A Factsheet on Common Fittings, Ports, Tubes & Hoses filled with diagrams, descriptions, tips and tricks to help you optimize your chromatography system and achieve perfect purifications.

I am so glad you could celebrate with me today and let us have a fantastic time getting older and wiser together with more chromatography and laboratory evaporation posts to come.

Till next time,

The Signature of Bart Denoulet at Bart's Blog