How to ensure the consistent operation of your solvent purification system

Posted on September 21, 2017

Whether you are a seasoned lab professional or in the process of setting up your first lab, there are a number of installation and maintenance based issues that are helpful to keep in mind. Solvent systems built from high-quality components have the capacity to handle many different solvents. The function of these systems is to deliver pure anhydrous solvent safely and reliably.

Purification systems operate by using low-pressure Argon gas to force solvent through various media that remove moisture from the solvent, delivering clean, anhydrous solvent for your applications. These solvents can then be used successfully, in lab research that requires low PPM levels of water.

Installation, Operation, and Safety

The user of these systems must be aware, before installation, of the safest place to locate the equipment. It is the responsibility of the user to research any requirements for local building codes, guidelines, and regulations that may apply. It is highly recommended, that documentation accompanying your system, be reviewed with your EH&S or facilities group beforehand.

Any and all personnel that will be operating the system should read and understand the correct operation as well as safety precautions covered in the manuals before using the system. Each system should also contain warning labels that should always be observed for safety and proper operation.

Operator precautions include using the appropriate personal safety gear for handling solvents. This includes gloves, safety glasses, and protective outerwear along with other specific lab requirements.

Avoid the hassle of troubleshooting issues

PPT recommends the following strategies for consistent system operation:

  1. Make sure you are using the right grade of solvent in your system* – Using HPLC or ACS grade solvent with <100 ppm of water content, is recommended, pre-purchased anhydrous solvent is much more expensive and not necessary.
  2. Use ultra-high purity Argon for your insert gas supply – Your argon tank regulator should be set between 8-12 psi, 10 psi being ideal. Always notify your SPS manager if the tank is near empty (at or below 500 psi) or if a leak is suspected.
  3. When you need to replace an O Ring – The O Ring between the ball adapter and the flask should always be replaced with a solvent grade chemically resistant O Ring or it will become degraded and leak.  
  4. Keep in mind that different manufacturers sell the same solvent at different prices. When researching the cost of solvents, you may find a 10% to 50% cost difference for the same product – lesson – shop your solvents and suppliers.
  5. Not all manufacturers of Solvent Purification Systems offer promotions – Check back often with PPT to see how we can help ease your budget. If you would like to be added to our mailing list visit our website and let us know on our contact form. Don’t miss out on future discounts delivered right to your inbox, it’s that easy.

*If HPLC or ACS grade solvent is not used, it may reduce the column lifespan.