Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Glassware identification question

Arthur Dent - 7-5-2011 at 09:01

Last Friday, I acquired this interesting piece of glassware at my favorite lab supply store. Paid $20 for it so I couldn't resist! I actually bought it primarily because it's just a lovely piece of glassware:

It's described as a pear-shaped flask with an integrated claisen vigreux still head.

it has 14/23 taper joints, it's Quickfit Pyrex and it's in very good shape. it's a bit dirty, especially around the vigreux part, but nothing that a good bath in Pirhana won't take care of.

I happen to have a tiny liebig condenser with 14/23 joints at both ends that fits this gizmo perfectly. My question is, what can I do with it, aside from putting it on top of my computer for display at the office?

More specifically, what is the usual purpose of this piece of glassware in a laboratory setting? I imagine that its main purpose must be in distilling refining organic compounds in small quantities, I figure that I would fit a thermometer on top of the pear-shape flask, and that I connect a condenser on the angled spout, but what about the neck above the vigreux section? Do I put another vigreux column? A vacuum adapter? A lovely arrangement of flowers?


entropy51 - 7-5-2011 at 09:11

The thermometer normally goes at the top of the column, although you could put one both places. You want to know the temperature of the vapor leaving the column and entering the condenser.

Please tell me where the heck you live that you have a store that sells gems like this. Some of us might relocate.

matei - 8-5-2011 at 02:21

Claisen flasks are used for vacuum distillations. The ground joint on top of the flask is for inserting a capillary tube and the one above the column is for the thermometer. You'll have to put a vacuum adapter at the end of the condenser.

Arthur Dent - 8-5-2011 at 08:08

thanks for the feedback. So this thing should be used in an enclosed vacuum system, that's good to know.

As I mentioned, I have a tiny liebig that fits perfectly, and I also have a 14/23 vacuum adapter with a glass stopcock, but unfortunately, I have no receiving flasks at all that have a 14/23 joint... that must not be something easy to locate... Oh and I have no thermometers with ground glass joints at all.

Oh well, it will nicely adorn the top of my computer at the office until I find the accessories that will complement this mini-apparatus.


Magpie - 8-5-2011 at 08:23

Quote: Originally posted by Arthur Dent  
thanks for the feedback. So this thing should be used in an enclosed vacuum system, that's good to know.

I'm not sure what you mean by "enclosed." To clarify, the vacuum is pulled at the tubulation (nipple) on the vacuum adapter. A ground glass receiver flask must also be attached to the vacuum adapter to complete the sealing of the system.

Arthur Dent - 8-5-2011 at 11:23

I used the wrong term, by enclosed, I meant "sealed" and able to work in a vacuum environment. I checked my labware collection and it appears I have everything needed for a sealed vacuum system after all!!!

I had a few small 14/23 flasks and a 14/23 thermometer adapter, the vacuum adapter is 19, but I soon found a spiffy little 19 to 14 adapter, yay!

So with my small plastic vacuum aspirator, I should be all set to do some fun vacuum distilling! I guess that the pear-shaped flask portion of the apparatus must be dipped in a water bath or a sand bath? I imagine I can't use an open flame to this apparatus...



matei - 8-5-2011 at 14:24

The vacuum adapter should look something like this:

vacadplus.jpg - 32kB

Arthur Dent - 8-5-2011 at 16:26

@ matei: Yeah I know, I have a 19/22 and a 24/40 like the adapter you suggest... but I might have a challenge finding one in 14/23.

But I imagine that the setup above might be adequate for basic open system distilling, I realise that a vacuum port above the distilling flask might suck out some of the material i'm trying to distill. :mad:

Oh well, back to the drawing board...


spirocycle - 8-5-2011 at 16:49

just collect your condenser to a claisen before the recovery flask and use your vacuum adapter

jamit - 23-9-2013 at 12:59

Can someone help me identify these glassware piece and what they are called and used for? thank you.

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jamit - 23-9-2013 at 13:13

more help need identifying these glassware... thanks!

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jamit - 23-9-2013 at 13:17


IMG_5470.jpg - 131kB IMG_5471.jpg - 147kB IMG_5473.jpg - 137kB

phlogiston - 23-9-2013 at 14:03

You should number the images.

Bottom item looks like a Potter-Elvehjem homogeniser tube.
It is used to homogenise biological tissue or cells.
The top item might be the insert for it, but teflon ones are much more common and its shape would be unusual.

weighing boats?

jamit - 24-9-2013 at 00:32

Thanks Phlogston! I think you're right about the Potter-Elvehjem homogeniser and the insert.

Any idea what the others glassware might be?

watson.fawkes - 24-9-2013 at 04:06

Quote: Originally posted by phlogiston  
weighing boats?
I've also seen these described for use as desiccant boats, containing P2O5, for making ultra-dry gases.

Mailinmypocket - 12-1-2014 at 13:31

I stumbled across this post on Chemicalforums and am curious, does anyone know what the piece of glass is?

Dr.Bob - 12-1-2014 at 19:43

The top right photo is just a variety of T and Y fittings, for connecting tubing together. Top left on the second set looks like a jacketed filter frit or column.

Second from top, left most on second set is a sample holding tube. Material can be condensed into the tube and the screw closed to seal the tube.

The last set of photos looks like some sort of electrochemistry apparatus. Might want to google the name on the apparatus.

jamit - 12-1-2014 at 23:30

thanks Dr. Bob. I'm so glad you're a member here! I always find your comments to be most helpful and informative. And of course, you seem to know a lot about lab equipment.

Mailinmypocket - 22-11-2014 at 09:26

Any clue what this thing is for? It has a female 19/22 connection and a Büchner funnel type style but with one small hole in the glass. I'm stumped as to what this is called or used for!

image.jpg - 1.3MB image.jpg - 1.3MB

Dr.Bob - 23-11-2014 at 19:30


I have seen these used to dry samples in vials by putting the vial on top of a large rubber stopper, then putting the lightly greased open end over it, and hooking the glass joint to a inlet adapter hooked to a vacuum source. Not sure if that is what they are made for, but I have seen type of use a few times now. poor man's desiccator.

I need to get photos of some stuff that I have left to sell, but don't know what it is. I have a fair number of odd things that I can't figure out myself. Trying to go throiugh the left over boxes of random stuff for the third time, running out of some normal stuff, but I have lots of crazy things that I can't figure out.

jock88 - 24-11-2014 at 05:38

Quote: Originally posted by Dr.Bob  

........running out of some normal stuff, but I have lots of crazy things that I can't figure out.

Just the type of items I need for my round tower lab.

Mailinmypocket - 24-11-2014 at 08:47

That is actually an ingenious way to use this thing Dr Bob, Until now it's been useless!

It must at least be interesting to go through all kinds of odd and likely custom made pieces, looking forward to seeing some pictures of what you've got :)

HgDinis25 - 30-11-2014 at 10:24

Can someone please tell me what are quickfit cones used for?
I'm refering to this:

It has a quickfit socket but has an open end. I also have one like that but is shaped into a ~85º curve. What is is used for?

forgottenpassword - 30-11-2014 at 10:58

You can use it as a drying tube, but such things are often used by glassblowers to make custom parts. I do a little glassworking myself and have lots of similar tubes just for the ground glass end. Double ended cones and sockets are quite common too, you just have to snap them in half and attach it to a custom piece, so that it is compatible with the rest of the glassware.

[Edited on 30-11-2014 by forgottenpassword]