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Author: Subject: DIY Inert Atmosphere Glovebox?

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Registered: 20-7-2023
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[*] posted on 20-6-2024 at 13:49
DIY Inert Atmosphere Glovebox?

Hello all, I have been getting back in the swing of hobby/fun projects after being swamped with work for a couple of months, which is luckily at least partially chemistry-related. That said, those work projects need to actually make a profit, and as many of us know, the amateur chemist is often more skilled at spending money rather than making it, but I digress!! :D

As part of a lab move/canceled project/storage facility clean-out, I have managed to (tentatively, at least) get ahold of an old stainless steel glove box that was destined for the scrap heap. It was never actually put in service and likely no longer complies with the safety standards needed for the original application. If it doesn't, it's mine for the taking if I can get it off of the property.

So this new piece of equipment will probably be finding a place in my personal lab (at least as soon as we can get it out of storage). Unfortunately, this glove box was designed to operate under negative pressure with partially inert atmosphere rather than 100% nitrogen or argon and was more intended to protect the operator/environment from its contents rather than handle anything extremely air sensitive. To add to the complications, it was designed to be connected directly to the plant nitrogen system, so it is pretty much just a stainless steel shell.

This is what brings me here today. Does anybody have hands-on experience building a setup to remove oxygen from a recirculating inert atmosphere in a glovebox in a DIY setting or have good references on such things? I only have information on some commercially available units and industrial-scale systems, but nothing particularly useful for building one from scratch. Any guidance/lessons learned would be greatly appreciated.

[Edited on 20-6-2024 by Pentaborane]
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National Hazard

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[*] posted on 20-6-2024 at 18:19

I run my laser engraver in an old sand blasing box, flooded with CO2 if that counts? Stops the wood from burning and helps with the smell. And have closed the lid and performed some experiments under argon with a positive pressure.
Highly recommend getting a small balloon to monitor the argon level. Filled with air they float on top of the argon and CO2
I have worked on systems for apple storage, they use nitrogen concentrators and are plumbed in such a way the waste(O2 enriched) gas are removed from the room and replaced with CO2 . But this isnt amateur affordable.

Its a really broad topic, dependant on the experiment. I use CO2 a lot as a shielding gas, but it it not fit for everything, nether is nitrogen.

I guess if I wanted to remove the O2, i would go old school and use a gitter material. Something like sodium metal would take care of the oxygen under the right conditions(heat). But chemical removal would be slow/inefficient and pricy. Ziolote would be the way to go, it would require being regenerated(high heat) after X amount if time, but the process is well documented and amateur doable.

[Edited on 21-6-2024 by Rainwater]

[Edited on 21-6-2024 by Rainwater]

"You can't do that" - challenge accepted
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