Lab inventory

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In order to keep better track of your reagents and apparatuses, a lab inventory is a good idea for the amateur chemist. It is particularly useful when doing syntheses that eat up large amounts of reagents or solvents, as it allows the chemist to know the amount the chemicals he will need to purchase to replenish the stock or to consume, in order to avoid going dry. However, in general the best reason to have an inventory is simply to know what you have in your lab.

How to keep an inventory

Inventories can either be written on paper, such as notebooks, or in electronic format, usually as MSExcel or Word files.

A good and simple model involves a table divided in the following columns: chemical/apparatus, photo of said item (optional, but recommended, especially for devices), quantity, storage place (optional), consumption, observations.

Try not to keep the inventory notebook in the lab, especially near corrosive chemicals. Lab inventories should be kept in a separate room.

One SM user has created a small inventory software. However, it tends to give errors when used.

If you're doing reactions regularly, it's a good idea to note the amount of starting reagent and the final product, that way you can know the specific consumption.


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