Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Thinking about buying some glassware.. advice for a beginner?

I Like Dots - 7-5-2013 at 11:16

I was looking for some glassware, I feel like I am limiting myself without proper equipment. You know, just simple distillation stuff, maybe a vigreux column also.
Also on my wishlist is a soxhlet extractor :D

I was looking on Ebay/amazon for some kits and I found this
"Advanced Organic" kit by SGV

I feel it might be a good deal because its a "kit", or they might just be praying on ignorant people like myself.
Thoughts on SGV scientific? Is it a good price?

mr.crow - 7-5-2013 at 12:08

The Synthware looks like a great quality kit! Good price too, this stuff is expensive.

Once you get that just keep buying random crap that comes up on ebay, or ask Dr.Bob here if he has anything.

Funkerman23 - 7-5-2013 at 12:17

let me preface this with this is only MY opinion. I could be as wrong as the next guy but from my stand point there are some things amiss here. Notice that you get one liebig condenser here versus the West & Liebig condensers you see in the "standard" organic kit. this kit has two different distillation 3 way adapters one having a thermometer bushing. a bit limiting as you don't have a bleed tube included and you could only use it , assuming you made or had one at hand,with the bushing topped 3 way adapter.the same with the thermometer: no way to use it other than the bushing topped 3 way adapter. the sep funnel uses a glass stopcock and does not have a drip tip bottom. A glass stopcock isn't a bad thing by any means and has it's advantages but they require lubrication and can freeze.This stopcock also lacks, from the photos, a way to keep the plug in.Usually you'd see a nut or a spring assembly there to keep the stopcock together. SGV is a ( supposedly ) US maker of glass and for many people that is a big plus. I myself would prefer US or German made glass but so far my Laboy glass has performed rather well.Mind you it's Chinese and short of Laboy, Synthware and Expediaglass, I am very leery of Chinese made lab glass.But this kit does not look ideal for a beginner kit, it is certainly usable but a bit limiting. I second Mr Crow, a organic kit from Synthware is very good but as you are starting your collection I'd recommend this or this for a starter kit. UGT , a good US maker offers this but it is a bit more expensive.

[Edited on 7-5-2013 by Funkerman23]

[Edited on 7-5-2013 by Funkerman23]

I Like Dots - 7-5-2013 at 14:01

Funkerman I have to say I like the first kit you posted. I can see how the glass petcock could be a real pain if it sticks!
Do you think a packed column is better than a Vigreux column for fractional distillation?

*Also, What is a bleed tube used for?

[Edited on 7-5-2013 by I Like Dots]

Funkerman23 - 7-5-2013 at 15:21

well.. that depends on what you are trying to distill. Vigreux & packed columns are used for different separations. if the desired product(s) are very similar in boiling point a packed column would be better but a vigreux is simpler to install and won't flood as easily as a packed column.Packed columns separate better but are slower while vigreux columns are more forgiving if you push a distillation harder. In the kits linked the thicker condenser is a liebig condenser but near the male joint you'll notice it has bumps protruding to the inside of the tubing.This is intentionally put there to hold the packing media, as this would be what you would use as a fractionating column in the kit,as well as a condenser. Glass beads,coils or even copper/steel wool are examples of media that can be put into this to help separate your fractions. little things like that allow more uses for the glass you have. A "bleed tube" is a glass tube that has had one end drawn to a fine point and is used to help the boiling liquid vaporize by disturbing the surface with bubbles. Usually a slight vacuum is used to draw air in. You would use this if you didn't have boiling stones or a magnetic stirrer & stirbar available. You could also use it if that is what you want even if you have those things: options are always good in the lab. I recommended those types of kits as they give the beginner or the user many different options& possible setups to start. It also allows you to build your collection while having the basic needs met. Be aware though: on that synthware kit the thermometer/ inlet adapter uses a rubber fitting. this is good to start but be careful when working with more reactive chemicals and may not hold as well under s strong vacuum. The laboy kit uses a screw top & viton o ring to secure the thermometer/ bleed tube. both have their advantages & disadvantages.
Quote: Originally posted by I Like Dots  
Funkerman I have to say I like the first kit you posted. I can see how the glass petcock could be a real pain if it sticks!
Do you think a packed column is better than a Vigreux column for fractional distillation?

*Also, What is a bleed tube used for?

[Edited on 7-5-2013 by I Like Dots]

paw_20 - 7-5-2013 at 16:47

just a side note, it looks to me as though the bleed tube from those kits won't reach the bottom of the flask if used with a fractionating column.
Also make sure if you do use the bleed tube to set up an extra adapter to measure vapor temp so you can be sure of your fractions.
Personally I'd like another neck or a therm well on the flask to assist in controlling the distillation, but you can get those sorts of flask easily enough off ebay and add them to your set-up

BobD1001 - 7-5-2013 at 17:09

I ordered the distillation kit from Laboyglass, which I recently found out through this forum is re-branded Synthware. It really is high quality glassware. Having said that, I do wish I spent the little extra to get the Synthware organic chem kit as listed in the earlier post by Funkerman since it came with many more parts than the Laboy kit for only about $10 more than I paid with shipping.