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Author: Subject: Lab safety important question!
Blessedamines
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Lab safety important question!

Hello there I am trying to do a steam distillation on some plant material and I was wonder if it would be safe to use my plain 300 mm fractionation column as a small sort of biomass flask? Is this safe?
macckone
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What do you mean by plain fractionation column?
Is it a hempel or a vigreux or something else?
Depending on the column cleanup is likely to be painful.
If you aren't worried about cleaning it then it should be fine
but not very efficient.
Blessedamines
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It's just a plain column that you could put steel wool or glass beads in. I was thinking that if pressure were to build up due to the water vapor not being able to travel up the column? It might be bad.
Bert
3-1-2015 at 07:09
blogfast25
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 Quote: Originally posted by Blessedamines It's just a plain column that you could put steel wool or glass beads in. I was thinking that if pressure were to build up due to the water vapor not being able to travel up the column? It might be bad.

If you pack the column well you should have no problems. Use glass beads or Rashig rings, of a size that's in reasonable proportion to your column diameter.

Stainless steel wool can work but if your plant material is slightly acidic it will cause corrosion and contamination.

aga
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The very Nature of Experimentation requires that you just try stuff.

Sure, Thinking is also an important component, so if you have a Hempel tube, stuff it with grass and then bang some steam through it.

If you find it explodes, you'll have taken some precaution or other to deal with that, having Thought a bit.

Just Do it and see what happens.

Likely that nothing will explode and you'll get grass juice.

neptunium
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i second Agas comment altough ive alwayse followed these rule of thumbs...
1 do the research
2 wear the safety gear
3 always small amount

but if you already thought of the preassure building up, you`ve done your research on the power of team.
allow an escape for steam and you will be fine