DIY Lyophilisation Apparatus?
(by novalidaddress from nurfuerspam.de)
Wed Aug 4 17:08:17 EST 2010
Your concept sounds reasonable. The vacuum connectors and controling
the vacuum pressure (if desired) might be the most difficult parts. If
you plan to use small (eppi-style) screw cap vials, possibly a
SpeedVac type evacuable centrifuge is a good choice. With some luck,
you might get one for a few bucks from used lab supplies, on ebay or
even your institute's garbage dump. Depending on the solvents (you
just have water, I suppose) almost any pump that can be operated in
gas ballast mode (ensuring a constant flow of air through the pump to
evaporate condensates) should do the trick even without a condenser.
You also don't need steel tubing. A re-inforced plastic hose is ok, as
long as it does not collapse in the vacuum. You even there may plug in
a narrow gauge needle to force gas ballast mode (I have made and used
this setup for a home-made tissue culture hood aspirator). Another
option (instead of the speed vac) would be a vacuum cupboard, if you
happen to salvage one. As minimal solution, just buy an ordinary
vacuum exsiccator made from translucent plastic. You even might easily
insert some sort of electrical heating foil that's available from
terrarium supplies. However, avoid to drill your own holes into the
exsiccator for cable ducts etc., rather make use of the existing bores
and seal them with plugs and silicon grease.
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