I have been working in a chemistry laboratory for some years and still every once in a while I learn new amazing tricks or lab hacks that leave me open-mouthed. For this reason, I decided to share with all of you a handful of lab hacks I believe will be very useful to anyone working on a laboratory. Some of them I learnt from coworkers and others from reading books or over the internet, but most of them have proved useful to me at a certain point. I will get straight to the point.
Taking care of air sensitive chemicals: What works and what does not.
I have seen people remove the “sureseal” from Aldrich bottles of buthyllithum and exchange it for a rubber septum. This is not the way to go: a piece of rubber full of holes is not protecting you reagent at all. The only long-term reliable method for protecting air-sensitive commercial compounds like BuLi is the metal/plastic seal that originally comes attached to the bottle. Aldrich’s sureseals worked fine in my experience, if you want something more, Acros multi-layer seals provide an even better reliability.
A more useful lab hack is to use a needle that leaves almost no hole while using it to take the reagent out of your bottle. A good choice is using 4 in. 22 ga needles (Fisher #14-817-102). I found them for the first time in my current lab and they work perfectly fine…. [Read More]