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Safe, automatic  solvent purification Quick, well-managed distillation at Radboud University
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Safe, automatic solvent purification

Quick, well-managed distillation at Radboud University

Purifying ultra dry solvents in a solvent purification system is quicker and safer than distilling them. PhD candidate Hidde Elferink at Radboud University’s faculty of Synthetic Organic Chemistry explains. “We research the chemical bonding of sugars, also known as glycosylation. We need extremely pure, dry solvents for that. When we used to distill those, things sometimes went wrong. Now, purification is fast, safe and flawless.”
Distillation is a great old-school method for drying solvents. But it is neither quick, nor easy, says Hidde Elferink. “I hated doing it when I was a student. Setting things up in the lab takes up so much time and space. So much can go wrong. Just take THF [tetrahydrofuran] for instance. If you don’t pay very close attention, it goes dry and then it can combust. I must admit that in my student days, I caused several fires and even a small explosion.”

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