Vacuum pumps are suitable for a wide range of applications, including aspiration, freeze drying, rotary evaporation, solvent degassing, and tissue culture. There are many different types of vacuum pumps to choose from, including rotary vane, dry diaphragm, hybrid, dry scroll, and turbomolecular pumps. Vacuum pump technology is also becoming more environmentally friendly, with many oil-free and energy efficient options. For a list of vacuum pump manufacturers, see our online directory: LabManager.com/vacuum-pump-manufacturers
7 Questions to Ask When Buying a Vacuum Pump:
- What depth of vacuum is required for the intended applications? There are many options for low, medium, high, and even ultra-high vacuum.
- What is the pumping capacity at the intended vacuum level?
- Is a dry (oil-free) pump suitable? They do not require oil changes and have lower overall maintenance costs.
- What types of solvents will be used? Will the pump require a corrosion-resistant flow path?
- Are any other supplies or accessories required?
- How much noise does the vacuum pump generate?
- What are the ongoing costs of operation (maintenance costs, energy consumption)?
Lab leaders can consider options that go beyond a typical vacuum pump. Instead of putting pumps everywhere vacuum is needed, for example, a lab can install a modular system. Here, a single vacuum pump serves more than one workstation in a lab, similar to a vacuum system in a woodworking shop. The modular approach can significantly reduce the energy that a lab uses for creating vacuum.
Vacuum pumps can create a noisy lab environment. But how loud is too loud? One quick and easy method of checking areas for excessive noise is the “conversation test.” Standing a normal distance apart (physical distancing of six feet is good), attempt a normal conversation with another person near the instrument. If conversation is difficult or impossible, then the noise might be excessive. LabManager.com/PRG-2022-noise-safety