Freeze dryers find use in a variety of research and manufacturing environments and are commonly used for material storage, food and pharmaceutical processing, as well as for less common applications such as taxidermy and document recovery. With a wide variety of options available, there is much to consider when purchasing a new freeze dryer.
Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Freeze Dryer
- What solvents are you using? A temperature differential between the sample’s eutectic temperature and collector temperature of 15–20 degrees is required. If solvents such as acetonitrile are used, a cascade freeze dryer is required.
- How much sample in liters will you run? When choosing a freeze dryer, vendors recommend loading 1/2 of the listed capacity. For example, a 6L freeze dryer will hold 3L during the run.
- Do you want to freeze dry in flasks, tubes, or bulk? Many drying accessories are available. On a manifold or drying chamber, flasks can be placed on each port. Test tubes and serum vials can be placed inside of the flasks for multiple samples per container. If samples are bulk, a tray dryer would be a good choice.
- Do you need to stopper under vacuum? Accessories can allow you to stopper under vacuum or nitrogen without using compressed gas.
- Is this a shared freeze dryer? A hybrid pump is recommended to prevent damage to the pump.
Types of freeze dryers used by survey respondents:
|Dry Ice Benchtop||11%|
Freeze dryer applications as reported by survey respondents:
|Material stabilization and/or storage||52%|
|Starters and cultures||15%|
Nearly 46% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new freeze dryer. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:
|Setting up a new lab||
|Replacement of an aging system||
|Addition to existing systems||
|First time purchase||
Top 10 features/factors respondents look for when purchasing a freeze dryer:
|Product performance for intended application||89%|
|Ease of use||81%|
|Reliability under high performance||81%|
|Low maintenance/operating costs||73%|
|Accurate vacuum control||59%|
|Service and support||57%|
|Ease of installation||43%|
|Minimum utility required||38%|
For more information on freeze dryers, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/freeze-dryers
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