Enhanced Line of Liquid Laboratory Pumps

It’s day two here at #pittcon15 in New Orleans. If you are here at the conference and have not yet had a chance to stop by KNF booth #2211, please plan to do so. One of our features at this year’s show is the recently enhanced line of SIMDOS 10 liquid laboratory pumps.

KNF's SIMDOS 10 liquid laboratory pump

SIMDOS 10 pumps are ideal for metering and dosing applications in a number of professional and academic fields, including: chemistry, pharmaceutical, food research, and polymers, to name a few. SIMDOS 10 pumps offer lab personnel the ability to transfer liquids (up to 500 centistokes*) at flow rates of 1-100 mL/min, with dose volumes from 1 mL to 999 mL.

“While the SIMDOS 10 and SIMDOS 02 pumps can move liquids quickly and accurately, their real strengths are configuration and control options which can be matched to a user’s automation requirements and/or chemical profile” said Dan McDougall, Senior Manager of Laboratory Products at KNF. Indeed the SIMDOS pumps are designed to allow for convenient control of lab metering/dosing tasks which may be repetitive and redundant.

For example, new to this latest version of the SIMDOS 10 is a Cycle Metering Mode. “Say you’re performing an automated fill of vials on a conveyor belt…”, explains MacDougall. “You can program the SIMDOS to dispense a discrete volume into each vial with set pause durations in-between.” This new feature allows the user to set the number of cycles, the pause duration, and the dosing volume.

In addition to the added convenience of the Cycle Metering Mode, there are a few new control type options now available for the  SIMDOS 10. First, the SIMDOS 10 is now available in an RCP-version, which includes a RS 232 interface, enabling ASCII character control of virtually all pump functions, plus the ability to use programmable lab control software such as LABVIEW, or KNF’s free PC control software (available for download at knfusa.com). Next, an RC-version is available, which includes an RC cable for external control options such as a foot switch, or analog PC control. Finally, the standard S-version of the SIMDOS relies on the manual on-board interface with back-lit display for intuitive, push-button operation.

For a demonstration of the SIMDOS 10 and 02 lab liquid pumps, click the video below courtesy of Jean Delteil, KNF Liquid Pumps Product Manager; or stop by PITTCON booth #2211 for a live demo.

* Please visit knfusa.com/SIMDOS10 for detailed performance specifications.

How to Select a Pump for Rotary Evaporation

Application Note: LabEvaporation is one of the most common tasks performed in a chemistry laboratory. But, how do you go about selecting the correct vacuum pump for your rotary evaporator? Or, if you already have a vacuum pump, how do you know whether it is well-suited for this application?

The key to correctly selecting and sizing a vacuum pump for rotary evaporation can be found in your answers to the following four questions:

What solvents are you working with?

This is important due to the different boiling points of solvents. Solvents with a low boiling point, like acetone, methylene chloride and pentane, do not require as deep of an end vacuum to evaporate as solvents such as acetonitrile, benzene and chloroform. The removal of solvents with high boiling points, such as water, DMSO, DMF and toluene requires a relatively deep end vacuum. You must ensure that the pump is capable of reaching an end vacuum deep enough to remove the target solvents efficiently. For reference, see the Boiling Points Table.

This topic then naturally progresses to the need for chemical compatibility. Based on the solvent vapors going through the pump, one can determine the best materials for a long, trouble-free service life. Dry, oil-free pumps offer significant advantages in this area in comparison to rotary vane and water aspirators. In addition, they can feature premium, corrosion-resistant wetted parts, are easily maintained on site, and do not create hazardous waste.

Rotary Evaporator

What is the size of your evaporation flask?

This question allows you to select the best sized pump for your application. Bigger isn’t always better. A pump that is too large or has too high of a flow capacity for a given application is difficult to control, terribly inefficient and more expensive to own and operate. On the other hand, a pump that’s sized too small or doesn’t have enough flow capacity will slow the evaporation and lead to longer processing times. A pump that is used for a 250 mL flask is probably not the best pump for use with a 20 L evaporation flask, and vice versa.

What is the temperature of your heating bath?

The goal is to determine whether or not the pump is able to provide the necessary vacuum level and handle the vapor temperatures. The closer the bath temperature is to the boiling point of the solvent, the faster the rate of evaporation. If the mixture is not sensitive to elevated temperatures, increasing the bath temperature will speed the process and reduce the need for a deep vacuum pump. This may have an effect on which pump is best for the job.

How do you want to control the vacuum?

Manual, two-point, or adaptive control? Vacuum control allows for optimization of the vacuum level in the system. Optimum vacuum level shortens evaporation times and provides superior product yields. Control of the vacuum also reduces bumping and enables greater solvent recovery and repeatability.

  • Manual vacuum control involves the use of a stop cock or manual valve to adjust the vacuum level based on visual cues. Using this method, you will need to monitor throughout the process as the vacuum requirements may change throughout the evaporation.
  • Two point or on/off vacuum control allows the vacuum in the system to cycle between a high and low set point by turning the pump on and off. This method allows you to leave the process unattended once the min/max settings are determined.
  • Adaptive vacuum control provides the best results in terms of separation, speed and solvent recovery, and allows you to leave the process unattended once set. This type of control modifies the speed of the pump to precisely match the requirements of the process. It is the most accurate method; allowing for the system to operate at a specified vacuum level while responding to changing conditions without the need to monitor and adjust settings.

Ask An Expert

With answers to these five questions, you are now prepared talk to your supplier about proper pump selection, or to evaluate the suitability of the pump you already have. You can also use our easy online tool at www.labpumps.com. Once there, click on the “Rotary Evaporator” icon, and enter your answers from the questions above. After clicking “Submit”, you will see a list of KNF vacuum pumps that meet your criteria. For further support, please contact us.

Click here for a printable PDF version.

ACS Fall: Thanks for a Great Show

The KNF team, after a successful ACS Fall.

The KNF team, after a successful ACS Fall.

The 248th ACS National Meeting & Exposition has officially come and gone. From the attendees to the ACS show team, as well as our KNF staff, thanks to the many hard working moving parts that came together to make this such a successful show. We enjoyed talking to a lot of you about your laboratory vacuum and liquid pump needs and in particular about the new RC 900 Rotary Evaporator.

We’re not done just yet though; we have more winners to announce! Selected from Monday’s visitors to our booth, Jane Aldrich, from The University of Kansas, won herself a $100 Visa Gift Card. And on Tuesday, David Myers, of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, was awarded a Visa Card worth $100 as well.

And at long last, our Grand Prize Winner is… Kevin Woller, of AbbVie. Congrats! You’ve won a $250 Visa Gift Card; thanks for coming by our booth and learning about our latest products.

Also, be on the lookout for forthcoming information on our website and blog about the new 12 volt Mini LABOPORT® field filtration pump. This new pump provides lightweight and portable vacuum filtration powered by a simple 12 volt car receptacle.

Oil-free Pumps Deliver Environmental, Cost Benefits in the Lab

With all companies increasingly focused on sustainability, selecting products – including those for the lab – that reduce or eliminate waste and save energy are becoming a top priority. While many labs have traditionally relied on oil-lubricated vacuum pumps, oil-free alternatives have become prevalent, in part, because they are better suited to comply with corporate guidelines for reducing carbon footprint. The  question, however, is what other advantages do these pumps provide and how do you select the best one for your application?

In most instances, the price of an oil-free pump, sometimes referred to as a dry pump, is higher than the oil-lubricated alternative. However, when you consider the process savings, lower user costs, and environmental benefits, oil-free pumps, such as the KNF LABOPORT® shown in figure 1, more than pay for themselves over the long life of the pump. Let’s review two key advantages in a bit more detail:

Footprint:
This applies to both the carbon version and the actual space in the lab. Eliminating oil means there is no risk for  contamination, and no  need for oil changes and subsequent expensive, hazardous material disposal. Also, they do not emit fumes that   contaminate the air. Oil-free pumps also are more compact, requiring less room on the bench, helping reduce the overall size of the lab in  some cases.

Operating Costs:
Considering the long life of pumps in the lab, operating costs should be a major consideration, especially in relation to  the actual purchase price. Less energy is required to run the oil-free pump, creating lower electricity bills for a lab. As oil-free pumps can be built to be corrosion-resistant, and again, since there is no need for oil changes and associated expenses, maintenance costs are lower, as  well.

Selecting the Best Pump for Your Application:
Now, there are many different oil-free vacuum pumps to choose from. Scientists and other lab professionals are not always sure which one is best for their application. A good first step is to select the manufacturer. Look for a manufacturer that understands the application and has the benefit of experience. This will help ensure the proper pump is selected for your individual lab requirements.

Selecting the proper vacuum level is also important. Many times, especially with older oil-lubricated pumps, the capacity and vacuum levels exceed what is truly necessary. Matching the vacuum to the application will result in more efficient operation and cost savings.

Also consider service. Of course, oil-free pumps are highly reliable, as many models can go 10,000+ hours without needing service. Some pumps, such as those designed and manufactured by KNF, can have a diaphragm replaced on site in a half hour with just a screwdriver.   There’s no hazardous materials handling and drainage, nor is a specialized service professional required to perform the work. Think of it as simply changing the filter in your air conditioning unit.

To learn more about oil-free diaphragm pumps and their advantages, visit the KNF Technical Library. There, you can review white papers detailing application- and market-specific data.