Is It Time To Replace Your Water Aspirator?

A water aspirator is a simple device capable of creating a low strength vacuum for many standard laboratory applications. Though they are inexpensive to purchase and easy to use, the long-term operating costs and environmental impact of laboratory water aspirators can be quite significant.

The above video from Lab Manager follows Linda the Lab Manager as she and her colleagues investigate the real costs of owning and operating a laboratory water aspirator.

Former MythBuster Delivers Keynote at Pacific Design & Manufacturing Event

Former MythBuster Jamie Hyneman at Pacific Design & Manufacturing

Jamie Hyneman, former MythBuster, speaking at Pacific Design & Manufacturing event (source: Pinterest)

This year, guests of the recently re-branded Pacific Design and Manufacturing event received a special treat as Jamie Hyneman – the famed, former co-host of The Discovery Channel’s popular television series, “MythBusters” – delivered the keynote speech. During his speech, Mr. Hyneman communicated the value of hard work, and also referenced the importance of constant improvement through his own love of tinkering. The honorary Doctor of Engineering stated, “Science isn’t done by people in lab coats. It is done by people that want to do a good job at figuring something out”. With talk of science and tinkering, it is no surprise that the 2017 keynote speaker was able to connect with his audience. After all, there were thousands of engineers in attendance of the annual conference, most of whom share a love of tinkering.

Though Jamie Hyneman has since moved on from Myth Busters, and The Discovery Channel has stopped production of new episodes, it has not stopped millions of fans from holding the show in high regard for its creative and courageous (often crazy) engineering. For example, many at KNF recall an episode that first aired on July 12, 2006 titled, “Crimes and Myth-Demeanors (part 1)“. During the episode, the crew attempt to debunk robbery and break-in scenarios so often depicted in Hollywood movies. Things get interesting when Jamie Hyneman and co-host Adam Savage begin development of their own gadgets: super-magnets, and suction cups, respectively. The peculiar devices were custom-engineered to assist the show hosts with an air duct climb).

KNF N 828 vacuum pump

KNF N 828 vacuum pump

What makes this episode particularly memorable to KNF USA associates is the vacuum source used for Adam’s suction cups – a KNF N 828 Diaphragm Vacuum Pump! The lightweight, oil-free KNF N 828 vacuum pump performed admirably to spec, pumping to 100 mbar of absolute vacuum via the suction cups on Adam’s hands and feet. However, in the end, both co-hosts were unable to climb the flimsy air duct without considerable noise, thus being anything but stealthy. Another Myth Busted. Later in the episode, Adam used his KNF N 828 vacuum pump powered suction cup rig to climb eight stories up the outside of a glass building before becoming too exhausted to continue. But not before further demonstrating the power of the KNF N 828 diaphragm vacuum pump!

Video: Choosing the Best Vacuum Pump for Your Lab Application

 

Are you in the market for a new laboratory vacuum pump? Perhaps you need more information on which pump to choose. A new video, produced by Lab Manager, may provide valuable insights. View the video directly above, or click here.

Reaction Time: Q&A with Jim Abbott, Market Manager, Julabo USA, Inc.

PITTCON mascot, Pete Con, standing beside the Julabo reactorNot too long ago, while attending the PITTCON show in Atlanta, Georgia, we came across a unique and eye-catching exhibitor system – a special reactor manufactured by Julabo USA, Inc. featuring two KNF SIMDOS® liquid metering pumps transferring fluids to and from the reactor vessel. The machine is quite intriguing on its own; however, after having noticed the two KNF liquid diaphragm pumps, we contacted Jim Abbot, Market Manager, from Julabo USA, Inc. to learn more about the company’s impressive reactor.

1. Overall, what is the purpose of this reactor, what exactly does it do? Does it have an official name?

“We typically just refer to the small reactors of 100mL to 5L size as ‘bench scale’ or ’bench top reactor’, and the 10L to 100L sizes as ’kilo-scale pilot plant reactors’. Systems are available in both glass and stainless steel. Also, we are proud to be the US distributor of Berghof high pressure reactor systems – these have a ton of applications which they are used for but typical uses include: pharma, bio-pharma, plastics, paints, polymers, adhesives, petrochemical, energy, and most recently cannabis. The reactors are primarily used in mixing applications but with add-on features they can be easily equipped for various distillation methods such as: refluxing, short path and fractional distillation. All of our units are automation capable and can be easily controlled using our PC or PLC based AUTOReactor™ control and data logging packages.”

2. What is the function of the two KNF SIMDOS® pumps used within the Julabo reactor?

SIMDOS_Pumps_2 SIMDOS_pumps_1“We use the KNF pumps to control liquid additions or product sampling. The KNF SIMDOS pumps are used, specifically, because of their high quality, reliability, and automation capability. The pumps are connected to our PC or PLC based AUTOReactor™ control and data logging packages which allows users to program and control the process quite effectively and efficiently.”

3. I noticed that the reactor uses both KNF SIMDOS 10, and SIMDOS 02 pumps. Is there a reason why two different KNF SIMDOS pump types were selected?

“We displayed both [pumps] on [our demo] system, but typically we use the SIMDOS 02 on the bench scale reactors, while the SIMDOS 10 is used on the kilo-scale reactors. This is because of their different delivery rates as associated with the scale of the process, but quite often these are used interchangeably across both platforms.”

4. Is there any particular reason that compelled the system’s designer to choose KNF pumps over other dosing pumps from other pump manufacturers?

“We (Julabo) have had a long relationship with KNF both in the USA, and around the world. Moreover, we know without a doubt that KNF has the same principals as JULABO as far as delivering high-quality, reliable products.”

5. Will the Julabo reactor(s) be featured at the ACS tradeshow next week?

“Yes it will; we plan to display it again with the [KNF SIMDOS] pumps in a different configuration but always taking front stage, hand-in-hand with the JULABO products.”

6. Would you like to share any additional facts, or interesting notes regarding this system?

“We are devoted to offering our expertise in temperature control and reaction systems to our customers. Likewise, we are dedicated to providing solutions, from the inception of a process, through scale-up, and into manufacturing. One of the key factors is we design all of our systems with the utmost flexibility so as processes change, and companies grow we to can change and grow together with them.”

Julabo will be exhibiting at the upcoming ACS tradeshow in Philadelphia on August 21-23, 2016. If you will be attending the show, then be sure to check out Julabo’s incredible reactor system(s) incorporating KNF SIMDOS dosing/metering pumps. Also, don’t forget to visit KNF booth #1626 to see our latest laboratory technology, including: SIMDOS 10 and SIMDOS 02 liquid metering/dosing pumps, LABOPORT diaphragm vacuum pumps, LIQUIPORT liquid transfer pumps, the versatile VC 900 vacuum controller, and KNF’s award-winning RC 900 rotary evaporator.

KNF OEM Diaphragm Pumps Used in Multiple Environmental Studies

A customer recently brought five environmental studies, ranging from 2013 to 1996, to our attention. Each of the studies details research conducted with one common component: a KNF OEM pump, which proved integral for sample collection or transfer during the analyses. Of the five studies, we cherry-picked two air-toxics studies for your further reading. However, here’s the listing of all five:

  1. Walter 2013 High Res Measurements Atmospheric Hydrogen West African Coast Mauritania
  2. Querino 2011 Methane Flux Vertical Gradient Mixing Ratio Measurements in a Tropical Forest
  3. Bailey 2010 Southwest Indianapolis Air Toxics Study
  4. Romashkin 2001 In Situ Measurements Long Lived Trace Gases Lower Stratosphere Gas Chromatography
  5. Elkins 1996 Airborne Gas Chromatography In Situ Measurements Long Lived Species Upper Troposphere Lower Stratosphere

KNF Environmental Pumps for Gas Sampling and AnalysisWe’re very proud KNF pumps are relied upon within ambient, source and portable devices for environmental sample collection and analysis. For example, the 2010 study listed above details a project in which the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), the U.S. EPA, the City of Indianapolis, and a diverse group of stakeholders teamed up to conduct an air toxics study in southwestern Indianapolis, Indiana (this region was identified by the U.S. EPA National Air Toxics Assessment [NATA] in 1996 and 1999 to be an area of potential concern for cancer risk from air toxics).

A KNF pump was used to enable the analysis of the total non-methane organic carbon (TNMOC) concentration of ambient air. For a history lesson, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 required the EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards to set National Ambient Air Quality Standard for the “criteria” pollutant, ozone. In areas of the country where the NAAQS for ozone is being exceeded, additional measurements of the ambient nonmethane organic compound (NMOC) concentration are needed to assist the affected States in developing revised ozone control strategies. Measurements of ambient NMOC are important to the control of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are precursors to atmospheric ozone.

Therefore, a reliable pump was essential for the collection of air samples with potentially harmful toxics. Simultaneously, it was critical for the pump to collect samples in a manner that didn’t change or contaminate the samples. KNF pumps, known for their reliability and chemical inertness, are ideally situated for this type of application. Additionally, their extremely high gas tightness allows for the accurate and complete collection of media, without the risk of sample loss, dilution, or contamination.

Also, in 2001, a study, titled In Situ Measurements of Long-Lived Trace Gases in the Lower Stratosphere by Gas Chromatography, utilized the KNF NMP 830 pump (referenced as UNMP 830 pump in article) . For this study, a four-channel gas chromatograph measured different air qualities in 70 and 140 second intervals. Air external to the aircraft was delivered to the instrument from an external, variable speed, two-stage, KNF diaphragm pump, driven by a brushless 24-V DC motor. The KNF pump was mounted on the aft wall, and was turned on by the ACATS-IV onboard computer when the ER-2 aircraft ascended through 87 kPa of atmospheric pressure.

Regarding this second study, there are a few points of interest we’d like our readers to note. First, the usage of the pump is a prime example of KNF application flexibility. The KNF NMP 830 micro pump is small; however, its footprint isn’t the only reason it was relied upon within this challenging design. For example, the pump in this application is pulling atmospheric samples at an extremely high altitude, measuring parts per billion (ppb) and parts per trillion (ppt). Expectedly, pump inertness is therefore paramount. Much like in the first study referenced above, environmental analysis customers have come to rely on KNF pump material options, including PTFE and stainless steel, and on the leak tightness of KNF pumps.

Additionally, the KNF pump used in this second study is driven by a brushless DC (BLDC) motor, which helps meet the small size mandate. BLDC allows flow rates to be adjusted as needed, helping to extend the lifecycle and reliability of a device. Motor adjustment is also particularly important for this application, because at high elevations, fewer air molecules are available to blow across the pump for cooling. Therefore, the pump faces the risk of overheating. However, the ability to adjust and operate the motor at a lower voltage and speed helps to mitigate this concern. The small and lightweight design of KNF micro gas pumps even allows for energy-efficient battery operation.

Also of note, there’s far less ambient pressure at the elevation at which the pump in this study is operating, resulting in less pressure on both the top and undersides of the diaphragm. This condition is certainly not ideal for pump operation, which further adds to the difficulty of this application. This, and the other challenges presented by high altitude operation and ppb/ppt detection require a specification-driven, individually-tailored pump. KNF excels in designing and configuring pumps to exacting requirements such as these. In fact, over 80 percent of KNF’s business involves custom-engineered pump solutions.

To round out this review, the first and second studies listed above used KNF pumps to flush sample flasks prior to sampling, and to collect and fill flasks, respectively. The last study used a KNF pump to collect samples in a high altitude study with a set-up similar to the Romashkin 2001 study, which was discussed above.

Summing up this entry to The Pump Post, each of the five studies offers a constant theme of KNF OEM pumps being well-suited for environmental sample collection and analysis applications. Please check back to learn more about KNF products in real-world applications!

In Case You Missed It: KNF Neuberger Pump Used on PBS’ “NOVA”

“The global cyberwar is heating up and the stakes are no longer limited to the virtual world of computers.”

So says the voiceover talent, during a recent episode of “NOVA” on PBS. During the episode, real-world examples are provided to examine the science and technology behind today’s cyber warfare. Already, highly sophisticated, stealthy computer programs such as the notorious Stuxnet worm can take over the control systems that regulate food factories, pipelines, power plants, and chemical facilities—even our cars.

However, this blog isn’t written to put a scare into our readers; we just found it interesting that 23 minutes into the episode, a KNF air pump is used to pop a balloon! (episode available on PBS website via link below)

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/cyberwar-threat.html

Liam O’Murchu, Sr. Development Manager at Symantec, demonstrates how a PLC—or programmable logic controller—can be used with malicious code to override an intended program command. The air pump, KNF model N 828, inflates a balloon for three seconds, and then stops, as directed by the PLC. However, if infected, the PLC can be used to drive the pump continuously, thus leading to the balloon being inflated until…POP!

KNF’s Laboratory Symposium Offered an Evening of Exploration and Learning

Last week, KNF Neuberger Inc. hosted a Laboratory Pumps and Applications Symposium in collaboration with the Trenton Section of American Chemical Society (ACS). The event, a first of its kind, attracted attendees from local academia and industry.

Beginning in the early evening, the Lab Symposium kicked-off with a mixer featuring beverages and hors d’oeuvres. Attendees became better acquainted with each other, and more familiar with KNF laboratory equipment which was on display throughout the room. Soon after, guests were invited to a guided tour of KNF’s 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility. The tour, led by KNF Director of Sales and Marketing, Eric Pepe, allowed symposium guests to view important aspects of KNF’s pump production area including: assembly and testing stations, high-tech machining equipment, and state-of-the art inventory management systems.

Roland Anderson delivering the Laboratory Symposium presentation.

R. Anderson leads a discussion tailored to the applications employed by those in attendance.

Next, attendees were invited to help themselves to a complimentary hot buffet, featuring local Italian fare. Guests and staff carefully balanced plates, as they made way to their seats for the Laboratory Pumps and Applications presentation, delivered by KNF Laboratory Products Manager, and applications specialist, Roland Anderson (pictured right). The presentation featured a review of pump technologies, their pros/cons, and the benefits of their usage in several typical lab applications.

The evening was capped off with desserts and coffee, as well as a door prize drawing. Congratulations to the prize winners, and thank you to all who helped make this initial KNF Laboratory Pumps and Applications Symposium a success!

If you would like to schedule a similar KNF lunch-and-learn symposium with KNF, at your facility, please contact a laboratory applications specialist.

 

 

A Simple Lab Equipment Change with an Immediate, Positive Environmental Impact

Right now there is a considerable water shortage throughout the United States, particularly in California, and other Western states. Drought conditions and other environmental factors have wreaked havoc on local agriculture, while the growing water demand of a steadily increasing population has led to a severe water scarcity situation. Moreover, what is currently limited to the Western United States will soon extend throughout the entire country; according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office – 40 of 50 states have at least one region that’s expected to face some kind of water shortage within the next 10 years. This growing national emergency should serve as considerable cause for concern as there are few natural resources as vital to our very survival than water. This isn’t just a U.S. problem either. The water crisis is even worse in other parts of the world where the infrastructure to collect and/or distribute water is poor or non-existent. It would appear that this is, in fact, everybody’s problem.

water aspiratorThe good news is that, while everyone is affected by this water shortage, there are steps that anyone can take to help address and improve the issue. In fact, making one simple change to your laboratory equipment can help save over 50,000 gallons of water per year! In a recent article published by Laboratory Equipment, KNF Laboratory Products Manager, Roland Anderson explains why you should get rid of your water aspirator.

Read article: “Last Word: Why You Should Get Rid of Your Water Aspirator” (Laboratory Equipment, Sep. 2015) >>

Also notable: “Water Aspirators: Cheap Pumps with Environmental Impact and High Operating Costs” >>

Water Aspirators: Cheap Pumps With Environmental Impact & High Operating Costs

Application Note: LabWater Aspirators are a common way of creating a low strength vacuum for many standard laboratory applications. Their simple design employs water running through a narrowing tube to create a reduced pressure via the Venturi effect. The pump’s performance is dependent upon the temperature and pressure of the water, two variables that often change based on the number of users and the ambient temperature, resulting in an unreliable vacuum source. In addition, when being used in chemistry and biology labs, aspirators allow potentially hazardous solvents to mix into the water stream and flow down the drain. Since a stream of continuously running water is required to operate the pump, a significant amount of water is wasted. The cost of water coupled with the environmental impact of wasted water and solvent pollution need to be considered.

With concern over water usage on the rise, use of aspirator pumps is understandably under scrutiny due to their excessive water consumption. A typical aspirator pump requires 1.5 – 2.0 gallons of water per minute to operate.3 Assuming an average of 1.75 gal/min and an average usage of 3 hours per day, 4 days a week for 10 months a year, one aspirator pump uses more than 50,000 gallons (189,000 Liters) per year! To put this amount of water in perspective, it is equivalent to:
Water Aspirator

  • 39,062 flushes of a low-flow toilet.4
  • 3,215 eight-minute showers, or a single shower lasting 416 hours.4
  • Washing 1,852 loads of laundry.4
  • 1.4 years’ worth of water consumed by the average American household for outdoor uses (watering lawns and gardens, etc.).5
  • 1,250 cars washed at a water-efficient car wash facility.6

When one considers the number of facilities with multiple water aspirators in operation, these numbers become staggering! >> Click here to view the full Application Note.

Adding Convenience to Field Filtration, Thanks to the New Mini-LABOPORT® Pump

Field Filtration Pump

Filtration of field water samples is not that easy. In discussions with customers, they’ve mentioned three alternatives that are available to accomplish the task, none of which are ideal:

  • Use a manual vacuum pump. However, manual pumps can be weak and therefore very slow. And, they can wear you out if you have a lot of samples or ones with moderate-to-heavy particulates.
  • Use a generator to power a standard lab bench vacuum pump. This option requires transporting the heavy generator and gasoline to the field water site.
  • Transport samples back to the lab. Transportation requires the extra step of packaging the unfiltered samples, and means a delay in getting results and possible degradation of the sample depending on what is being collected and/or tested.

KNF engineers decided that a fourth option would be useful to field scientists, so they developed the new lightweight 12 volt mini-LABOPORT pump, model PJ26078-811. Designed specifically for in-the-field use where vehicle access is possible, it combines the robust operation of the traditional KNF LABOPORT pump with the ability to be powered via 12V DC car outlet. Therefore, field scientists can now rely on a lightweight oil-free vacuum source in environments where weight, portability, space, and timeliness often factor into operation.

KNF LABOPORT 12V Field Filtration PumpEquipped with a three-meter long, coiled power cord fitted with a 12 volt car outlet adaptor cord and two 1/4” hose barbs for vacuum inlet and outlet, the new 12 volt mini-LABOPORT pump is ideally suited for filtration and gas sampling in the field. Its combination of compact convenience and reliable performance allow it to meet the needs of environmental companies, water treatment plants, field researchers, and anyone in need of a convenient vacuum source in remote locations.

Employing a compact, low-maintenance design, the pump is driven by a sturdy motor and features chemically-resistant construction. Providing up to 11 L/min flow at atmosphere, it offers 75 Torr (100 mbar) end vacuum.

To learn more, click here, and refer to model PJ26078-811, which is the first product listed in the chart on the resulting page. Or, contact us to discuss your particular needs.