Category Archives: KochLab Stuff

-80 Freezer Down

I can’t remember if I posted this yesterday or not (and I’m too lazy to look it up myself) but yesterday when I got into lab, the -80C freezer malfunctioned and there was an alarm alerting me to a “high system failure.” After calling VWR and receiving next to no help, I unplugged the machine and plugged it back it after waiting a few minutes. Problem solved. The freezer is working like normal again.
I have no idea what caused the malfunction, but everything in the freezer was thawed. Koch and I filled some styrofoam containers with LN2 (liquid nitrogen) and put everything in the freezer into the LN2. We then stuck the containers in the freezer to add an extra layer of insulation. I’ll remove the samples tomorrow and place them back in their respective boxes and back in the freezer like normal.

Reusing Drierite

We were running low on Drierite (we use the indicating variety) in the lab, which is a desiccant, and so I ordered some more. Fairly straight forward.

In my search for the stuff we currently use I came across this page talking about regenerating the dessicant. This would have been awesome to know a few years ago, as someone has been throwing out old dessicant. In the case of our indicating drierite, the chips turn from blue to pink, so the pink chips end up discarded.

I decided to order more because I didn’t want to deal with leaving chemicals that are in the desiccator in there for an extended period of time without desiccating material.

Anyways if you (like me) are too lazy to click the link that talks about desiccant regeneration then read below for the drierite protocol:

For the regeneration of Indicating DRIERITE and small lots of Regular DRIERITE , the granules may be spread in layers one granule deep and heated for 1 hour at 210° C or 425° F. The regenerated material should be placed in the the original glass or metal container and sealed while hot. The color of the Indicating DRIERITE may become less distinct on successive regenerations due to the migration of the indicator into the interior of the granule and sublimation of the indicator.

Note: I’m creating a new notebook category for stuff like this, that has little to do with my research but could be vital one day for future students in the KochLab. I am cleverly calling it “KochLab Stuff.”