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Using sample volume to determine laboratory concentration equipment

There are many factors to consider before purchasing a piece of solvent removal equipment. It's important to make sure that the equipment purchased will be able to meet the lab's needs and methodologies. With so many evaporation methods including nitrogen blowdown, rotary, centrifugal, freeze drying, and more, it can often be difficult to determine which is best. A great starting point is to look at the sample size(s) that will be used, as this will have a large impact on what tech makes sense. Each evaporation method is designed to accommodate specific sample sizes, both in terms of starting volume and ending volume.

If the lab will only be working with one sample size, the case is pretty straightforward. Most commonly, labs working with one size and one sample at a time will utilize a rotary evaporator. Rotary evaporators are ideal for medium to large samples, with starting volumes anywhere from 25 mL to 2 L depending on the specific model. Although rotary evaporators can accommodate relatively large samples, they are unable to concentrate them down to very small volumes. If the lab requires evaporation to a small, precise end volume, a nitrogen blowdown evaporator may be more suitable. 

For the use of two sample sizes, the ability to procure one solution equipped to accommodate both will depend on how similar they are in volume. If they are relatively similar in terms of starting volume, most evaporation methods will be sufficient (nitrogen blowdown, rotary, centrifugal, etc). However, the larger the size difference between the samples, the less likely it is to find an all-in-one solution. 

Learn more on when nitrogen evaporation is preferable over centrifugal evaporation

If a wide range of sizes are utilized, finding a one size fits all solution can become even more challenging. The range itself is likely what determines whether a single solution can be procured or not. For a certain range, one rotary unit may be able to fill this need. For smaller sample sizes held in test tubes, a mix of blocks and inserts is a common approach employed by manufacturers. An attractive option can also be a unique sample holder capable of adapting to different size vials. 

These common test tube accommodations are often seen in nitrogen blowdown evaporators, which are one of the most adaptable and flexible solutions on the market. Organomation, who has been a leading expert in the nitrogen blowdown industry since 1959, offers a wide range of test tube nitrogen evaporators. Their most popular product line is the N-EVAP Evaporators, which are specifically designed to hold a variety of tube sizes at once. The unique spring sample holder allows the lab to purchase one all-inclusive instrument for a certain range of sample sizes/volumes. 

Want to determine which technology is the best fit for your lab in under a minute? Access our sample concentration recommendation tool!

Interested in seeing how a flexible vial holder can make preparing samples held in test tubes much easier? Please view the demonstration video located on the 24 position N-EVAP product page.


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