Use of washing baths in organometallic chemistry

Use of basic bath

(Composition: isopropanol, potash, water)

Only glassware used for sensitive products needs to be washed in basic bath, including glassware used in the glovebox such as schlenks, key, vials. Before place the glassware in the bath, clean them as any other organics glassware, if this is insufficient or ineffective, use different solvents (dichloromethane, pentane…) then rinse them with acetone. Don’t forget to remove the grease with pentane or petroleum ether, also remove all entries (markers), labels, or other external items (scotch, parafilm). Dirty glassware doesn’t be accumulated during the day on the bench; it is a work to be done throughout the day and not at the last moment before leaving the laboratory. Glassware will thus stay overnight in the bath then will be remove the following day before 12 a.m. Put them in the sink and wash abundantly the glassware with water from the tap then thoroughly with acetone, let them dry in open air on the drying racks. It was only after these steps that the glassware could be placed in the ovens.

Use of acid bath

(Composition: hydrochloric acid diluted in water) The acid bath is used according to the same procedure as the basic bath. Its use is less frequent, useful to eliminate residues of metal salts. It is very useful to penetrate into the pores of fried glass funnels also you can put the stirring bars. Once glassware is removed from the bath, proceed as described above for the basic wash thoroughly with warm water, rinse with acetone then let dry.


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