Our lab has had to move around a fair bit over the last few months, really exploring the department.  Our inert gas cylinders have been moving with us, but our current fumehoods are normally used by the teaching labs and don’t have the scaffolding we’d need to setup schlenk lines or gas manifolds.  Given that at least a quarter of our reactions require inert atmosphere, we’ve been forced to… improvise.

Most of my labmates are using glass adaptors, fitted directly on top of the reaction vessel.  This gives them the ability to set up a poor man’s Schlenk line (with a 3-way stop cock), but we have a limited supply of appropriate adaptors and the balloons tend to be a little irritating to fill. Still, one post-doc in our lab has taken this setup to its logical extreme and is using a heavy wall “gas bag” to run hydrogenations while our tank of H2 gas rests on a different floor. (a procedure for setting this up can be found in the Sarpong Groups SOPs [doc]).

Here is my setup.  Two latex balloons (one inside of the other) fit onto a short piece of tubing with elastic bands providing the seal.  The tubing is standard 3/8″ OD, 1/4″ ID, and fits onto a cut off syringe (sans plunger).  A 16G needle is then used to pierce septa, sureseals, etc.  With the needle removed the syringe fits easily onto tubing from our gas cylinders, and the filled balloon can be clamped for transport with a bull clip or one of these metal twist clips our lab seems to have an inexhaustible supply of.

(Incompatible solvents include THF, CDCl3, toluene.)

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