Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, LTC2 refrigerated baths and circulators
Background The Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London is one of the largest chemistry departments in the UK and has a world-class reputation for both teaching and research. The Department employs over 50 academic staff, many internationally renowned in their respective fields, four Fellows of the Royal Society, 23 academic visitors, 49 postdoctoral fellows and 193 postgraduate students. It has five research groups covering catalysts and advanced materials, chemical biology, chemical physics, nanostructures materials and devices and synthesis.
Application The Department of Chemistry’s busy undergraduate teaching labs contacted Grant Instruments to discuss potential solutions for controlling the temperature of the numerous condensers used for routine experiments. Condensers in the lab are often used for up to 8 hours a day and sometimes overnight to allow experiments to run to completion. In the past the Department had relied on mains water cooling of condensers, but were keen to switch to a method which minimised water consumption, removed the risk of flooding and provided more consistent temperature control.
The Grant Optima LTC refrigerated circulator solution Grant Instruments supplied a total of ten Optima refrigerated circulating baths (product name - LTC) for the temperature control of condensers in the teaching lab. Grant Optima LTC units are supplied as a ready to use system with insulated tubing and clips included, making it simple to attach to the condenser set-up.
Teaching lab technicians soon discovered the LTC could be used to circulate temperature controlled fluid to up to three condensers and one starfish condenser with five branches. The LTC also provided temperature stability and uniformity which could not be achieved using mains water temperature control.
The benefits The LTC was chosen as it provided an efficient solution to cooling a large number of condensers in the teaching lab. The solution meant that experiments could be performed around the clock, without concerns over water usage or the risk of flooding. Teaching staff could be confident that reactions were occurring at the right temperature and due to the quiet functioning, units were unobtrusive in the busy environment.