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Desiccators are an economical and reliable way to assure dry, dust-free, and if necessary, air-free storage of humidity sensitive products, such as valuable reagents or electronics.
Depending upon what you are storing, optimal conditions can be achieved using standard desiccants in a manual or automated format, with gas purge or by keeping the contents under vacuum.
Q. What storage environment is optimal or required?
A. Use this chart for an overview of the environment and benefits each method of desiccation provides.
|Standard Desiccant||Automated, Standard Desiccant||Gas Purge||Vacuum|
|Manual monitoring and operation. Moisture is absorbed from air in the unit by using a desiccant. Once the desiccant is 'saturated' it must be regenerated through heating, or replaced.||Electric fans and heaters continuously regenerate the desiccant to prevent saturation and to automatically maintain a low humidity environment.||A slow steady flow of inert gas (often dry nitrogen) is provided.||Air and moisture are removed by the chamber by use of a vacuum pump.|
|Flexibility to use any type of desiccant (silica gel beads, activated charcoal, etc) based on economics and convenience.||Convenience, requires minimal monitoring.||Achieve relative humidity at a much faster rate.||Best for total dry storage or if air could be damaging to material being stored.|
|Portability.||Precise control of humidity. Operates on a set schedule of desiccation followed by a regeneration period.||Dust free and desirable for many applications including clean room environments.||Dust free and desirable for many applications including clean room environments.|
|Economical functionality. Most desiccants can be regenerated periodically.||Process uses silica gel beads that last for thousands of regeneration cycles.||Option to close stopcocks and use with regular desiccants.||Option to close stopcocks and use with regular desiccants.|
Q. What size(s) are the items you need to store and in what quantity?
A. Interior volume of the desiccator and shelving should be considered.
Q. How important are ease and economy of use?
A. Each method of desiccation has advantages and trade-offs. Each user must determine the method that best serves their purposes. Using standard desiccants and regenerating them as needed is economical, but requires monitoring. There may also be more variability in your environment. An automated desiccator requires much less monitoring but uses electric power. Gas ported desiccators are quick to achieve relative humidity, but if the unit is accessed frequently, proportionately more gas will be needed to keep the desired low humidity level. Vacuum desiccators remove air and moisture and can be brought back to vacuum rather easily after opening but require a pump.
Once you have determined your most desirable method of desiccation, there are a variety of styles and sizes of desiccators to choose from.
Search by brand name indicated below for more information.
|Secador||Space Saver||Techni-Dome||Dry-Keeper||Lab Companion||Scienceware|
|Standard Desiccation||0.31 to 1.87ft³||0.09 to 0.31ft³||0.14, 0.35, 2.01 & 2.08ft³||0.21 & 3.6ft³|
|Automated, Standard Desiccation||0.51 to 1.87ft³||1.2, 2.01 & 2.08ft³||3.6ft³|
|Gas Purge Desiccation||0.31 to 1.87ft³||2.29ft³||0.14ft³||3.6ft³|
|Vacuum Desiccation||0.09 to 0.31ft³||2.29ft³||0.2, 0.4, 0.7, 0.8, 1.2 & 1.6ft³||0.015 & 0.21ft³|