Selecting a Bunsen Burner on Amazon.com
Bunsen burners are used in laboratory, classroom, and research settings to heat substances and glassware, and to sterilize instruments. A Bunsen burner can also be used to modify the shape of glass and metal, enabling users to make specialized lab tools. A Bunsen burner burns gas to produce a clean, soot-free flame, and is connected to the gas source by way of a hose barb. Different models are designed for use with specific fuel types, which include medium-pressure BTU natural gas, high-pressure BTU natural gas, cylinder gas, propane, butane, or a mixed gas. The amount of heat that the flame produces is controlled using the burner collar and is stated in BTUs per hour. Higher numbers indicate a hotter flame.
In addition to differentiating by gas type, Bunsen burners are differentiated by tube and needle valve types. A straight-tube burner is the most commonly used and has the widest selection of heat output. A grid-top burner, sometimes called a Meker or Meker-Fisher burner, produces a hotter flame than other types of burners and is topped with a mesh screen that evenly distributes the flame over a wider area. Though a micro-burner is the smallest in physical size, it does not necessarily have the smallest flame size and the least heat output.
The needle valve is the part of the Bunsen burner that produces the size and height of the flame. An adjustable needle valve allows the user to control the flame directly from the burner itself, whereas the flame on a burner with a non-adjustable needle valve must be controlled at the gas source.
Sometimes a stand is used to hold items being heated or a heatproof pad is used to prevent damage to tabletops. Features to consider when purchasing a Bunsen burner include type and size, fuel type and source, valve type, gas tube mounting type and diameter, and the required flame size and intensity.