Saturday, February 08, 2020

How to Choose the Right Type of Laboratory Vacuum Pump for High Vapor Flow

Scientists and technicians regularly use vacuum pumps in laboratories. They use it for various activities, including filtering and controlling solvent evaporation in concentrators, vacuum ovens, and rotary evaporators.

High vapor-flow applications like the evaporative processes demand a laboratory vacuum pump with a high pumping capacity and vapor tolerance. You can choose a suitable pump from various options, such as the diaphragm, rotary vane, and hybrid pumps.

Below mentioned are some factors that help determine the right vacuum pump for such applications.

Vacuum Range

The evaporative applications require pumps that create a vacuum to evaporate any lab solvent at room temperature. DMSO is an exception, as it requires moderately higher heat.

On the other hand, lyophilization applications involve sublimation, which is the direct movement of solvents from solid to vapor state. Hence, such applications need a vacuum that is sufficiently deep to induce sublimation at low temperatures. You need to choose a vacuum pump that has a wide vacuum range, to handle high vapor flow tasks.

Chemical Compatibility

It is vital to select a pump made of chemical-resistant material that is compatible with the laboratory chemicals. High vapor flow applications include solid particles and highly explosive chemical samples.

Likewise, they also use liquid and gas samples for certain activities. It is an important criterion, since failing to choose the pump suitable for the chemicals will lead to adverse safety hazards.

Pump Flow Rate

Another crucial factor to consider while choosing a vacuum pump is the time it takes to drain the gases. Depending on the draining time, the flow rates can be fast and slow. One must evaluate the pump’s capacity to create the required mass and volume flow rate. So, a high vapor flow application will require a vacuum pump with a high flow rate.


Your work involving high vapor flow will decide whether or not to lubricate the vacuum pump.
Typically, in a lab environment, preference is given to dry vacuum pumps. However, in terms of characteristics, a lubricated one has higher efficiency. However, it requires regular maintenance.

Suitable Technology

Various high vapor flow applications differ based on the type of technology required for the respective lab activities.

For instance, diaphragm pumps are best suited for evaporative applications. It is due to their flow paths constructed with fluoropolymers, making them useful to move corrosive vapors.

Similarly, sublimation applications require a deeper vacuum, to induce sublimation at low temperatures. In such cases, oil-sealed rotary vane pumps serve the purpose.

Cost and Maintenance

While choosing a vacuum pump for your laboratory work involving high vapor flow, you need to evaluate the frequency of maintenance cycles. This factor decides the overall cost.

For instance, the lubricated pumps will require higher maintenance. The reason being, these oil-sealed pumps have issues like oil mist, need for disposal of oil contaminants, and regular oil changes.

Hence, before you purchase a pump, check the initial price, installation, operating, as well as the maintenance costs.

A laboratory vacuum pump is a very adaptive tool that can aid a wide range of research. Invest in the vacuum pump that effectively handles high vapor flow and is cost-effective as well.

This is a guest blog post.

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