Miami University

Instrumentation Laboratory Project Page

Project: Tube Extraction System

Department: Chemistry and Biochemsitry

Primary Investigator: Dr. Tom Riechel

Purpose: Tom's research involves the use of room temperature ionic liquids as non-aqueous solvents for electrochemistry and the study of water sensitive inorganic compounds. Room temperature ionic liquids are mixtures of salts with melting points below ambient temperature. They provide a pure ionic medium without an additional solvent. One of the components of our ionic liquids is aluminum chloride. It must be purified by zone recrystalization before use. The AlCl3 is put into a thick walled glass tube and sealed under vacuum. It is then lowered into a vertical tube furnace and heated to about 200oC, at which point the solid is melted and the headspace of the tube is filled with gaseous AlCl3. The Instrumentation Laboratory has constructed a tube extraction apparatus used to slowly pull the hot tube out of the top of the tube furnace over a period of several hours. As the top of the tube, containing the gaseous AlCl3, begins to cool in the room atmosphere, long needles of AlCl3 crystallize directly from the gas. Because of the vertical orientation of the tube, impurities that remain solid or liquid at 200 degree C stay at the bottom of the tube. After final cooling, the tube is broken open and the plug of pure crystals from the top of the tube is removed, while the impurities solidify at the bottom of the tube.

IL Comment: System was designed and built to user's requirements. Appartus was built to extract tubes from the tube furnace at various speeds over long periods of time. Appartus is multispeed, has a high and low limit, and a brake that will engage in the event of a power failure. Mechanical portion was designed and built completely by IL personnel, electronic control was designed and built by IL personnel and interfaced with a commercially produced motor control.

Cost to researcher: $512.00

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