Vacuum pumps are the workhorse of our industry. They are used for everything from extractors to buchner funnels. So we are doing a multi installment article on pumps, what they are rated for and what they are suitable for.
Types of vacuum pumps generally found around the lab:
- Rotary vane
- Turbo-molecular pumps
Rotary vane pumps can be useful for just about every task in the lab. Back-streaming is a major concern; whether it’s a cheapy from Harbor Freight or a shiny new Edwards. One additional drawback to these pumps is contamination of the pump oil and the need for regular oil changes. Diaphragm pumps can be a blessing or a curse. While back-streaming is not a concern with diaphram pumps; when used on rotary evaporators they are impressive but, use one on a short-path and it will likely need a complete rebuild. Which is why this article was written, there is no universal pump!
We are evaluating pumps from multiple manufacturers on multiple processes and have displayed the results in the attached table. This table will be updated as we use more pumps or we find new processes to use them on. All of the pumps listed have either been purchased by one of us, loaned to us or have been used by one of us Pharmers in our travels. We will accept new entries, from any manufacturer, after this article is originally published to keep the table continually updated. Also because we like new toys to play with (especially new pumps).
We hope y’all will share your experience, tips and tricks in the comments section as always.
Pump Evaluation Chart