Usefulness of the Neutral Gas Purifier with a Glove Box
A neutral gas purifier must be connected to the glove box to reproduce a working environment suitable for handling products sensitive to oxygen and/or moisture. Any contact with the atmosphere is therefore avoided due to this device.
Processes and compounds sensitive to moisture or air can be stored or handled in a glove box under inert gas. Humidity and oxygen levels inside the glove box are kept below 1 ppm. The gas used in the confined space is usually argon, nitrogen or a gas mixture that may, for example, contain helium.
These inert gases must be purified and circulated continuously between the glove box and the neutral gas purifier. The neutral gas purifier includes some essential components such as a hermetic circulator, a purification reactor, pressure regulation and analyzers for the control of oxygen and/or moisture content.
The atmosphere inside a glove box must be constantly renewed and purified. The inert gas purifier ensures the recirculation of the gas in a closed loop. A pressure regulation allows a stable pressure to be maintained in the glove box and the gas level to be readjusted punctually when necessary.
Two Techniques of Inert Gas Use
There are two types of inert gas use techniques for glove boxes under controlled atmosphere: inert gas use by open circuit purging or lost sweep and closed-circuit purification.
Open-Cycle Gas Purifier
Open circuit inert gas purification is an old method, less used nowadays because of its excessive gas utilization and does not achieve purity levels similar to those obtained with neutral gas purification units.
The neutral gas purifier is essential for maintaining ultra-pure gas quality in the workspace. The choice of the most suitable purification system will depend on the processes and products handled. This device needs to combine with other components such as handling gloves, transfer airlocks, safety components, regulators, etc. All these components help to preserve the quality of the atmosphere inside the glove box.
Closed-Loop Gas Purifier
With the closed-loop gas purifier, the gas circulating in the glove box is continuously purified to quickly reach purity levels between 0 and 5 ppm. In addition, the neutral gas purification unit allows significant gas savings.