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The vacuum gas manifold, aka Schlenk line, is a crucial tool for chemists who handle air- or moisture-sensitive reagents and reactions. Chemists fill the line with an inert gas such as nitrogen or argon so when they attach their reaction vessels to the glassware, the reactants within never bump into water vapor or oxygen. Off-the-rack commercial models of these manifolds are modular affairs that generally use greased ground glass joints to assemble. Assistant professor Saurabh Chitnis and staff glassblower Todd Carter at Dalhousie University designed the custom line pictured here, which has very few joints, making it significantly more leak-proof. Not counting the value of Carter’s time and skill, it’s also cheaper.
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