The Organic and Inorganic Synthesis laboratory situated within the Natural Sciences Chemistry department at the University of Pretoria has finally replaced their Heidolph magnetic stirrers, which had an operational lifespan of around 20 years, with 41 brand new ones supplied by Labotec, Heidolph’s local agent.
According to Dr Marilé Landman from the Department, “each step of a synthesis involves a chemical reaction which requires heating and stirring. The stirrers need to work hard, as they are used by post and undergraduate students every day for the whole day, so we need reliable instruments.” “We know the original Heidolph magnetic stirrers had an exceptionally long and reliable operational lifespan, so it was a natural choice to replace them once again with Heidolph”.
Organic and inorganic synthesis is concerned with the construction of compounds via reactions, and each step of a synthesis involves a chemical reaction. The magnetics stirrers use a digital temperature control thermometer to keep the reaction at a specific temperature for a specific time period. Starting with a simple extract normally isolated from nature, several synthesis steps are completed one after the other until complete synthesis takes place. Each step of the synthesis has particular reagents and condition that need to be designed to give a good yield and a pure product.
The Synthesis laboratory is using the Heidolph MR Hei-Standard model which has features that aligns with their needs. The Kera Disk chemically resistant top plate allows for immediate heat transfer resulting in quick heat up times up to 800W. For durability, the sealed, fire-resistant aluminium die-cast housing protects all the mechanical and electrical components from spills and aggressive environments. A separate on/off illuminated button for heating prevents unintentional heat up, and should over temperature occur, the unit will power off completely. In essence, the stirrers are providing safe heating and mixing, so students need not worry about a thing, as these workhorses are set to operate for years to come.