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Try Before You Buy: Developing a Model Sustainable Lab

Our flagship project at the moment is “Try before you buy”. Funded by the University Carbon Management plan, we have established a small working lab equipped with some of the most current environmentally economical apparatus.  State of the art equipment includes:

– closed loop cooling for RoVaps                                                    – air-condensers

Closed loop                                findenser


Multi-reaction set up                                                                       solvent recycling                                            multi plates                                              Solvent recycler



Mobile metering (H2O and Power)


Has it Worked??

Using just 10 Findensers has saved 100,000L of water across three labs in 3 months of use and is becoming an accepted approach – Mike says “Findensers are brilliant additions to our lab and have been used every day. The sustainable lab idea is wonderful and needs to be implemented on a wider scale – nothing is inconvenient or takes additional time. In fact output and productivity is increased (esp. with the new vacuum pump for the rotary evaporator) and findensers give peace of mind with no running water and are more convenient than conventional condensers.” This facility is open for anyone to come along and have a go – you can try out some reactions to see if they work to give you reassurance that they work well for you before investing in equipment yourself.

Alternatively, just get in touch if you want to make use of solvent recycling facilities. Having recycled 200L of solvent in the first 3 months, this facility is becoming popular with large synthetic research groups – Dharyl comments “Our group has become increasingly aware of our environmental impact through continued usage of consumables and chemicals. I personally have set up a recycling program in our lab for waste acetone, this has proved effective at cutting down the amount required daily. We are looking into recycling other key solvents to help improve our sustainability further as well as making other labs aware of this recycling facility to cut down departmental usage.”

Mobile Metering

Mobile Metering Using metering systems to measure the power usage of appliances in the labs. This information will then be used to identify areas for improvment.

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Multi-Reaction set up

Multi-Reaction Set Research reactions that are done on small scale don’t always need to be done on an individual basis. The power usage for running the three (or multiple) reactions individually is very large compared to the power usage of the multi-reaction heating block.

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