About Microscale Chemistry

What is Microscale Chemistry?

How to maintain a pollution-free environment and how to handle chemical wastes are subjects of increasing concern to all scientists, educators and the general public.

The best way to succeed in this effort is by eliminating chemical waste at the source. Reduction of chemical use to the minimum level at which experiments can be effectively performed is known as Microscale Chemistry.

Microscale chemistry is an environmentally safe pollution prevention method of performing chemical processes using small quantities of chemicals with out compromising the quality and standard of chemical applications in education and industry.

Microscale Chemistry is performed by using:

Drastically reduced amounts of chemicals
Safe and easy manipulative techniques
Miniature labware and high quality skills
Microscale Chemistry amounts to a Total Quality Management (TQM) approach to the use of chemicals. Microscale Chemistry is recognized as Smallscale Chemistry by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

Why Microscale Chemistry?

Microscale Chemistry offers many benefits:

It reduces chemical use promoting waste reduction at the source.
It offers vastly improved laboratory safety by
Better Laboratory Air Quality.
Least Exposure to Toxic Chemicals.
No Fire and Explosion Hazards.
No Spills and Accidents.
It sharply reduces laboratory cost.
It requires shorter experiment time.
It implements excellent laboratory manipulative techniques.
It lowers glass breakage cost.
It saves storage space.
It improves laboratory skills.
It provides clean and productive environment.
It promotes the principle of 3Rs: Reduce, Recover and Recycle.
It creates the sense of ‘Green Chemistry’.
It changes the psychology of people using chemicals.
It is user friendly to people with physical disabilities.
The bottom line : It is a cost effective, productive and pollution prevention program

Examples of Microscale Chemistry Techniques

1. Measurement of Physical Properties

  • Microscale Density: Construction and Use of a Micropycnometer
  • Microscale Boiling Point: Construction and Use of a Micro Bell
  • Microscale Stirring: Construction and Use of a Micro Stir Bar

2. Microscale Distillation and Reflux

  • Microscale Distillation: Use of Hickman-Hinkle Distillation Column
  • Microscale Fractionation and Superior Distillation: Spinning Band Column
  • Leak Proof Air Tight System: O-Ring Screw Cap – Use of one Micro Clamp
  • Fast Separation: Construction and Use of a Micro Filter Tipped Pasteur Pipet

3. Microscale Filtration and Purification

  • Microscale Filtration: Use of a micro Hirsch funnel-filtration flask-trap system
  • Microscale Crystallization: Use of a Craig tube
  • Microscale Collection and Analysis: Prep-GC

4. Microscale in Analytical Chemistry

  • Microscale Titration: Construction and Use of a Microburet
  • Microscale Gravimetric Determination

5. Microscale Synthesis and Characterization

  • Microscale Reflux, Gas Preparation, Extraction and Microfiltration
  • Catalysts, Drugs, Natural Products

6. Microscale Electrochemistry

  • Electrolytic synthesis of an organic compound: Construction and use of a micro cell
  • Determination of Faraday’s Constant or Avogadro’s Number by microscale electrolysis
  • Soil Remediation Methods