In some scientific processes, an inert or ultra-pure atmosphere may be required. Such a condition ensures not only the optimal protection of the process in question, but also that of the operators and the environment. A nitrogen-regulated glove box is therefore the ideal protective equipment to use. In its protective enclosure, the environment differs from the ambient atmosphere. It is also free of air, moisture, contaminants, etc.

What is a Glove Box and How Does it Work?

A glove box is a device that takes the form of a hermetic enclosure. Its primary function is to contain a scientific or industrial process. It is used either to secure the process being carried out or to protect the personnel handling the process and the environment. In industry, aeronautics, pharma-medicine, chemistry, etc., a glove box is often used.

A glove box has several components. The overall structure is made of stainless steel. It consists of a hermetic main chamber delimited by transparent walls. All manipulations are carried out there. Protective gloves are attached to the walls to allow handling from the outside. A transfer lock (as a minimum requirement) allows for the transfer of products and instruments. An automatic safety system must be incorporated. This systematically prevents the spread of dangerous products or avoids reactions with dangerous products in the face of risky phenomena.

In order to achieve an inert or purified atmosphere, the glove box also uses gas purifiers. These accessories pump inert or neutral gas into the glove box. A nitrogen-regulated glove box is simply a gas box that uses nitrogen or N2 as a protective gas. This removes all traces of moisture, oxygen and solvents, resulting in an extremely pure environment.

The Nitrogen-regulated Glove Box: For What Applications?

A nitrogen-regulated glove box is designed specifically for product protection. In other words, it protects the process or experiment when it is likely to react with atmospheric components.

Operation of the nitrogen purification unit

In a nitrogen-controlled glove box, nitrogen is circulated in a closed loop (continuous recirculation) around a purification column by means of specific devices and a fan. The column incorporates elements such as active copper and a molecular sieve. The former removes oxygen from the chamber while the latter removes moisture. The nitrogen is therefore purified and fed back into the glove box throughout the process.

The level of risk in each application and the requirements for containment vary. The temperature, humidity, pressure and internal conditions of the glove box are adjusted depending on these requirements using the control panel. The pressure of a nitrogen-regulated glove box is slightly above atmospheric pressure. Its oxygen and humidity levels are below 1 ppm. As a result, micropollutants are pushed out of the atmosphere, which remains ultra pure.

When should a nitrogen-regulated glove box be used?

This type of glove box is the most recommended when handling substances, objects or elements that are sensitive to air and/or humidity. An anhydrous, anaerobic and ultra pure atmosphere can be created.

Examples of applications:

  • Handling of radioactive materials in the nuclear industry.
  • Development of photovoltaic cells, oleds and organic transistors.
  • Microbiological research.
  • Pharmaceutical research and manufacturing processes.
  • Medical applications.
  • Various physical and chemical processes.

Nitrogen-regulated glove boxes and many other containment solutions are available from Jacomex, a world leader in this field. This expert in containment technologies offers products of inimitable quality and French manufacture for all industries and scientific fields.