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1.4I: Heat Guns

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    Heat guns are inexpensive tools for delivering strong heat in a more flexible manner than other heating methods. Heat can be directed from every direction, and the gun can be manually waved about in order to dissipate the heating intensity. Heat guns are commonly used to quickly develop stained TLC plates (Figures 1.56a+b), and result in more even heating and less charring than when using a hotplate. They are also ideal for sublimations (Figure 1.56c), as the heat can be directed to the sides of the flask to coax off crystals deposited on the sides. A disadvantage of using heat guns is that they must be continually held, which makes them most ideal for short processes.

    Figure 1.56: a+b) Using a heat gun to develop a TLC plate, c) Using a heat gun for a sublimation.

    Safety note: A heat gun is not simply a hair dryer, and the nozzle gets quite hot (temperatures can be between \(150\)-\(450^\text{o} \text{C}\))!\(^8\) Care should be taken to not touch the nozzle after use, and the gun should be set down carefully, as it may mark the benchtop or cord.

    \(^8\)As reported in the Fischer Scientific catalog.


    • Lisa Nichols (Butte Community College). Organic Chemistry Laboratory Techniques is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Complete text is available online.

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