Help me find a cryogenic approved pitcher/bucket!
January 7, 2010 11:58 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a cryogenic approved pitcher/bucket for liquid nitrogen!

Hi. At my job I often have to transfer liquid nitrogen from large tanks into small dry shippers. We have a hose system, but it is cumbersome for the small shippers. We generally use a plastic pitcher (like the kind used for iced tea or lemonade).

However, the boss wants us to find a cryogenic specific container. The container needs to be able to be dipped into a large tank, be able to pour easily into a small mouthed tank, be able to hold at least a liter of LN2, and be approved for cryogenics uses. Ideally, it would be just like the pitcher used now, but approved for cryogenics. Please help me find this. Thanks in advance.
posted by mandapanda to Science & Nature (10 answers total)
You want a dewar. They don't all have narrow mouths. Shop around.
posted by valkyryn at 12:05 PM on January 7, 2010

Would the 4-liter dewar on this page work?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:05 PM on January 7, 2010

Are you sure about the dipping? It seems like a huge waste of nitrogen (through evaporation) and then the outside of the container will be horribly cold. In addition it seems really dangerous.

Back in the days when I worked with nitrogen we would dispense it from the tank using a hose with a phase separating nozzle to a dewar container which I would then pour from.
posted by a22lamia at 12:07 PM on January 7, 2010

Best answer: We use a Nalgene dewar, but I really don't think it's intended to be submerged.
posted by Cody's Keeper at 12:13 PM on January 7, 2010

Response by poster: a22lamia, yep, it's a waste of nitrogen and it's potentially dangerous. We have cryogenic training and all the safety equipment (gloves, aprons, goggles, etc), so it's not that bad.

The problem is we have a big cylinder (250 L) with a hose and diffuser nozzle, but the nozzle doesn't fit in the mouth of the little shippers. We can't switch to other shippers, as there are about a thousand shippers in stock. Also, space in the cryogenics room is getting tight, and moving the big cylinder to the shippers area is a pain.

Also, the lab is mostly women, so we need something lightweight.

Does anyone know if this one or this one would work? Don't think management wants to spend that kind of money, but...
posted by mandapanda at 12:21 PM on January 7, 2010

Why can't you use a funnel?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:26 PM on January 7, 2010

Do you need a liquid nitrogen dipper? Sigma-Aldrich have a one in their catalogue, unfortunately the web version doesn't give a lot of detail but you might try calling your local representative.
posted by Dr Dracator at 12:27 PM on January 7, 2010

Response by poster: Weapons-grade: A funnel could work, but we still have to scoop the liquid out of one of the big open tanks into the funnel or use the hose on the cylinder, which sprays everywhere, to pour liquid into the shippers.

Dr: A really big dipper would be awesome, but I've only seen ones with 100 mL capacities.

Cody's keeper is on the right track. Something like that with a spout would be perfect.
posted by mandapanda at 12:46 PM on January 7, 2010

Response by poster: Just noticed the nalgene dewar has a spout. I think we have a winner. Thanks!
posted by mandapanda at 12:56 PM on January 7, 2010

You really have large vats of liquid nitrogen sitting around at your place of work? Every time I have used N2 it has always been in a large 250L or 500L Dewar with a metal pipe coming out of the side. We take that metal pipe and increase the flow of N2 through it to fill up a smaller more manageable dewar and then pour from that. I am amazed that you are able to keep such a large open amount safely. Does it not condense O2 from the air? What about displacement of O2 from the air due to evaporation loss? Honestly I would just continue to use the plastic pitcher and fill that up from the tank. If I worked there and there were big vats of nitrogen lying around than the first thing I would worry about wouldn't be the fact that I am using a plastic pitcher to move N2 around it would be the fact that these vats are around. Nitrogen isn't a big deal, especially when it comes to plastic. Cold plastic is still plastic and it wouldn't be under any pressure.
posted by koolkat at 6:22 AM on January 9, 2010

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