Is this Liquid chromatography thing worth 2 hours drive?
March 16, 2010 1:53 PM   Subscribe

How much is this stuff worth?

I have a chance to pick up some lab equipment for next to (literally) nothing, but, being a non-scientist, I'm not sure it would be worth my time and effort. I've searched a few surplus lab websites but am still in the dark as to whether the system available is of any value whatsoever. So, science mefites, please help me determine if I should pull the trigger on buying the following:

Liquid chromatography system

Waters 501 HLPC pump, Waters Model 680 automated gradient controller. a Spectra physics SP 8700 solvent delivery system, Waters 991 photodiode array detector, and Vuos A20-diazo control unit. Pulled from service 03-09 but believed to still be functional.

If I don't buy this, there is a very good chance it will end up in the dumpster. If there is value, I would buy and probably donate it, but while the cost is minimal, the driving and time investment might be not insubstantial. Please let me know if its worth the effort.
posted by Chrischris to Science & Nature (2 answers total)
This site has a 680 gradient controller for 495$ as surplus and here is a Waters 991 photodiode array detector for 2500$. Would depend on if the stuff still works or would only be good for parts but I imagine a college/university lab would be more then glad for most of that stuff.

It really isn't anything that would be of much use to anyone outside a lab setting, even with the cost of the equipment the upkeep (solvents,other reagents, and parts) can run a pretty penny in a short amount of time.

Also might be worth finding out why the original lab is getting rid of it, did they just upgrade to a new model or did the system crap out on them for the last time in which case its probably not worth saving.
posted by Captain_Science at 2:16 PM on March 16, 2010

I don't really know about chromatography, but you need to keep in mind that getting the system up and running might require a non-trivial amount of money --- in the form of hard to find parts or specialist service --- to the point that bringing it back in operation doesn't make sense. If it was in operational up until 2009 it might be reasonably current, but it's a good idea to try to find out the year of manufacture.

Here's a surplus store selling the pump (it's HPLC, not HLPC), price given at $1500. Another one here, they also have the gradient controller and detector array for a total of $4200.

As a final note, you mention donating the equipment --- do you have someone particular in mind, like the chemistry department in your local university? Call them up and ask them if it's something they can use.
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:17 PM on March 16, 2010

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