Glove box

Usage

  • Allows reactions to occur in an atmosphere where composition is controlled.
  • Simulation of conditions where air is not in contact with the experimental system. For example, we can monitor reactions and determine thermodynamic properties under reducing conditions, where O2 is absent, or at elevated CO2 partial pressure.

Principle

The soft walled glove box is filled with gas of the desired composition at a pressure slightly above ambient pressure. The slight overpressure minimises diffusion of air (N2, O2, H2O, CO2) into the glove box. Working in the glove box is done wearing rubber sleeves and gloves extend into chamber.

Image of glove box
A soft walled glove box

Example:

glove box fig 1
A scanning electron microscopy image of green rust, which is a mixed oxide of iron(II) and iron(III). It is found below the water table where little oxygen remains. It is a form of rust but its green colour results  from iron in its reduced form, Fe(II). Green rust is unstable in the presence of oxygen or other oxidising species. Experiments with green rust are done in a glove box. Because of its large surface area and its activity in redox reactions, green rust is very useful for capturing and immobilizing hazardous wastes in oxygen poor environments.