chapter four
Equipping the laboratory
and the bench
4.1 Introduction
In this chapter, we describe general laboratory and bench equipment that
we have found to be of use when performing modern organic chemical
reactions. Much of the equipment introduced in this chapter will be dis-
cussed in more detail in subsequent chapters.
4.2 Setting up the laboratory
The basic furniture provided in organic chemistry laboratories will vary con-
siderably from one establishment to another and clearly any advice given in
this chapter will have to be tailored to the facilities available. The ideal layout
of the laboratory is also a very subjective matter, and the advice given here
is therefore not intended to be taken as gospel but simply reects the experi-
ences of the authors from various laboratories in which they have worked.
When setting up a laboratory, it is usual for some areas to be set aside
for storage of communal apparatus and other parts to be allocated as per-
sonal bench and cupboard space for individuals working in the laboratory.
Similarly, apparatus will usually be assigned as communal or individual. In
this chapter, we suggest which laboratory equipment would be suitable for
communal use and which would be best as part of an individual bench set,
but this is only a rough guide and the arrangements in your laboratory may
be different. The distinction will to some extent depend on the type of work
being undertaken, and it will also depend on the budget and space available.
Most modern labs have clean write-up areas associated with them.
These usually consist of separate ofce areas, but it is becoming increas-
ingly common to have a glass partition between the laboratory and the
associated write-up area. The latter arrangement has the advantage that
it allows workers to maintain line of sight with their experiments while
reading the literature and writing up data. If neither of these options is
available, it is a good idea to organize some desk or bench space in the
laboratory where workers can read and write, away from areas used for
chemicals. It is also useful to have a communal whiteboard in this area
of the laboratory to aid scientic discussion and serve as a notice board.

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