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Book Review The Manipulation of Air-Sensitive Compounds. 2nd Edition. By D. F. Shriver and M. A. Drezdzon

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The Manipulation of Air-Sensitive Compounds. 2nd Edition. By D. F. Shriver and M. A . Drezdzon. Wiley, ChiChester 1986. x, 326 pp., bound, $ 62.95.-ISBN 0-47186773-X
This book, the fully updated second edition of a classic
work, deals with all the currently used techniques for handling air-sensitive substances, including gases. The book is
both a practical work of reference and a laboratory handbook for use in many fields of organic, inorganic, physical
and analytical chemistry, and in biochemistry, materials
science and solid state physics. It can be recommended not
only for experts who have a considerable experimental
background, but also for students and for practising scientists who are unfamiliar with these techniques.
The book is arranged in two parts: Part 1 (Chapters 1-4)
describes inert gas techniques, and Part 2 (Chapters 5-10)
describes vacuum work.
Chapter 1 is concerned with those inert gas techniques
which can be used directly at the bench without elaborate
apparatus, i.e. work under argon using manifolds, syringes,
Schlenk tubes, and fritted funnels, and with flushing of apparatus and the supplying and handling of gases, etc.
Chapter 2 describes glove box and glove bag techniques:
providing and maintaining the inert gas atmosphere, gas
locks for introducing and withdrawing samples, work using microscopes, etc. Chapter 3 deals with the purification
of inert gases, including the use of chemical drying agents,
freezing, adsorption, oxygen removal, and the design of
gas purifying systems. Chapter 4 contains information on
purifying solvents and reagents. Systems for distillation
under inert gas and for storing solvents of high purity are
described, as are purification methods for specific cases.
Chapter 5 is devoted to classical high vacuum techniques
as used particularly in preparative inorganic chemistry.
The authors discuss various aspects of the design of high
vacuum systems suitable for handling volatile compounds
without loss of material. Out-gassing, trap-to-trap distillation (using a partial condenser), measurement of gas quan-
tities, various types of baths for cold traps, and even a
Topler pump, are described. The sixth chapter describes
the principles of construction of different types of vacuum
pumps, including vacuum seals, cold traps, etc., and compares performance data. Pressure measurements and leakfinding are discussed in detail in Chapter 7, and Chapter 8
deals with ground joints, taps and valves. High vacuum
systems and techniques for special purposes are treated in
Chapter 9 ; these include tensimeters, measurement of vapor pressures, determinations of molecular weights and
melting points, sample preparation methods for different
spectroscopic techniques (IR, NMR etc.), filtration, storage of gases, use of break seals, and high vacuum handling
of purified alkali metals. Chapter 10 is concerned with systems of metallic construction for work at higher pressures,
for handling reactive fluorine compounds, or for applications requiring extreme vacuum tightness. The book concludes with six appendices which deal in turn with safety,
glass-blowing techniques, plastics, metals, calculations of
vapor pressures (using various empirical equations, approximations and tables), and lastly conversion factors (for
pressures, flow rates, mercury data).
Since the book has been written by American authors,
equipment which is commercially available from European manufacturers has in some cases not been mentioned; some examples to which this applies are dosing
funnels for powdery substances, dosing funnels and fritted
funnels with temperature control jackets, and sublimation
apparatus suitable for air-sensitive substances (all available from Normag, Hofheim am Taunus, FRG). Considered
as a whole, the book is certainly worth the price, and no
laboratory in which techniques of this sort are used should
be without it.
Thomas Laube [NB 852 IE]
Laboratorium fur Organische Chemie
der Eidgenossischen Technischen
Hochschule Zurich (Switzerland)
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Angew. Chem. Inr. Ed. Engl. 27 (1988)No. 2
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edition, air, shriver, book, compounds, drezdzon, 2nd, manipulation, sensitive, review
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