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Schlenk line

        A Schlenk line (also vacuum gas manifold) refers to system consisting of a dual manifold with several ports [1]. One manifold is connected to a source of purified inert gas, while the other is connected to a high vacuum pump. The inert gas line is vented through an oil bubbler, while solvent vapors and gaseous reaction products are prevented from contaminating the pump through a liquid nitrogen or dry ice/acetone cold trap. Special stopcocks or Teflon taps allow for vacuum or inert gas to be selected without the need for placing the sample on a separate line.

Schlenk lines are useful for safely and successfully manipulating air sensitive compounds. The high vacuum is also often used to remove the last traces of solvent from a sample. Vacuum gas manifold often has many ports/lines, and with some care, it is possible for several reactions or operations to be run at the same time.


The main dangers associate with the use of a Schlenk line are the risks of an implosion or explosion. An implosion can occur due to the use of a high vacuum and flaws in the glass apparatus.

An explosion can occur due to the common use of liquid nitrogen in the cold trap, used to protect the vacuum pump from solvents. If a reasonable amount of air is allowed to enter the Schlenk line, liquid oxygen can condense into the cold trap as a pale blue liquid. An explosion may occur due to reaction of the liquid oxygen with any organic compounds also in the trap.

See also

Apparatus used to handle air-sensitive compounds
  • Glovebox - used to manipulate air-sensitive (oxygen- or moisture-sensitive) chemicals.
  • Schlenk flask - reaction vessel for handling air-sensitive compounds.
  • Perkin triangle - used for the distillation of air-sensitive compounds.


  1. ^ Craig M. Davis and Kelly A. Curran (November 2007). "Manipulation of a Schlenk Line: Preparation of Tetrahydrofuran Complexes of Transition-Metal Chlorides". Journal of Chemical Education 84 (11): 1822-3.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Schlenk_line". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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