The desiccator cabinets are the sealable boxes having desiccants that are used to prevent items like cobalt chloride paper or others, from moisture as these are moisture-sensitive materials. In simple words, the common function of the desiccator cabinet is to protect the chemicals that are hygroscopic or can react with moisture present in the air.
The Contents of Desiccator Cabinet
The contents of the desiccator cabinet are in contact with the atmospheric moisture once the desiccator is opened. It also needs some time to have a low humidity. Therefore, these may not be suitable for saving the chemicals that react fast or aggressively with the moisture like alkali metals. In these instances, the glove box or the Schlenk-type apparatus is more suitable.
The Desiccator cabinets are also used to remove the water traces from almost-dry sample. Where the desiccator cabinet alone is not enough, the sample might bet dried at elevated temperature using the Abderhalden’s drying pistol.
The desiccator cabinet’s lower compartment has silica gel lumps, Drierite or anhydrous calcium chloride or freshly calcined quicklime that absorbs the moisture. The substances requiring the desiccation are placed in the upper compartment, generally on a perforated, glazed ceramic plate. The ground-glass rim of the desiccator cabinet ‘s lid should always be greased with a fine layer of vacuum grease or similar lubricant to ensure airtight seal. To prevent any damage to the desiccator cabinet, its lid must be carefully slid on and off rather than being placed at once onto the base.
In lab use, the most common desiccator cabinets are made up of heavy glass and are circular. They usually have a portable space where items to be stored are kept. Sometimes, the color-changing silica is used as an indicator to know when it should be refreshed.