EHS Compliance: Safely Manage HPLC Solvent Waste

7th Nov 2023

EHS Compliance: Safely Manage HPLC Solvent Waste

Many of the solvents, and even samples, used in high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) are hazardous and/or flammable. Because of this, it’s important to mitigate health and safety risks to laboratory personnel by properly disposing of the HPLC solvent waste.

A Red Flag for HPLC Waste Disposal in the Laboratory

Four-liter amber bottles. While a four-liter amber bottle doesn’t inherently break safety regulations, most of the time labs that are using this set up for solvent containment aren’t following safety regulations:

  • Aluminum foil or parafilm stretched around the bottle’s neck does NOT create a proper seal for creating a closed container
  • In general, we don’t recommend using the four-liter amber bottles for solvent waste containment due to their tendency to tip over easily as compared to the wide base of a proper container

    Drawing of amber bottle crossed out

Easily Comply with EPA Regulations and Keep Lab Personnel Safe

Have you ever been written up by safety for you’re your solvent waste? If you are reading this and realizing your lab is not up to code with your current waste containment setup, we’ve got an easy solution for you. For roughly the cost of an HPLC column, our HPLC waste containment kit will get you compliant and keep your lab personnel safe. The 6-port manifold and fittings that come with the kit will be sufficient for almost any HPLC setup. 

Shop our Safety Kits - Get Compliant

All of our safety kits come with two quick-connect fittings. The first is used for the 6-port manifold to connect all your tubing to the can and create a closed system. The second is for your activated carbon vapor filter , which captures harmful chemicals so that your lab personnel is not exposed to the harmful chemicals. The filters need to be replaced periodically, typically about every three to six months.

Backup Container and Overflow Safety

To prevent overflow, laboratories should plan a regular schedule for emptying the solvent containment system. A great feature of our 6-port manifold is that there is a small internal volume within the manifold that allows for waste to be collected even when the manifold is disconnected from the waste can. Because of the quick-connect fittings on the can and manifold, both systems are still closed, so you can keep the HPLC running while emptying the waste container into appropriate drums.

For backup, all waste containers must be held in a secondary container . In the event that the waste container is overfilled, the excess solvent will not back up into the HPLC system. Instead, the overflow waste will go out through the vapor filter into the secondary container. Please note that the vapor filter will need to be replaced if this happens.

Why are there Multiple Safety Kits Available?

The SAFETY-5PP is our most common kit. This kit features a five-gallon, translucent polyethylene can with polypropylene fittings. The o-ring used in the quick-connections for our PP kits is made of EPDM, which is compatible with the vapors of most reversed-phase solvents. Notably, for normal phase or GPC applications, we offer stainless steel quick connects that have PTFE O-rings for solvent compatibility. Both PP and SS kits are available in a two- or five-gallon polyethylene can size.

Storing Solvents and Other Chemicals

Chrom Tech is an authorized distributor of all Justrite products, which includes their entire line of solvent cabinets. If you need other storage options to keep flammable or hazardous chemicals, our product specialists are ready to assist with a quote.

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