What precautions should I take when working at extreme temperatures in my jacketed lab reactor?

All our jacketed lab reactors (including Reactor-Ready, Reactor-Ready Duo, Reactor-Ready Pilot and Lara) have an advised temperature range of -70°C to +230°C (thermal fluid temperature, i.e. circulator internal temperature).

When working at low temperatures, vacuum jacketed vessels are recommended – please see the separate FAQ entry on vacuum jacketed vessels for further details.

In addition, for extreme low temperatures (below -50°C), we suggest that piston O-rings are replaced between every run, because these conditions can cause the O-rings to harden and become brittle, potentially reducing the effectiveness of the seal.

For temperatures above +150˚C, for Reactor-Ready Pilot, we recommend the use of high performance Chemraz piston O-rings to minimise the risk of weeping.  The O-rings should be inspected between runs and replaced regularly.

We also offer a secondary valve for the run-off (outlet) of the bottom outlet valve (part number RR139098 for Reactor-Ready, Reactor-Ready Duo or Lara; RR139137 for Reactor-Ready Pilot) to catch any liquid that may weep around the piston at temperature extremes.

Run off secondary valve B24 to stopcock

Additional considerations when working at high or low temperatures are the temperature limits of your circulator (remembering that the temperature range of the process will be narrower than this) and thermal fluid (especially regarding high viscosity at low temperatures and inert gas blanketing at high temperatures).

If you chose to work beyond our recommended temperature guidelines, this would be at your own risk.  One potential issue is that PTFE (used for many Reactor-Ready parts) can soften when used at very high temperatures.