The Modern Chemistry Lab

Safety First!

What is a glovebox and what is its purpose?

A glovebox is a method of carrying out chemical reactions under an inert atmosphere. It basically consists of a large box that has had the air removed and replaced with an inert gas (like pure nitrogen or argon). One side of the box is typically made of a clear, hard, transparent plastic, which has openings covered by large rubber gloves, into which a researcher can insert their arms. This allows a researcher to manipulate items inside the inert atmosphere of the glove box without letting any air inside. To move items in or out of the box, a purgeable antechamber is attached to one side of the box. While it is certainly not as easy to manipulate items inside a glovebox as it is to manipulate items outside the box, a glovebox provides one of the most straightforward approaches to carrying out chemistry in an air-free environment.


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