This DIY Anaerobic chamber is considered a fully functional piece of Bio Art, As a statement from the Maker DIY community to the large Institutions that have a tendency to withhold knowledge. It was designed and built to grow cultures of Geobacter Sulfurreducens bacteria, to do research and experimentation on my other Bio Art project: a Microbial Fuel Cell project called "BactElecTric".

It is important to state the fact that this is piece of equipment intended to be used in a Bio Safety Level 1 lab environment.

Also, it was conceived to keep a low oxygen level atmosphere inside of the chamber, it is constantly pumped with inert gas such as Nitrogen or Argon.

It is NOT(repeat...not) intended to keep organisms from going outside of the chamber, it is intended to keep a desired atmosphere inside, with positive pressure.

It is NOT air tight, the positive pressure and small leaks keeps outside air from going in.

This is a functional piece of biology lab equipment, it was welcomed inside GENSPACE, the first community Biolab, based in Brooklyn, New York.

Step 1: Chamber Parts Breakdown

Here is the breakdown of the parts of the my DIY Anaerobic Chamber:

1- Big plastic container (36 gal), as clear as possible, as big and square as you can find.
2- Gas intake
3- Relief valve
4- Double hatch system (two plastic food containers)
5- Double gasket with metal reinforcements
6- Pressure gauge
7- Rubber arms (flex tube) and gloves
8- C clamps
9- Insulation foam + silicon + duct tape

More detailed material list and building procedures ahead.
<p>Thanks for the hot tip about the rubber gloves. Really saved the day when our anaerobic chamber started leaking through it's degraded cuffs. <br>I noticed you don't have an oxygen sensor per say, did you know you can make a solution of reduced methylene blue that will turn blue in the presence of oxygen. I think you can also purchase strips to act as indicators.</p>
<p>Hi, </p><p>I am not very sure about how to manage nitrogen or argon, so my question is: are all the valves you used especially made for the use of this types of gases? Is it dangerous to use solenoids valves?</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>Just to confirm, you are not using any vacuum at all here ? The only way to get the oxygen level down is to pump in inert gas right ? </p><p>Did you use an oxygen detector at all ? Do you know what levels can be reached in terms of % ? </p><p>Thanks</p>
Hello <br>Thank you for your message, interest and support :)<br>Sorry for the delay.<br><br>So...<br>No vacuum at all.<br>only pumping inert gas ( the chamber is not air tight, it has some leakage, so it is actually good because you create a positive pressure situation and no outside air comes in.<br>using O2 sequestrating tablets (used to preserve food), and eve a small candle...to burn O2, but his is kind of risky.<br><br>Sadly I have no O2 detection... this is the big weakness of my effort.<br><br>Thank yo for your interest.<br><br>May I have more info on your project? and if you go an build one of these, could you please send me some documentation :D<br><br>I would love to se it replicated.<br><br>Best wishes<br><br>Nelson Ramon<br>
Hey Nelson,<br><br>Thanks for the reply :-)<br>We've done a very very similar project, without the box on the side to act as a intermediate chamber, but using an O2 detector :<br>http://www.amazon.co.uk/SPD201-Oxygen-Detector-Tester-Deterctor/dp/B00I6AOV8I/<br><br>We can get down to less tha 1% oxygen, and with a good seal everywhere, we manage to maintain that level for several days without using much of a positive pressure inside.<br><br>I've attached a couple of photos too :-)<br><br>We're currently refining it further, building it with perspex (plexiglass) which we weld together using a a solvent, and then replication professional lab glove ports, but cutting the cost using 3D printing. Will share some photos of that once we're done.<br><br>Thanks for the inspiration !
<p>Hello, any progress with the perspex? I'd like to fabricate my own chamber</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>We're building this at the moment, to do some re-bottling of food products, that need extremely low levels of oxygen in order to avoid oxydation.</p><p>I just wanted to clarify something: how do you reach low levels of oxygen ? Is it purely the use of oxygen scavengers and pumping inert gas ? Do you use a vacuum pump at all at any point ? </p><p>Do you have an idea of the levels of oxygen you can reach (in %) ?</p><p>Many thanks- impressive effort!</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>We're building this at the moment, to do some re-bottling of food products, that need extremely low levels of oxygen in order to avoid oxydation.</p><p>I just wanted to clarify something: how do you reach low levels of oxygen ? Is it purely the use of oxygen scavengers and pumping inert gas ? Do you use a vacuum pump at all at any point ? </p><p>Do you have an idea of the levels of oxygen you can reach (in %) ?</p><p>Many thanks- impressive effort!</p>
I'm seriously considering adapting this to use as a portable indoor spray-painting bsh a filtered air intake through the walls of the container to allow air to flow in, and a vacuum attached to another filter to remove fumes and particulates from spraying.<br><br>Do you have any suggestions for keeping the viewing panel I'd have to add clear from the overspray? I was thinking some sort of clear panel sandwich with small holes in the inside facing layer that I could hook up to an air pump to blow into the chamber. I can either make something like that, or see if there's something available that would do the trick.<br><br>Also, now that I think of it, I could also make one for sandblasting too, or make a single multi-purpose box.<br><br>Thanks!
When I built my airbrush paint booth I used a fan with an A/C air filter on the exhaust side and another filter on the intake side. You would rather have airflow rather than a large pressure difference. For the viewing window I silicone caulked a piece of glass to a piece of plexi that I could bolt to the side of the box. Made for a GREAT dust-free painting environment.
So sweet!!! I'm a medicinal and gourmet mushroom grower that was in need of a clean room that was portible by far this one that u guys put together blew everything out of the water! I'm in the process of constructing mine as we speak but having a Huge problem finding the double sided gaskets that where used? Did u custom build those? Been to Home Depot along with auto parts stores and no one knows where to get these? Also for the glove sleeves I used 4&quot; female PVC pipe to add for a self seal affect! I will post when I'm done. But yes please help with the gasket issue as I'm inoculating live culture in the next couple days!! Nuhealthsolutionsllc@yahoo.com. Thanks again<br> Andrae
Very creative solution -- really impressive. I keep hearing great things about GENSPACE, and this level of ingenuity proves the rumors are true!
Thank you for your comment. GENSPACE is a great citizen scientist community, you will find very interesting smart people open to share and learn all the time. It's a privilege to have maker spaces like that.
Definitely. Is it mostly biology-focused? Cell-culture focused? Any genetics work going on?
all of the above :), as long as it fits in a BSL1 lab
Now remind me &quot;why&quot; I need to make one of these ? <br> <br>Do I &quot;really&quot; need an anaerobic chamber ?
The same *reason* that you *really* need to make... [selected 'ibles from rangefinder's &quot;favorites&quot; list] an Electric Umbrella! or an Instructables Plush Robot! or some delicious asian tomato noodle soup! Do you see what I'm getting at? ;-) <br>If you don't know what you'd do with an anaerobic chamber, well... maybe you ought to start doing some cooler stuff ^_^
like your comment.
I needed it for a larger experiment which required cultures of a strain of bacteria that doesn't tolerate normal levels of oxygen at early stages of biofilm. <br>New chambers are way too expensive for me. <br>Used ones are still expensive and you have to still get some parts to complete them (at least the ones I was able to find) <br>... so, what does a man do... he make his own anaerobic chamber !!!, and than shares it. :) <br>
This is awesome! Wish I had this idea when I needed to package some chemical compounds in a moisture-free environment, but my bottles were too big for our regular glovebox.
thanks :D
Would this be a suitable &quot;lab&quot; for harvesting and growing yeast in clean conditions? I'm a home brewer and would like to harvest yeast, but need a clean environment to do so in a way that is safe for the yeast not to get contaminated.
I would say.. yes, it can work for your cultures. <br>Good brewing! send me a sample jeje
My use would be so simple, applying screen protectors to screens of phones. Every time I go to apply a screen protector it always seems to have accumulated some kind of lint of a stray speck of dirt now I can get some nice clean applications....awesome idea as every and gets my vote. <br>PS: I had thought about this so many times in the past and now I have the push to build it rather than think about it. Excellent!!
it could work .. I think.. with a small modification to remove particles... <br>see my reply on &quot;The Mighty El Rondo&quot; post <br> <br>Go and make one! just show me how it goes :)
Your problem is static electricity. When you peel off the plastic, you generate static and it pulls the dust to the newly sticky surface. When I put screen protectors on, I make sure to do it in the bathroom after I let the shower run on hot for a few minutes. The steam/moisture in the air makes it very static unfriendly and I have done several perfect applications in there.
nice :)
You'd bring in the dust when you opened it up to put in the phone and protector. <br> <br>This isn't a clean room (box) anyway, just a place to grow stuff that doesn't like oxygen, or grows too fast in oxygen.
Well done!This looks good! I can see that you might have trouble at the sleeve junction on the box, and I would suggest a flange, for the sleeve to fasten too, this could be as simple a cutting down some large yogurt tubs, though they do make some larger flanges for black PVC pipes. This would help reduce sleeve breakaway during use. Also at the glove end, to allow for easy replacement of the gloves, I suggest a solid non corrugated junction, again the yogurt tub, or aluminum dryer vent line section, fastened to the sleeve and well taped, then the gloves can go on and off with more ease, and a good seal as well. I used to hate changing the gloves on the boxes at work!
thank you for your thorough description, it helps a lot, for upgrades or later versions :). <br>I think the main difficulty is that the flexible tubbing has a spiral backbone (like a slinky)... it is not like an accordion design (I could not find an affordable one with my time frame), which could make your DIY coupling (for sleeves and gloves) much more easier to implement. <br>Thank you.
Any chance you might have some method for a DIY cleanroom box that I can make and use to work on hard drives?
This could work...maybe making another valve, an OUT valve in which you can vacuum atmosphere from the chamber (at a smaller rate, and carefully... so the whole chamber doesn't implode), at one point you could have very clean air inside...and stop the vacuum. <br>just a thought... :)
I was really hoping this post would start with &quot;so I was planning on stealing the Declaration of Independence because there's a map on the back, and I needed to outfit the back of my van with a lab...&quot; <br> <br>great instructable. very thorough.
jejejeje, thanks. <br> <br>Still this is a part of a larger project that could potentially change the world ;)
I love this... I don't need it yet but I wave wanted to set up a lab for my daughter and I to do experiments. Very cool.....
awesome, let me know how you do!
Impressive effort! I was going to suggest a tray with steel wool and vinegar as an oxygen scrubber, then I saw your oxygen removal tablets. Watch that you don't use silicone tubing to connect your N2 cylinder - it is quite O2 permeable. Ditto silicone gloves. <br> <br>What a brilliant idea, and excellently executed! I would have liked to use this for some long term sampling of a Winogradski column. Ahhh, in another life! <br>
OOOO this is great!!! thank you for that O2 sequestering tip! <br>Good info on the tubbing and gloves material, thanks!, Im using vinyl tubing. <br>Thank you for the encouraging comments. <br>:D
Great idea, I need to replace the platters on my harddrive and was looking for a way to keep the dust out. This will also work for lens repair. Thanks for the tip.
great! <br>the only remark I have to make is that since the large container is not completely clear, detailed work might be a little bit hard. <br>So this is another upgrade that I'm pending: <br>Cutting a large rectangular space above the gloves, and use plexi, and for the borders, rubber gaskets (or insulation foam could be used), and the metal frame to be able to apply pressure to the screws that hold everything together, without cracking the plexi or the container.
Just an idea, but imagine putting this inside another, larger, clear box with one shared wall. The wall containing the gloves. Now make the shared wall air tight. Next make the outside box a flow through negative pressure box. Vent that safely outside through appropriate filters. <br>You now have a protected, positive pressure interior box that protects the environment of the experiment and a negative pressure outer box that protects the experimenter.
Sounds great! Just be safe, remember this was built for a Bio Safety Level 1 lab, where you don't interact with anything harmful for humans :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a media Artist / Creative Technologist interested in human/computer interaction, education, physical computing, games, entertainment and creating experiences through spaces and objects. I ... More »
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