Instructables

DIY Anaerobic Chamber (aka glove box)

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Picture of DIY Anaerobic Chamber (aka glove box)
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This DIY Anaerobic chamber was designed and built to grow cultures of Geobacter Sulfurreducens bacteria, to do research and experimentation  on my 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.
 
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Step 1: Chamber parts breakdown

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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.

Step 2: Materials used

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This are most of the materials used to build the Chamber. Some other materials (like liquid rubber spray) have been used to do some adjustments along the way.

Step 3: Footers

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This pieces are made to lift the chamber a little from any surface or table it is on, this is mainly because of the C-clamps used to close the lid tightly.

I suggest using half inch screws.

I used 1/16 inch rubber to make small gaskets, reinforced with Lexel.
(!!!note on the Lexel: It takes very....very long to dry (curate), bu is is 1000x better than silicon!!!)

adamvan200010 months ago
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.

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.

Also, now that I think of it, I could also make one for sandblasting too, or make a single multi-purpose box.

Thanks!
ponckk (author)  adamvan20004 months ago

:D

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" 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
Andrae
danbemp1 year ago
Very creative solution -- really impressive. I keep hearing great things about GENSPACE, and this level of ingenuity proves the rumors are true!
ponckk (author)  danbemp1 year ago
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.
danbemp ponckk1 year ago
Definitely. Is it mostly biology-focused? Cell-culture focused? Any genetics work going on?
ponckk (author)  danbemp1 year ago
all of the above :), as long as it fits in a BSL1 lab
Now remind me "why" I need to make one of these ?

Do I "really" need an anaerobic chamber ?
The same *reason* that you *really* need to make... [selected 'ibles from rangefinder's "favorites" list] an Electric Umbrella! or an Instructables Plush Robot! or some delicious asian tomato noodle soup! Do you see what I'm getting at? ;-)
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.
ponckk (author)  mattbeowulf1 year ago
:8)
ponckk (author)  rangefinder1 year ago
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.
New chambers are way too expensive for me.
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)
... so, what does a man do... he make his own anaerobic chamber !!!, and than shares it. :)
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.
ponckk (author)  DeusXMachina1 year ago
thanks :D
cagstorm1 year ago
Would this be a suitable "lab" 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.
ponckk (author)  cagstorm1 year ago
I would say.. yes, it can work for your cultures.
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.
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!!
ponckk (author)  CodfishCatfish1 year ago
it could work .. I think.. with a small modification to remove particles...
see my reply on "The Mighty El Rondo" post

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.
ponckk (author)  Spokehedz1 year ago
nice :)
You'd bring in the dust when you opened it up to put in the phone and protector.

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.
kaytracy1 year ago
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!
ponckk (author)  kaytracy1 year ago
thank you for your thorough description, it helps a lot, for upgrades or later versions :).
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.
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?
ponckk (author)  The Mighty El Rondo1 year ago
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.
just a thought... :)
codongolev1 year ago
I was really hoping this post would start with "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..."

great instructable. very thorough.
ponckk (author)  codongolev1 year ago
jejejeje, thanks.

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.....
ponckk (author)  robertmurdoch1 year ago
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.

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!
ponckk (author)  harristotle1 year ago
OOOO this is great!!! thank you for that O2 sequestering tip!
Good info on the tubbing and gloves material, thanks!, Im using vinyl tubing.
Thank you for the encouraging comments.
:D
toad1 year ago
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.
ponckk (author)  toad1 year ago
great!
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.
So this is another upgrade that I'm pending:
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.
Tachyon1 year ago
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.
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.
ponckk (author)  Tachyon1 year ago
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 :)
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