A glovebox is an enclosure for working under a controlled environment. They are capable of maintaining environments of >0.1 ppm oxygen and water. Oxygen is removed by passing the atmosphere over a hot copper catalyst, and water is removed via molecular sieves. Once the copper/molecular sieves have become fully saturated, they are regenerated by heating the molecular sieves, and passing a reducing mixture of argon and hydrogen over the copper.
Samples are moved into a glovebox via an antechamber. To remove all adsorbed water or oxygen from the sample, it is first loaded into the antechamber, which is subsequently evacuated to a low vacuum state. After some time has passed, the antechamber is refilled with an inert gas, and the process is repeated 3 times. This procedure may be insufficient for highly porous media such as Kim-wipes. In this case, the sample should be placed in a vacuum oven overnight before transfer into a glovebox.
Inert gas must be continuously supplied to the glovebox. To regenerate the catalyst, a mixture of Argon/10% hydrogen is used.
MBraun makes glove boxes