Prevention / Waste Minimization Program
Laboratory Process Modification Opportunities
There are many chemical process substitution opportunities
for laboratories. Please consider incorporating as many of the following
into your research as practicable. The environment will benefit
and so will your laboratory.
- Instrumentation and automation upgrades.
- Use of capillary columns in gas chromatographs
instead of micropore or large-diameter columns, and capillary
or micropore columns in high-performance liquid chromatography
(HPLC) instead of large-bore columns.
- Smaller-volume, multielement standards purchased
that can be used for both AA and ICP.
- 3M Empore disks used for organic solid-phase extraction
(EPA Method 525).
- TCLP: use of 1L of water to wash filtration vessel
rather than 3L; use of a 25-mL extract rather than 50 mL.
- Adding a treatment or deactivation step to procedures
(check with EH&S before proceeding).
- Adding distillation steps to experimental procedures
to recover solvents.
- Neutralizing and distilling methanol/acetic acid/radioactive
isotope solutions from gel electrophoresis studies and reusing
- Supercompaction of solid radioactive waste;
- Storing for decay short half-life radioactive or
- Use of 2.5-mL scintillation minivials rather than
10-mL (adapters available for 10-mL racks).
- Use of membranes to count cells, rather than scintillation
fluid (P-32 counted without scintillation fluid by the Cerenkov
method on the tritium setting of a liquid scintillation counter
- 40% efficiency).
- I-125 counted without scintillation fluid in a
- A change or simplification of procedure, e.g.,
eliminating the methanol gel fixing step in gel electrophoresis
if it is not necessary (eliminates methanol, acetic acid and radioactive
- Use of microscaling techniques